Mercedes reveals its fears for Bottas in Spain

Raikkonen should avoid engine change after Spanish problems

Lewis Hamilton, fresh from his second race victory of the season after a masterful Barcelona drive, had been in the Mercedes on day one of the test, finishing with the sixth-best lap time after spending much of his 151 laps running on the harder compounds.

The defending four-time champion, who increased his lead in this year's title race to 17 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, added that he and his team were still uncertain about the races ahead.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas had the fastest lap on the final day of Formula One testing in Barcelona on Wednesday.

But Vettel struggled with tire wear and Ferrari chose to bring him in for an extra stop.

Mercedes has revealed how close Valtteri Bottas was to not making it to the end of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

"Right now I've just got to keep my head down and keep doing what we've been doing".

Wolff said: "That was a great result but there was no point where it felt as comfortable as it might have looked from the outside". I think more than not quick enough we were obviously struggling to make the tyres last.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "My mind is already on Monaco and I remember it wasn't a pleasant Sunday night past year".

"I am pretty please at the way things have turned out so far. It will happen - hopefully in the near future".

Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren on a three-year deal in 2013 and renewed his contract for the same period of time mid-2015, meaning he is out of contract at the end of 2018.

Hamilton was gift-wrapped the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and then led from start to finish in Spain to get his and Mercedes' seasons firmly back on track. Thirdly, it was a poor weekend in terms of reliability. "But the bottom line is that we are not quick enough to win, and that is what needs to be addressed".

F1 action returns in two weeks as Hamilton will turn his attention to the Monte Carlo GP with the Brit looking to improve on his three career wins at the Monaco Grand Prix. Mercedes and Hamilton's return to form means the reigning champions are "back in business" for 2018, says Sky Sports, but can they they win in Monaco?

The streets of Monte Carlo did prove troublesome for Hamilton after he qualified only 14th and took the chequered flag in a lowly seventh place on a weekend to forget.

The Mercedes team principal revealed that all the details are nearly sorted, but they had to put talks on a back burner to focus on turning their season around after seeing Ferrari and Red Bull Racing be stronger than them in the first four races of the season.

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