Hamilton tops charts in Barcelona

World Champ Hamilton

City of Miami commissioner Ken Russell posted a potential track layout on Twitter last week, with most of the course in the port area and featuring a loop around the downtown American Airlines Arena along Biscayne Bay.

"Here it's obviously a good update and we'll have more in Monaco, in Canada so we are a little bit behind schedule on updates, but the important thing is that the new parts are coming every race from now on and we put some performance in the vehicle".

Max Verstappen averaged the quickest time in his Red Bull on a 1:22.666s.

Lewis Hamilton took Mercedes' 90th F1 pole position as a constructor.

Vettel said he was happy with his lap.

Hamilton had a lap time of 1 minute, 16.173 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, finishing only four hundredths of a second ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Fernando Alonso will start from eighth in McLaren's best qualifying display of the year. "The day was pretty good, but it was a tricky one because it was so windy", Hamilton said. "I looked at the tower and I saw my name didn't go up, but we expected Mercedes to be strong so we will see what happens tomorrow".

Hamilton will be trying to win his second race in a row and add to his four-point lead over Vettel in the drivers' standings.

Most teams brought significant updates to Spain, which marks the beginning of the European season in F1.

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Kubica was replacing Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin, who returned for second practice and was slowest in 1:22.060.

The two Red Bull drivers were once again left to rue their lack of additional power for a single lap, as they ended two-thirds of a second behind Hamilton on the third row.

Alonso's result marking the first time a McLaren has made the top 10 all season.

Kimi Raikkonen, in the other Ferrari, was sixth fastest in the afternoon and had to retire late because of an apparent engine problem.

There was some disquiet with the rear-view mirrors Ferrari mounted on the halos, with motorsport governing body FIA looking into a possible breach of regulations.

New Zealand's Brendon Hartley did not take part in qualifying for Toro Rosso after crashing heavily in final practice. He clipped the grass on the entry of a turn and span into the tire barrier, significantly damaging the vehicle.

Stroll almost hit the tire barriers after going off the track with about a half-hour left in the session.

Ricciardo, who crashed with Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona by hitting a tire barrier midway through the first session, losing a lot of track time.

Vettel agreed, but then with the Saturday sweeties to come, he is never overly troubled by Friday's returns "It has been a tricky day with the tyres".

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