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Raikkonen leads Ferrari 1-2 to close out Spanish GP practice

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Kimi Raikkonen headed up a one-two finish for Ferrari in the final Formula 1 practice session ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, giving the Italian marque a boost ahead of qualifying.

Ferrari arrived in Barcelona with a handful of updates for its SF70H car, while erstwhile rival Mercedes brought a more significant package to Barcelona in a bid to pull clear at the front of the pack.

Mercedes controlled proceedings on Friday as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished P1 and P2 in both sessions, leaving Ferrari on the back foot.

Raikkonen led a revival for the team on Saturday morning in FP3, turning in a best lap of 1:20.214 to finish two-tenths of a second clear of teammate Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timesheets.

Hamilton was left to settle for third overall, three-tenths off Raikkonen’s best lap, while teammate Bottas only completed six laps after an issue emerged on his car overnight.

Mercedes broke its curfew in order to resolve an electrical issue on Bottas’ W08 car, only to find a water leak that forced the team into a power unit change. The Finn got out on-track with eight minutes remaining in the session.

Ferrari was not immune of problems either as Vettel suffered a loss of power towards the end of the session, forcing him to park up at the end of the pit lane and wait to be recovered by his crew.

Max Verstappen finished fifth for Red Bull ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo, the pair appearing to be out of the fight at the front despite the updates brought by the team to Barcelona for the RB13 car.

Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a solid run to seventh for Renault, finishing ahead of Felipe Massa in eighth, while the Spanish pair of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 positions.

Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Saturday.

F1: Hamilton leads Mercedes front row lockout in France

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Lewis Hamilton needed to outduel teammate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying for Sunday’s French Grand Prix, after the Finn jumped ahead of the Briton on his final run – Bottas turned in a lap at 1:30.147 to barely get clear of Hamilton.

However, Hamilton ultimately got the last laugh and turned in a 1:30.029 on his final lap, bettering Bottas by just over one tenth of a second, to take the 75th pole of his career.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified third, followed by the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended up sixth.

Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified seventh, and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc qualified a brilliant eighth as the Frenchman continued a strong rookie campaign in front of his home crowd.

The Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean completed the top 10, with Grosjean actually crashing out of Q3 after nosing his VF-18 into a barrier.

Results are below. Of note: the McLaren drivers of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne failed to advance out of Q1 and qualified 16th (Alonso), and 18th (Vandoorne), though Vandoorne will start 17th as Brendon Hartley will start at the back of the grid after Toro Rosso changed several components of the power unit.

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