Hamilton on top in crash-hit F1 practice

Hamilton on top in crash-hit F1 practice

Hamilton led from pole, with Vettel nipping forward of Bottas to take second, however behind them there was carnage as Romain Grosjean span his Haas, with the luckless Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) ploughing into him. But racing was immediately interrupted by the safety auto when Nico H├╝lkenberg and Pierre Gasly were collected by Romain Grosjean in the Haas who went off and spun back across the track through the third corner. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel could manage only fourth after his team took a second pitstop for the German behind the virtual safety vehicle that lost him track position.

Ferrari was Mercedes closest rivals as four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished at the third and fourth spot respectively.

This marks Verstappen's first podium of the 2018 season.

Ferrari surrendered the lead in the constructors' championship to Mercedes and now trail them by 27 points after five races.

Bottas' late retirement in Baku handed Hamilton his first win of the season on a plate - a result that edged him ahead of Vettel in the drivers' standings for the first time this term - and he followed that up with Sunday's impressive performance.

Getting the race win is not impossible, but no driver wants to start his race with their backs against the wall.

"I was trying to go for every sector record", he laughed.

"A one-two for the team". "Friday, Saturday was more hard and on Valtteri we were taking the tire pretty far". Team mate Valtteri Bottas took second place while Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third place after a botched pit stop ruined Sebastian Vettel's chance of making podium during a virtual safety auto stint.

"Our understanding of the vehicle and the improvements that we're making are important too".

In total, six cars failed to finish. Force India's Esteban Ocon had a troubled stop on lap 30, with a problem inside the rear right wheel delaying his exit by over 20 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel has defended the pit stop that put paid to his hopes of victory at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, insisting Ferrari had "no option".

Victory here will have given the defending champion the impetus he has felt has been lacking for the past three races.

Vettel will line up in third after qualifying 0.132 seconds slower than Hamilton.

That error meant the German emerged back on track behind Verstappen's Red Bull.

Vettel was called in for a second stop under the virtual safety vehicle as Ferrari looked to make gains with the rest of the field speed-restricted. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault): +50.058s 6.

Grosjean, having been unsettled by Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen sliding slightly sideways exiting Turn 2, ran wide and spun through Turn 3, in front of the chasing pack.