Verstappen tops Spanish Grand Prix FP2 ahead of Alonso and Hulkenberg

Verstappen tops Spanish Grand Prix FP2 ahead of Alonso and Hulkenberg

Max Verstappen dominated at the Spanish Grand Prix’s Friday practice, although the other drivers ran him down more closely than they did in the morning.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso stood at the top of the standings in FP2 for the Spanish Grand Prix, much like they were for the majority of the Monaco weekend.

The Red Bull driver outran one of the local favorites by 0.170 seconds topping the timesheets in second practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg finishing third after putting in a strong qualifying performance.

The top five was rounded out by Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, with Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, and Pierre Gasly rounding out the top ten. There was only 0.550 seconds between Verstappen and Gasly.

Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, eventually finished 11th after a sluggish last sector on his fastest attempt. However, there was still plenty of running to be done on Saturday before qualifying with hopes of a better performance.

The majority of the drivers took to the track during the first portion of Free Practice 2 to test Pirelli compounds, with two sets made available to each driver. The sport’s tire manufacturer looks to transition to a more durable build beginning with the British Grand Prix, with the cars being much faster than they were last year.

In addition to the fact that most of the cars were running on harder tires, Russell reported that the Mercedes he was driving bottomed out through the newly reprofiled Turns 13 and 14, which were used for the first time since 2006 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Ferrari duo had established the early standard on soft tires after Sainz clocked a 1:14.999 with Leclerc trailing by 0.223 seconds. Verstappen quickly outpaced them both and took the top spot on the FP2 timing sheets, but on medium tyres, which should be a slower compound—a worrying omen for Ferrari and the rest of the grid.

Russell’s issues persisted as he went over the gravel at Turn 10 to avoid the slower Oscar Piastri in ahead of him, which enraged the Mercedes driver on team radio.

Sainz was able to gain a lot of time on his previous best when the regular FP2 runs got off, clocking a 1:14.274 that was seven tenths faster than his previous best to reclaim the lead. Leclerc, though, was able to go even faster and overtake Sainz a few seconds later.

Verstappen became the first driver to break the 1:14 barrier this weekend with a time of 1:13.907, quickly ending Ferrari’s chances of dominating the session. Later, Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and the Alpine’s Esteban Ocon also outperformed the Ferrari pair in their flying laps.

Once the Mercedes W14 took to the track, things looked promising for Hamilton, who set the fastest first sector of all and finished the second sector just a tenth behind Verstappen. However, a loss of half a second in the final sector dropped him to the bottom of the top 10, where he eventually finished in P11.

According to Alonso, there were no such problems in the final sector. The Aston Martin driver set a purple sector 3 to finish second fastest overall, 0.170 seconds behind Verstappen’s benchmark, while teammate Lance Stroll could only manage P18, nine tenths off of Alonso’s session-best time.

The drivers wanted to get their eyes in and test out various new Pirelli compounds in order to guide their strategy, thus the second half of FP2 was set aside for race simulations around the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya.

Strategic variation will undoubtedly be present throughout the field with three of Pirelli’s tougher compounds available in Barcelona and at least two stops anticipated on Sunday.

If anyone is going to compete at the front of the field, Alonso or Perez look the most likely based on Friday’s data, but qualifying may very well be a tight session once again, as it was in Monaco.


1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m13.907s
2Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m14.077s
3Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m14.177s
4Sergio PerezMEXOracle Bull Racing1m14.219s
5Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m14.242s
6Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m14.246s
7Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m14.274s
8George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m14.392s
9Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake1m14.448s
10Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m14.457s
11Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m14.549s
12Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m14.583s
13Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake1m14.585s
14Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m14.694s
15Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m14.713s
16Nyck de VriesNEDScuderia AlphaTauri1m14.785s
17Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri 1m14.840s
18Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m15.010s
19Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m15.056s
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m15.415s

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