Ferrari new boy Leclerc maybe faster than Vettel - Ecclestone

Ferrari new boy Leclerc maybe faster than Vettel - Ecclestone

From our analysis - as I keep telling everyone even though nobody believes me - they have had the stronger package for two races and we have had the stronger package for two races But we have delivered on four of them. The competition is very strong, which is not a surprise.

Bernie Ecclestone admitted on Thursday that he misjudged the potential and speed of Charles Leclerc and hinted that the Ferrari new boy may be faster than team-mate and four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel.

That's why the spirit is good, everybody is fired up and ready to fight.

On track Bottas looks more committed, more confident and crucially more consistent. "I knew we were behind but, at this point of the year, it doesn't really matter how much. It's only been four races, so watch this space".

"There's things that happen in the background that you won't know about", he said. Returning to Spain, where their form in testing was so strong, they badly need to unlock the potential they are convinced their vehicle possesses. "That's good news but in the end it's only Friday and Ferrari is not that far behind... we have to see tomorrow in qualifying when Ferrari turns their new power unit up how they are going to be". "We are not happy with the points we have scored so far", he said.

Vettel was blunt in stating there was no silver bullet to solve their problems, only more work to facilitate a greater understanding of their auto, but the clock is ticking. "It's just really important for us to stay focus because what we are doing is working and we just need to strengthen that and leave the others to do whatever they are doing". Anything short of a win here would leave them with a mountain to climb.

However, Hamilton sees a very different situation developing with Bottas should the pair continue to lock horns for the title, where respect will supersede discord.

"Ultimately, the core goal is for the team to finish at the top and I'm a team player", he said. "I'm down for whatever challenge I have from whoever is going to challenge me".

Early indications are that it is Mercedes and Bottas who once again have the edge in Spain.

Bottas leads the drivers' standings with 87 points, one more than five-time champion Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton says he has noticed an improvement in the performance of his teammate Valtteri Bottas ever since one of his engineers crossed sides in the Mercedes garage.

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