Max Verstappen leads both Friday practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix.
In Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin trailed Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Verstappen led his teammate double champion by 0.170 seconds, but teams were testing different car modifications and tyres behind them.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull was second, with Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas third.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, drivers for Ferrari, who tried a new car development, finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Esteban Ocon of Alpine was the fifth-fastest driver, while George Russell of Mercedes finished eighth, three places ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
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seconds of practice
Ferrari used the first session to contrast Sainz’s car’s upgrade—centered on a new sidepod design and floor—with Leclerc’s vehicle’s base configuration. In the second session, the upgrade was used by both drivers.
Leclerc’s race-simulation lap on the soft tyre later in the practice seemed to be at roughly the same pace as Alonso’s Aston Martin, which has typically outperformed the Ferrari this season on Sundays. This suggests that it had the expected impact.
In contrast, whether during a single lap or a longer run, the Mercedes seemed to be slower than both.
Verstappen, who had won in Monaco the previous weekend and was 39 points ahead of Perez, appeared unflappable in any situation. However, his race run was unmatched by other drivers’ since he used the medium for his first lengthy run before switching to the soft later on, although other drivers ran the soft first.
They ran on a new track this year compared to previous. The circuit has been restored to its historic layout with two quick right-handers to finish the lap, which have not been utilized since 2006. The tricky chicane at the end of the lap has been replaced.
In the first practice, many drivers—including the Red Bull duo—complained that their cars were “bouncing” coming into the last corner.
The aerodynamic issue known as “porpoising,” which dominated much of last season, made a comeback with this, and teams will want to try to eliminate it for the remainder of the weekend.
By the second session, Red Bull appeared to have it under control, but Mercedes and Ferrari were still having issues.