Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 in Spanish GP first practice

CiU5B0IWEAA8jbfSebastian Vettel led team mate Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari made full use of their soft tyres to top the timesheet in first practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday morning.

Mercedes, who unlike the Prancing Horse only used Pirelli’s medium compound rubber, were half a second back, with championship leader Nico Rosberg edging Lewis Hamilton in the fight for third.

Max Verstappen, making his debut for Red Bull, was a solid sixth behind new team mate Daniel Ricciardo, while Toro Rosso returnee Daniil Kvyat ended up in 12th, four spots and half a second down on the other STR11 of Carlos Sainz.

Esteban Ocon, participating in FP1 in place of Jolyon Palmer, had a disappointing session for Renault, completing just six untimed laps before being halted by a technical issue.

Sergio Perez also experienced mechanical woes, though Force India were able to repair his car and return the Mexican to the track before the end of the session.

While the top quartet were in a league of their own – and the Red Bulls completed a mini-group with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas – it was very close behind, with less than one second covering Sainz in eighth down to Perez in 14th.

That grouping included the second Williams of Felipe Massa, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, Kvyat and Perez’s team mate Nico Hulkenberg.

While Alonso therefore earned McLaren’s heavily-revised MP4-31 a place in the top 10, team mate Jenson Button was far less happy. He finished 19th – 1.4s down on Alonso – and complained of handling issues during the 90-minute session.

Haas’s Romain Grosjean was also unhappy, labelling his car a ‘disaster’ in low-speed corners. The Frenchman – who along with team mate Esteban Gutierrez did not set a time in the opening half of the session – wound up 16th, with Gutierrez one spot further back.

The session was also notable for a couple of off-track moments in Turn 1 for Hamilton, whose Mercedes is using a new MGU-H after his recent problems, one for Raikkonen, and a spin by Massa in Turn 5.

Spanish Grand Prix First Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:23.951 Leader Leader 22
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:24.089 -0.138 -0.138 18
3 6 Nico Roseberg 1:24.454 -0.503 -0.365 34
4 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:24.611 -0.660 -0.157 33
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:25.416 -1.465 -0.805 25
6 33 Max Verstappen 1:25.585 -1.634 -0.169 29
7 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:25.672 -1.721 -0.087 36
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:26.078 -2.127 -0.406 19
9 19 Felipe Massa 1:26.186 -2.235 -0.108 32
10 14 Fernando Alonso 1:26.243 -2.292 -0.057 18
11 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:26.576 -2.625 -0.333 30
12 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:26.583 -2.632 -0.007 21
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:26.938 -2.987 -0.355 27
14 11 Sergio Perez 1:27.064 -3.113 -0.126 9
15 12 Felipe Nasr 1:27.253 -3.302 -0.189 27
16 8 Romain Grojean 1:27.258 -3.307 -0.005 17
17 21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:27.283 -3.332 -0.025 18
18 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:27.392 -3.441 -0.109 24
19 22 Jenson Button 1:27.610 -3.659 -0.218 19
20 94 Pascal Wehrlein 1:28.084 -4.133 -0.474 29
21 88 Rio Haryanto 1:29.052 -5.101 -0.968 34
22 45 Esteban Ocon 0:00.000 -1:23.951 -1:29.052 6

 

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