- The first practice session of the Spanish GP taking place at Barcelona Catalunya track has ended with Valtteri Bottas setting the fastest time of the session, with lap time of 1.16.785. Behind him with the second best was Lewis Hamilton with 1.16.824 and Max Verstappen with 1.17.724 on 3rd. The rest who completed the top 10 of the session were: Leclerc, Vettel, Grosjean, Perez, Albon, Magnussen and Stroll on P10.
Before the activities on the Barcelona track began, we received information that from Belgian GP (which happens after the Spanish one) the FIA decided to ban the so-called “party modes” of engines known to be used by teams in qualifying to hopefully shrink the gap between Mercedes and the rest of the grid. Although it might not bring the result expected, it will be definitely an interesting qualifying in two weeks time.
Also, we finally know that Racing Point, who received a penalty last week for their brake ducts decided to appeal the penalty, but also that other teams such as Renault and Ferrari decided to appeal as well, as they believe the penalty for the team has been not sufficient.
After his two weeks absence from his seat, Sergio Perez is back in the F1 paddock came back behind the wheel of his Racing Point car and took part in the FP1, after he contracted the COVID-19 virus and had to sit out the two rounds in Silverstone. Additionally, we’ve got Roy Nissany taking George Russell’s car for a ride during the FP1, as he is a development driver for Williams.
The practice started in already quite high temperatures: 28C of air temperature 35C of track temperature. This will definitely set an interesting scenario regarding the tyres, as most teams worry about their performance during such hot temperatures, due to the events of the past rounds that took part at Silverstone.
Sebastian Vettel was the one to set the first lap time, with a 1m24.910. Meanwhile the mechanics started some work on the car of Alex Albon, after he came back to the pits after one lap. With still over an hour of the practice, Bottas set a time of 1.18.575 with Verstappen only 0.977 behind him. After Albon returned on the track, the mechanics from a junior Red Bull team Alpha Tauri have been seen working on the car of Daniil Kvyat. For a very long time Kvyat was the only driver who did not set a lap time, but eventually he was able to get out of the Alpha Tauri garage, and after him it was Gasly’s car that got some work done.
Halfway through the session the first ten was: Hamilton, Bottas, Perez, Verstappen, Stroll, Ocon, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Leclerc and Albon.
Less than an hour before the end of the session, there have been some problems for Alex Albon. He was told over the radio by his engineer Simon Rennie to slow his car down, as the team suspects an issue. He was rolled into the garage, and he later did return back on track, soon after setting the 8th time.
The session ended with Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen in the top 3.
Beside a small spin by Roy Nissany during the session, there has been no disturbances to the FP1. Coming next later today is FP2, and let’s see what the scorching temperatures at Barcelona Catalunya have prepared for the teams.