F1 testing results day two: Mercedes pip Ferrari while Robert Kubica impresses

Pirelli: F1 risked Spanish GP

Vettel: Thinner tyre treads the 'correct call'

Both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes insist a new contract is not far away and has only been delayed in order to let the team focus on its on-track issues last month.

The Briton went on to miss out on the podium in four of the next six outings before eventually hitting his stride fully at Spa - a race that marked the beginning of a title-clinching run of five wins in six.

Lewis Hamilton is leading the F1 drivers' championship by 17 points from Sebastian Vettel.

The Spanish Grand Prix had the symmetrical line-up of the Mercedes locking the front row, then the Ferraris and the Red Bulls at the start of the race on Sunday.

The Silver Arrows were soundly beaten by Ferrari at both the Australian and Bahrain Grand Prix, but have since bounced back to become the most consistent team on the grid.

Sebastian Vettel ultimately feels Pirelli Motorsport made the right to bring updated tyre compounds with thinner treads to the Spanish Grand Prix, believing his Scuderia Ferrari team would have been even worse off had they brought the standard tyres to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

'Obviously we don't want to lose him and I don't think he wants to go anywhere else.

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"It was definitely the closest it's been to some of the performances we had past year". We weren't happy with our cars' performance and we needed to sort it out.

"But it's nearly all sorted and we will pick it up at the right time".

Meanwhile, despite Hamilton being confirmed for the 2019 season, there remains a question mark on his teammate for next season.

Hamilton had also won in Azerbaijan two weeks ago, but that victory came mostly because of incidents involving his closest competitors, including a blown tyre for Bottas, a mistake by Vettel and a crash between Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen. By the ninth lap, Hamilton had opened a two-second gap on Vettel and set a new lap record in the previous lap.

Hamilton has endorsed Bottas for a long-term role at Mercedes and Wolff also admitted he is on par with the four-time F1 drivers' champion this season, but the team will make a decision on the second driver in the summer. Probably the key point of tomorrow is the weather, there is some rain around and if that happens I think the race is going to ve very different. "So I think I've learned from those; I just need to continue my development, there's never things that you can't learn more".

And with Mercedes money men in Barcelona to witness his dominant display, Hamilton dropped the biggest hint yet that he is ready to commit his future to the German team.

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