The first practice session in Barcelona finished with Valtteri Bottas setting the fastest time of 1:18.504s . Behind him on 2nd and 3rd were Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, with the times of 1:18.537s and 1:18.627s respectively. The rest that completed the top 10 of the session were: Norris, Leclerc, Sainz, Gasly, Vettel, Perez and Stroll.
Here we are, at our fourth FP1 of the 2021 season. Only one week after the Portuguese GP, we go again at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the host of the Spanish GP since 1991. Ahead of the GP, the turn 10 has been changed, which has left many concerned that one of the few opportunities for overtaking at this track has been compromised. How the new configuration will turn out will definitely be under the eye of everybody.
In the first few minutes of the session we had most of the driver out on the track. Two changes to the usual grid was Robert Kubica in place of Kimi Raikkonen for FP1 behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo car, as well as Roy Nissany in place of George Russell at Williams. 2 minutes into the session, Mazepin lost control and went out of the track in turn 8, causing a yellow flag, but fortunately for the Haas team not crashing the car.
10 minutes into the session, it was Max Verstappen on top of the leaderboard, with the time of 1:20.405s, followed closely by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. During this time of the session, we also had Fernando Alonso on P7, Sebastian Vettel on P9 and Lance Stroll on P6, a hopefully good sign for those teams. Although the previous round in Portugal was not the most exciting for the Aston Martin cars, due to them being P13 and P14, it was definitely a good sign for the Alpine team, with Ocon and Alonso on P7 and P8 respectively. Around this time in the session, the only 3 drivers that did not set a timed lap were Perez, Ricciardo and Tsunoda.
After potentially damaging his front wing in turn 7, Verstappen was called back to the garage for a front wing change. The team was also inspecting if there was any potential damage to the floor of his RB16B. Checo Perez was instructed by the team to avoid the curbs at the apex of turn 7, to avoid damage to his car as well. Half an hour into the session, the grid was all mixed: we’ve got Vettel on P1, Hamilton P2 and Fernando Alonso on P3. The rest of top 10 were: Verstappen, Perez, Bottas, Norris, Gasly, Leclerc and Tsunoda.
After Verstappen’s issues in turn 7, Sebastian Vettel was another victim of the curb, loosing a piece of his front wing as well. This part of the track will be surely monitored by all of the teams throughout the weekend, in order to prevent the damage in their own cars as well.
Around 15 minutes before the end of the session, the FP1 was red flagged, after Kubica went into the gravel and was not able to get out of the gravel trap. During that time of the session, the top 10 were: Bottas, Hamilton, Norris, Gasly, Vettel, Stroll, Tsunoda, Giovinazzi, Ricciardo and Vettel. That was the only other incident during the session beside the Mazepin’s spin two minutes into FP1. 10 minutes before the end the session was green flagged, and the drivers went back on track.
The final classification for the FP1 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Spanish GP: