Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheet in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya beating Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by over a tenth of a second as Max Verstappen finished in ninth place following an error during his qualifying simulation.
Bottas, the morning’s fastest man, set the early pace in the one-hour afternoon session, working his way to a time of 1:18.419, with Hamilton 0.042s slower than his team-mate, while Verstappen sat in third place, three tenths off the pace.
The session was briefly slowed when a Virtual Safety Car was deployed after 10 minutes to allow marshals to clear a piece of bodywork that had become dislodged from Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.
When the track went green again teams set about preparing for their qualifying simulations with Bottas getting down to 1:18.309 before Hamilton toppled him with lap of 1:18.170.
It was then Verstappen turn to bolt on soft tyres and after losing a small amount of ground to Hamilton opening sector the Dutchman then went wide on the entry to Turn 10 and as he tried to recover he got a snap of oversteer that sent him off track. He kept going but backed off in the final corners and finished in ninth thanks to his earlier lap on medium times.
With Verstappen down the order, third place in the session went to Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari driver was just 0.165s slower than Hamilton. Esteban Ocon took fourth place just ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso on an encouraging afternoon for improving Alpine, while Pierre Gasly finished in P6 ahead of AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.
Sainz was eighth for Ferrari ahead of Versatappen and the Dutch driver’s team-mate Sergio Pérez, finished in P10 as he too failed to complete his qualifying simulation. He ended the session 0.748s off Hamilton’s best time.
2021 FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 32 1:18.170
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 31 1:18.309 0.139
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 28 1:18.335 0.165
4 Esteban Ocon Alpine 29 1:18.466 0.296
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine 30 1:18.518 0.348
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 32 1:18.593 0.423
7 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 30 1:18.619 0.449
8 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 30 1:18.674 0.504
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 26 1:18.785 0.615
10 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 23 1:18.918 0.748
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 30 1:18.947 0.777
12 Lando Norris McLaren 28 1:19.092 0.922
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 29 1:19.122 0.952
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 29 1:19.134 0.964
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 28 1:19.195 1.025
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 30 1:19.213 1.043
17 George Russell Williams 29 1:19.957 1.787
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams 26 1:20.046 1.876
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 30 1:20.326 2.156
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 27 1:20.753 2.583