Grand Prix practice results: Hamilton fastest in Barcelona

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest overall time on the opening day of Spanish Grand Prix practice in Barcelona for Mercedes on Friday, the fourth round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Grand Prix practice results: Hamilton fastest in Barcelona
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Both Friday practice sessions have each been cut to one hour in 2021, instead of the usual 90 minutes each. FP1 was topped by Bottas, and teammate Lewis Hamilton was fastest in FP2 – which was faster than the morning session.

Spanish Grand Prix FP1 results: Bottas fastest from Verstappen

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas 25 1'18.504     213.466
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen 19 1'18.537 0.033 0.033 213.377
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22 1'18.627 0.123 0.090 213.132
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris 24 1'18.944 0.440 0.317 212.277
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc 25 1'18.996 0.492 0.052 212.137
6 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 22 1'19.020 0.516 0.024 212.072
7 France Pierre Gasly 26 1'19.062 0.558 0.042 211.960
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel 24 1'19.234 0.730 0.172 211.500
9 Mexico Sergio Perez 17 1'19.349 0.845 0.115 211.193
10 Canada Lance Stroll 25 1'19.429 0.925 0.080 210.980
11 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 22 1'19.669 1.165 0.240 210.345
12 France Esteban Ocon 25 1'19.681 1.177 0.012 210.313
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 23 1'19.694 1.190 0.013 210.279
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 24 1'19.732 1.228 0.038 210.179
15 Spain Fernando Alonso 25 1'19.950 1.446 0.218 209.606
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi 25 1'20.270 1.766 0.320 208.770
17 Israel Roy Nissany 23 1'20.700 2.196 0.430 207.657
18 Germany Mick Schumacher 23 1'20.766 2.262 0.066 207.488
19 Poland Robert Kubica 13 1'21.887 3.383 1.121 204.647
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 22 1'21.976 3.472 0.089 204.425

What happened in Spanish GP Free Practice 1?

Teams began their run programmes evaluating the hard tyre, with Hamilton setting the pace on the rubber at 1m19.675s. That lap was four tenths faster than Red Bull's Max Verstappen managed on the same compound and a second quicker than Bottas at the time.

Haas’s Nikita Mazepin suffered an early half spin at Turn 8 but managed to reverse his car out of the gravel trap.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel topped the times at half distance, as he was one of the first to run the soft tyre and lapped in 1m19.234s. Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners on the compound and lowered the target time to 1m18.808s.

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Bottas was forced to abort his first lap, after understeering wide at Turn 3, but he regrouped to lap in 1m18.838s. Hamilton improved again to 1m18.627s but Bottas went even faster on his final run, producing a 1m18.504s.

This was also the first F1 session with the reprofiled Turn 10, which didn’t cause drivers any problems until Friday tester Robert Kubica spun his Alfa Romeo into the gravel there with 15 minutes to go.

The session restarted with less than 10 minutes on the clock, which is when the Red Bulls ran the soft tyre for the first time. Verstappen had to abandon his first flyer due to traffic, and then went P2 at his second attempt at 1m18.537s, 0.033s off pacesetter Bottas.

In the closing moments there were plenty of cars tripping over rivals, and Bottas was forced to go on to the grass at the final chicane to avoid one dawdling car.

Hamilton stayed third, 0.123s slower than Bottas, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Pierre Gasly was seventh for AlphaTauri, ahead of Vettel – who enjoyed his best session of 2021 as an Aston driver.

Sergio Perez was only ninth in the second Red Bull but was baulked badly by Daniel Ricciardo on his best lap.

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Spanish Grand Prix FP2 results: Hamilton fastest from Bottas

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 32 1'18.170     214.378
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas 31 1'18.309 0.139 0.139 213.998
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc 28 1'18.335 0.165 0.026 213.927
4 France Esteban Ocon 29 1'18.466 0.296 0.131 213.570
5 Spain Fernando Alonso 30 1'18.518 0.348 0.052 213.428
6 France Pierre Gasly 32 1'18.593 0.423 0.075 213.225
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 30 1'18.619 0.449 0.026 213.154
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 30 1'18.674 0.504 0.055 213.005
9 Netherlands Max Verstappen 26 1'18.785 0.615 0.111 212.705
10 Mexico Sergio Perez 23 1'18.918 0.748 0.133 212.346
11 Germany Sebastian Vettel 30 1'18.947 0.777 0.029 212.268
12 United Kingdom Lando Norris 28 1'19.092 0.922 0.145 211.879
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 29 1'19.122 0.952 0.030 211.799
14 Canada Lance Stroll 29 1'19.134 0.964 0.012 211.767
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 28 1'19.195 1.025 0.061 211.604
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen 30 1'19.213 1.043 0.018 211.556
17 United Kingdom George Russell 29 1'19.957 1.787 0.744 209.587
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi 26 1'20.046 1.876 0.089 209.354
19 Germany Mick Schumacher 30 1'20.326 2.156 0.280 208.624
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 27 1'20.753 2.583 0.427 207.521

What happened in Spanish GP Free Practice 2?

In FP2, Verstappen set the early pace at 1m19.041s as the medium tyre proved the most popular. Bottas topped that with 1m18.419s with Hamilton just 0.042s behind – six tenths up on Verstappen.

A virtual safety car was required after 10 minutes due to a piece of Sainz’s Ferrari coming off on the exit of Turn 9. Yuki Tsunoda also had a big moment at Turn 9, and his trip over the kerbs briefly switched his car off.

After 20 minutes, Mercedes switched to the soft tyres, with Hamilton recording 1m18.170s, 0.139s faster than Bottas. Leclerc went third fastest, 0.165s off the pace, ahead of the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

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Gasly and Tsunoda were sixth and seventh, both within half a second of the pace and outpacing the senior Red Bull squad, ahead of Sainz.

Verstappen had a big moment at the exit of Turn 10, which ruined his first flying lap on softs – and ran wide later during his race simulation at Turn 8. His best medium-tyred time stood for ninth fastest, ahead of Perez’s best on the soft.

Verstappen ended the session with a damaged front wing endplate.

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