Silver Arrows drive away: Mourning for Lauda in Monaco - Hamilton and Bottas strong
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Monte Carlo (AP) - Niki Lauda would be proud of it: Despite the deep mourning for the deceased Formula 1 icon, the Silver Arrows have dominated the competition for the start of the Formula 1 classic in Monte Carlo.
World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton raced in first place in both units in training sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas drove the second fastest lap of the day - far ahead of everyone else. "Everybody mourns in his own way. But Niki would like us to concentrate on the race weekend and deliver Saturday and Sunday, »said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff in the morning.
In third place in the faster unit in the afternoon came challenger Sebastian Vettel. The back of the 31-year-old Heppenheimers was so sobering in the narrow streets of Monte Carlo as the previous Sieglos season course: 0.763 seconds Vettel was behind the best time. On a lap of just 3.3 kilometers, this is a frightening gap for the four-time world champion.
"Of course we know that we are not fast enough to defeat Mercedes, but we work very hard to make a difference as quickly as possible," Vettel had already said on Wednesday, of a faulty construction of the 2019 Ferrari had he does not want to know anything.
During the second practice Vettel, who had his helmet painted in honor of Laudas in the design of the former pilot, also made do with a quick lap. Just before the crash barriers, the Heppenheimer came to a stop in turn one.
Team colleague Charles Leclerc was missing out on the streets in the streets where he took a bus ride to school as a child, even more than 1.2 seconds on Hamilton in the second hour and a half. The dream of the first home victory of a Monegasque since the beginning of the World Cup in 1950 may well remain a desire after the race on this Sunday (15.10 clock / Sky and RTL).
As expected, Red Bull seems to be another threat to the Scuderia. In the morning, the Dutchman Max Verstappen moved between Hamilton and Bottas, in the afternoon the Frenchman Pierre Gasly lined up directly behind Vettel. Already a year ago, Vettel's former team won by the then pilot Daniel Ricciardo in the Principality. The second German pilot, Nico Hülkenberg, came seventh in the morning in the morning, in the afternoon the 31-year-old Emmericher was only 16.
Far away from Hamilton and Bottas - the duo, which made the top two places in the previous five races of the season. The death of Lauda on Monday at the age of 70 years should strengthen the Mercedes men in their determination on the way to the sixth driver and constructor title in series only more.
However, it was not an easy situation to go racing, stressed team boss Wolff. The 47-year-old Lauda compatriot and also Hamilton had canceled all their media appointments the day before. He feels like a zombie, said Wolff on Thursday. Hamilton could handle his grief in the race car, where he feels most comfortable.
Challenger Vettel remains only the hope that the Grand Prix in the Principality is again good for surprises. "Monaco is always a race where anything can happen in which everything is in it. A little roulette, "he had said before the training.
Lauda in the Formula One Hall of Fame
Formbarometer before the race in Monaco
Preview of the Grand Prix of Monaco on FIA homepage
Hamilton on Lauda Death on Instagram