Commentary

Live: F1 Spanish GP commentary and updates – FP1 & FP2

Minute-by-minute updates on Friday practice for the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

After a week break, F1 returns to action back in Europe for the Spanish GP.

Charles Leclerc leads the F1 drivers’ standings by 19 points from Max Verstappen following the Dutch driver’s Miami GP victory last time out, as Ferrari heads the teams’ standings by just six points from Red Bull.

An extensive range of upgrades have been delivered by almost every F1 team, which could shake-up the pecking order as teams push on with the development of the new cars.

Opening practice for the Spanish GP gets underway at 1.00pm BST (2.00pm local time), followed by second practice which starts at 4.00pm BST (5.00pm local time).

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Stefan Mackley, Haydn Cobb, Lewis Duncan

Summary

Summary

  • Leclerc tops FP2 in Spain from Russell
  • Engine issue hits Bottas early on
  • Leclerc topped FP1 ahead of Sainz and Verstappen
Leaderboard

  1. Leclerc, Ferrari
  2. Russell, Mercedes
  3. Hamilton, Mercedes
  4. Sainz, Ferrari
  5. Verstappen, Red Bull
  6. Alonso, Alpine
  7. Perez, Red Bull
  8. Vettel, Aston Martin
  9. Ocon, Alpine
  10. Schumacher, Haas
Status: Stopped
Right, we'll call time on this live coverage of Friday practice of the Spanish GP. We'll be back bright and early tomorrow ahead of final practice which starts at 12pm BST (1pm local time). Until then, have a lovely Friday night!
Can Mercedes carry that practice pace through to qualifying and the race after falling backwards in Miami? If it can with its upgrades that sets up a three-team fight at the front. Tasty.
Practice start time, which are taking place on the main straight despite the ample room at the pitlane exit for those. Still, a nice bit of show for the fans to end the day.
That's your lot for FP2. Leclerc on top again but this time ahead of Russell and Hamilton on a strong day for Mercedes.
Perez takes a tour through the gravel at the exit of Turn 7, but no harm done as the Red Bull driver gets going again.
With FP2 winding up, it is worth noting it hasn't been a great session for Alfa Romeo or McLaren. Both teams effectively lost one driver, Bottas stopped with a mechanical and Norris with damage, with Ricciardo 15th and Zhou 17th.
The medium definitely looks the optimum race tyre going on driver and team feedback so far, which may limit strategy options for Sunday's race.
 
The car performance rankings on the straights, powered by everyone's favourites AWS, puts the Merc factory pair on top ahead of Ferrari's Leclerc then Aston Martin's Vettel. Interesting.
Just Magnussen and Stroll on the hards at present, with the vast majority of drivers on the mediums.
"Quite a lot of degradation," Sainz reports over team radio. The Spaniard is on the softs at present so that's to be expected. Very few drivers have ventured on to the hards and in recent years this race has favoured a medium-soft-switching two-stopper.
Plenty of long runs and heavy fuel loads on show now with nobody troubling the top lap times anymore. Classic FP2-ing.
The floor trouble has lost Norris his soft tyre run, leaving him stranded in last place on the times, and, indeed, the rest of FP2. His session is over due to the damage.
 
The earlier trip through the gravel by Norris appears to have damaged his new floor, as the McLaren mechanics take it off his car and march it to the back of the garage.
"Every time we touch the throttle we are sideways," Gasly reports over team radio. That sounds pretty concerning but we'll assume he means traction issues coming out of corners rather than literal lateral direction changes.
Hamilton is next up in the bid for top spot and goes third overall with a 1m19.874s - a tenth off team-mate Russell and two-tenths off leader Leclerc.
Russell has slotted into second place overall with a 1m19.787s for Mercedes. That's interesting, Merc upgrades at work or the best of the track conditions - or a bit of both?
During that flurry of fast laps, a Turn 4 impeding incident between Stroll and Tsunoda had been noted by race control but after a review the stewards deemed no investigation was needed. Play on.
It is a very good lap by Leclerc who goes top with a 1m19.670s - some 0.320s quicker than his Ferrari team-mate Sainz.
Leclerc, FP1's timesheet-topper, is now on his prep lap for his soft tyre run. Let's see what he can do.
Sainz disrupts the Aston Martin vs Red Bull battle to go top with a 1m19.990s - much to the delight of the home fans.
Verstappen duly replies on the softs with a 1m20.006s to reclaim top spot - some 0.697s quicker than Vettel.
Lots of drivers switching to the soft tyres now, with Aston Martin's Vettel going top with a 1m20.703s, displacing the Red Bull of Verstappen. That'll go down well.
 
That Sainz vs Albon near-miss at Turn 2 will be investigated after the session by the FIA stewards.
Norris, who is having an eventful FP2 so far, runs wide on the exit of Turn 9 and flicks up some dust and gravel. The McLaren driver avoids any further trouble but he might have picked up minor damage in that half-off.
A Norris vs Schumacher incident at Turn 13 had been noted but on review the stewards state it needs no further investigation. Meanwhile the Sainz vs Albon near-miss has also been noted.
The TV camera drone is back in action, floating around the inside of the third sector, to track the cars around the tight final few corners.
A Virtual Safety Car period was called when Bottas's car was being retrieved, which has just finished, but during it Sainz and Albon had a disagreement after a close call at Turn 2. Thankfully no harm done.
Bottas parks his Alfa Romeo on the inside of the corner which allows the Spanish track marshals to collect the car and push it behind the barriers.
After completing that lap Bottas comes to an sudden halt at Turn 1. "Something's broke," he reports over team radio. He's not wrong.
All 20 drivers have now set a lap time, Bottas the last to do so in FP2, with the Finn slotting into sixth with a 1m21.828s.
Norris takes a trip through the gravel at Turn 7 after carrying too much speed through the corner. He recovers well but that's his tyres ruined for this run.
Leclerc loses time in the final sector due to traffic and a slide through the chicane, meaning he slots into third place 0.063s off Verstappen.
Verstappen leads the first runs with a 1m20.932s on the mediums, 0.046s quicker than Sainz.
17 F1 drivers on the track now, leaving just Bottas, Alonso and Ricciardo left in the pits. Do they know something we don't?
Norris's McLaren has been flooded with flow-vis paint before being sent out of the pits which will keep an eye on the performance of one of the 10 upgrades the Woking-based team has for this race.
Albon leads the way out of the pits, making up for lost time having sat out FP1 to make way for de Vries, followed by Schumacher and Vettel.
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