Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton edges Sainz to top second practice

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton edges Sainz to top second practice

Lewis Hamilton set the benchmark in the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix narrowly edging home hero Carlos Sainz.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was quickest in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, with a time of 1:13.264s putting him two hundredths of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on Friday.

The drivers looked for as much time on track as possible in FP2, with most of the teams bringing plenty of upgrades with them to Barcelona, as is traditional, given the circuit’s status as a true all-round test of the cars.

After the green light, the mediums were the tyre of choice early on as McLaren and Mercedes showed up as early pace-setters, with George Russell’s 1:14.089 a tenth quicker than Lando Norris in the early stages.

Verstappen wasn’t long in laying claim to fourth place despite complaining about some initial loose handling on the Red Bull, putting him ahead of the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

But as usual in FP2, the true test of the drivers, cars and where the pecking order may lie would come in the qualifying simulations on the soft tyres.

The cars soon completed their first run and headed back to pit lane, with Logan Sargeant slowest of anyone having had a bit of a wobble on his maiden run. He had nearly lost the back of the Williams and skimmed the outside of his rear wheel in the gravel, but averted disaster and was able to continue.

The American driver was subsequently first out for the second stint after switching to softs for qualifying runs. Others soon followed suit, including Sainz, Leclerc and Norris, giving fans an opportunity to judge the relative standings between teams on a traditional-style track.

The Ferraris immediately jumped to the top with Sainz setting a new benchmark of 1:13.286s, but Norris promptly inserted himself between the two Prancing Horses. There were also some strong efforts from Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas and Haas pair Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.

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Verstappen’s run looked promising but in the end he lost time in the middle sector and it was only enough for P3 behind Sainz and Norris. Hamilton then went ahead of Sainz by 0.022s. By contrast Russell’s flying lap was messy and only good enough for P6, and immediately pipped by Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren who went a tenth quicker.

There was still a little more time to come with Gasly edging ahead of Verstappen for fourth. Running out of sequence after a lengthy delay in the Red Bull garage, Sergio Perez made a late run on the softs but could only improve to P13, eight tenths off Hamilton’s top time.

Ferrari had also been working on Leclerc’s car, and he subsequently improved to sixth to go ahead of Piastri and Russell.

Soon the track was quiet again, and then it was time for the teams to turn back to conducting longer distance race simulations. Some drivers – like Russell and Hamilton, and Alex Albon in the Williams – continued to run on the soft compound to check degradation on heavy fuel loads.

Verstappen had a minor run-off at turn 1 and Norris took too much kerb and crunched the floor of the MCl38, but there were no changes to the top laps by the time the chequered flag came out to bring the day to a peaceful conclusion.

Pierre Gasly was a surprise fourth for Alpine, 0.179s behind Hamilton’s FP2 benchmark. Reigning world champion Max Verstappen was fifth-fastest, 0.240s off the pace, as he complained about the handling and balance of his RB20.

Charles Leclerc was only sixth in the second Ferrari, ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, Mercedes’ George Russell, Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and Valtteri Bottas, who completed the top-10 for Sauber.

2024 Spanish Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Results

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m13.264s
2Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m13.286s
3Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m13.319s
4Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m13.443s
5Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m13.504s
6Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m13.597s
7Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m13.622s
8George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m13.722s
9Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m13.766s
10Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m13.924s
11Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m14.021s
12Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m14.053s
13Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m14.081s
14Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m14.091s
15Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m14.211s
16Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m14.257s
17Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m14.345s
18Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m14.402s
19Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m14.807s
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m15.070s

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