Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Bottas has engine changed after water leak


Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, rear, steers his vehicle during the third practice session for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Saturday, May 13, 2017. The.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his auto during the third practice session for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Saturday, May 13, 2017. Ferrari was a surprise in the Saturday morning free practice session but Hamilton returned to the front when it mattered, taking his third pole of the season. Which augers well for the race.

Hamilton ran wide at Turn Five, but was fastest in Q2 by a narrow margin - less than a tenth - ahead of Vettel and Bottas, but the lap that lifted the crowd came from Alonso, who reached the top ten shootout for the first time this year, 24 hours after yet another engine failure on Friday.

Vettel leads Hamilton by 13 points in the world championship with Bottas a further 10 points back, while Mercedes have a one-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

"I think we could have had pole today, so not the ideal end", said Vettel.

The Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have qualified fifth and sixth respectively. Despite the encouraging lap times, there were problems for both of the top teams, with Vettel only completing seven laps and stopping in the pit lane late in the session.

On the subject of Ferrari's upgrades for Barcelona, Vettel said he was happy with the development progress that the team had made.

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"Today I wasn't very happy with the feeling I was getting but I can also feel the vehicle was quick", said Vettel following FP2. Haas' Romain Grosjean recovered from a spin at turn 14 early in Q1 to go seventh with his second run.

"In putting the engine back together, we have discovered a small water leak", a team spokesman said, adding that the engine had been replaced with the one used at the previous four rounds of the season.

"Even so, first and third are good starting positions, from the clean side of the grid".

"It is going to be a tough race when you see how close it is between us".

Vettel's auto had only just received its second power unit of the four he is allowed to use in this Formula One season, but the detection of a water leak in final practice prompted the lightning fast installation of a third different engine. The Quebecers had to settle for the 18 th time in the qualifying session.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, using an upgraded floor on his vehicle after the toss of a coin to decide who got it, was seventh in the morning with French team mate Romain Grosjean eighth.

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