With most teams more concerned with collecting data on updates fitted to the single-seaters, the two Ferrari drivers finished the first free practice of the Spanish GP in the top two positions of the timesheets, with Charles Leclerc ahead. Carlos Sainz by 0.079s. Max Verstappen was the third fastest of the session, 0.336s behind the Monegasque.
George Russell finished the session in fourth place, followed by Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Lando Norris finished seventh, followed by Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo, while Yuki Tsunoda closed the top ten.
Ferrari and Red Bull appear to be maintaining the pace of previous races, continuing to be at the forefront of operations, while the fight for the ‘second pack’ is expected to be heated with Mercedes, Alpine and McLaren. Alfa Romeo finished far from those places, unlike AlphaTauri, but an improvement is expected in the second practice session, which should be used to work for tomorrow’s qualifying.
With Sergio Pérez at the wheel of the RB18, it’s up to Jüri Vips to take the place of the Mexican. The young driver took the last time of the session, but had to collect data for the team.
Nyck de Vries, who was in charge of Alex Albon’s single-seater, finished the practice session with a better time than Nicholas Latifi.
High point for what appear to be improvements in the Mercedes’ oscillatory effect. It may be misleading, but the two W13s gave the idea of being better in this matter, recalling that the Friday of the Miami GP went very well for the Brackley team, then that the two cars were unrecognizable on Saturday.
McLaren, who don’t usually finish in the top 10 in early practice, but Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo ended the 60-minute test with good times.
Without Sergio Pérez at the wheel of the RB18, Max Verstappen.
With a very different car to the one seen up until the Miami GP, the first Aston Martin driver to hit the track, in this case Lance Stroll, brought a series of sensors to the AMR22 for the team to collect data on recent developments.
Jüri Vips (in Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull) and Nyck de Vries (in the Williams normally owned by Alexander Albon) made their Formula 1 training debuts, while Robert Kubica was at the helm of Alfa Romeo by Guanyu Zhou.
Max Verstappen was the first driver to set the fastest lap time, with a time of 1:23.163. He had Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo a second behind, with George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz following the driver pair very closely.
Esteban Ocon entered the pits just 20 minutes into practice after reporting problems with the A522’s steering. The French driver was then in 12th place on the time sheet.
Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen set the tone until halfway through the practice session, but still very applauded by the spectators in the stands of the Circuit de Catalunya, Carlos Sainz climbed to the top of the timesheets, with a time 1:19.907 on soft tyres. .
About 5 minutes after the record set by Sainz, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took positions on the timesheets behind Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen. Russell was the better of the two Mercedes drivers, 0.683s behind Sainz, while Hamilton was 0.904s behind. However, 2 minutes later, Charles Leclerc moved to the top of the timesheet, with a time of 1:19.828 and Fernando Alonso then shared the two Mercedes drivers in fifth place.