Things will be close again at the Spanish GP: Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time in Formula 1’s first practice session in Barcelona. However, the Finn was only 0.033 seconds faster than Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Honda. Lewis Hamilton ranks third.
It didn’t go optimally for Red Bull: Verstappen bent his front wing on the curbs between turns seven and eight. He had to be changed. Sergio Pérez also got stuck in traffic and couldn’t turn a really fast lap. More than ninth place was therefore not possible for the Mexican.
Sebastian Vettel was one of the first drivers on soft tires. He now also has the aerodynamic updates on the Aston Martin-Mercedes, which Lance Stroll has already used in Portugal. With the same weapons, Vettel was two tenths faster than Stroll. Eighth place is a clear upward trend for Vettel.
Sky expert Timo Glock knows: “That shows that he now has a basic confidence in the car. Otherwise you won’t set such a time straight away. “
New exhaust system for Schumacher
Despite a new exhaust system on the Haas-Ferrari, Mick Schumacher couldn’t make a big jump in training: 18th place, again significantly faster than his team-mate Nikita Mazepin (by 1.2 seconds!). “Both drivers report an unstable rear end when braking at the entrance to the bend,” explains team boss Günther Steiner.
Mazepin already made the eighth major driving error of the season. Steiner criticizes: “That didn’t go ideally, I have to say that too. He had cold tires, hit the gas too early, had wheelspin and spun. But here it is also difficult to get the hard tires up to temperature. “
Alfa Romeo test driver Robert Kubica caused an interruption of a few minutes because his Alfa Romeo Ferrari had sunk in the gravel.
Result of the 1st practice Spanish GP
1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1: 18.504
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull-Honda) +0.033
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.123
4. Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes) +0.440
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.492
6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.516
7. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri-Honda) +0.558
8. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes) +0.730
9. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull-Honda) +0.845
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes) +0.925
11. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri-Honda) +1,165
12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine-Renault) +1,177
13. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) +1,190
14. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes) +1.228
15. Fernando Alonso (Alpine-Renault) +1.446
16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams-Mercedes) +1,766
17. Roy Nissany (Williams-Mercedes) +2.196
18. Mick Schumacher (Haas-Ferrari) +2.262
19. Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) +3,383
20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas-Ferrari) +3,472