F1 2020: Spanish Grand Prix – Friday

Lewis Hamilton was one of two Practice toppers on a hot day in Barcelona, Spain. (Image credit: LAT Images)

Following two pulsating race weekends around Silverstone, Formula One concludes their second triple-header of season in Barcelona for 2020 Spanish Grand Prix.

With hot temperatures forecast throughout weekend, Sergio Perez returned for Racing Point after missing both Silverstone rounds due to self-isolation following positive Coronavirus tests. 

Mercedes however were dominant throughout Friday Practice at a track which teams know well from winter testing in February.

 

FP1

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Several drivers opted for early installation laps with Sebastian Vettel soon going fastest until Verstappen ventured out and set a fastest time of 1m 19.574 in 20th minute, until Valtteri Bottas bettered his effort with 1m 18.575 just a minute later. 

Verstappen’s teammate, Alex Albon meanwhile struggled with understeer throughout this session on top of an issue which forced him to slowly pit, eventually finishing eighth fastest and 0.882s off Verstappen after re-emerging towards end of the session. 

Midway through the session, several drivers opted for a soft run in cool conditions, with Bottas coming out on top with a 1m 16.785 and 0.039s quicker than Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton. 

Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top five ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean, who put in a strong lap to outpace the returning Perez in sixth and seventh positions respectively. 

Williams rested George Russell as Formula Two’s Roy Nissany got a run out and finished 0.330s slower than Nicholas Latifi, despite a late spin at Turn 10.

 

FP2

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A quiet start saw McLaren’s Lando Norris be first to venture out in the fourth minute, as many opted for medium tyres in their opening stints with Leclerc doing a 1m 19.050 to go quickest in 15th minute from Bottas who was 0.045s slower on hard tyres.

Hamilton then set the quickest time just minutes later with a 1m 17.970 before Bottas set a 1m 18.590 to go third as Verstappen soon afterwards slotted into second with a 1m 18.397.

Russell took over his regular seat from Nissany in FP2 but found himself struggling with the mediums and softs in hot temperatures as he eventually finished the session in 20th position and post-race, described reaching Q2 tomorrow as a “pretty tough” task. 

Up front, Bottas was the first top driver to try a soft run as he produced a 1m 17.170 but Hamilton bettered his time with a session topping 1m 16.883, which was just 0.098s slower than Bottas’ top FP1 time due to hot conditions on track. 

Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Grosjean rounded out the top five ahead of Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Perez, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. 

Vettel and Albon found themselves in 12th and 13th positions after mistakes on their qualifying simulations, with everyone managing decent race simulations despite tyre degradation looking likely to influence a two stop race strategy come Sunday. . 

 

Results

FP1

Position Driver Team Time
1 Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes 1m 16.785
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.039s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.939
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.185
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.196
6 Romain Grosjean Haas + 1.506
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 1.686
8 Alex Albon Red Bull + 1.821
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.835
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 1.858
11 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.948
12 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.951
13 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.959
14 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 2.103
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 2.132
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 2.196
17 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 2.360
18 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 2.445
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 3.549
20 Roy Nissany Williams + 3.879

 

FP2

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m 16.883
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.287s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.821
4 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 0.985
5 Romain Grosjean Haas + 1.250
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.264
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.331
8 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 1.410
9 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.420
10 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 1.429
11 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 1.474
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.521
13 Alex Albon Red Bull + 1.608
14 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.623
15 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 1.759
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.878
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 2.017
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 2.081
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.272
20 George Russell Williams + 2.508

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