Max Verstappen completed a clean sweep of Friday practice at Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix, but was run closer by his rivals than in the opening session.
> Verstappen 0.170s up on Alonso
> Hulkenberg up in third
> Upgraded Ferraris P6 and P7
The soft-shod upgraded Ferraris – with Charles Leclerc joining Carlos Sainz in taking possession of the newer spec after having run the older version in SF-23 – were first and second in the early going as Verstappen ran the stronger-construction Pirelli tyres set to make their competitive debut at Silverstone later this season.
But Verstappen jumped to first soon after swapping to this weekend’s mediums, the C2 compound, and then again reclaimed the top spot from the Ferraris after his qualifying simulation on the soft.
Yet there would be no repeat of the massive 0.768s gap from FP1, as local hero Fernando Alonso lapped just a tenth and a half slower in his Aston Martin.
Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise third for Haas, 12 places and half a second up on team-mate Kevin Magnussen, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez only fourth – losing time to Verstappen through the first two sectors.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon had two tenths in hand over team-mate Pierre Gasly, which was the difference between fifth and 10th place respectively. Ocon reported that energy deployment on his end was “all over the place” during the late-session race runs.
The Ferraris were ultimately sixth and seventh, around three hundredths apart and a tenth up on the best of the Mercedes cars.
This was George Russell’s W14, despite an earlier run through the gravel at Turn 10 when he encountered the McLaren of Oscar Piastri on the racing line.
Russell’s Mercedes predecessor Valtteri Bottas was half a tenth behind in the Alfa Romeo, and a tenth up on his former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 11th.
The AlphaTauris looked very competitive in the early going on the medium tyre, but didn’t pack it up on the softs, both ending up outside of the top 15.
But they were both quicker than the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll – over nine tenths off team-mate Fernando Alonso – and the Williams duo, with the FW45 looking the slowest car in the field so far this weekend.
Practice 2 Results
|Nyck de Vries