FP2: Hamilton stays on top in Spain


Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back P1s on Friday as he edged team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second practice for the Spanish GP.

As the sun shone down on the Circuit de Catalunya and the track heated up, the Formula 1 drivers put away the hard tyres used in FP1 and went straight onto the mediums for the start of FP2.

Ferrari set the early pace with Kimi Raikkonen on a 1:23.143 but he was soon down to second as Bottas edged him by 0.081s.

Cross winds and a dirty track resulted in several offs with Hamilton, Stoffel Vandoorne, Max Verstappen and others having to fight to keep their cars on the track, some with more success than others.

After his off Verstappen told Red Bull: “Suddenly lost it mid-corner.” The team replied: “That was a wind gust.” The Dutchman was forced into the pits for bodywork and bargeboard repairs having damaged his RB13 when he shot through the gravel.

Swapping to the soft tyres, Sebastian Vettel went purple in all three sectors to go quickest but that wasn’t enough to hold Raikkonen at bay. His 1:21.112 was 0.108s up on the championship leader’s best.

Bottas responded to the Ferrari challenge with a P1 time of his own but, like Vettel, found himself dropped by his team-mate. Hamilton clocked a 1:20.802 on the soft tyres, purple in the final sector, to top the session.

Bottas was second, 0.090s down, with Raikkonen was 0.310s off the pace and Vettel a further tenth down. Raikkonen’s session looked to have come to a premature end when the Finn was told to box as “we have an engine problem.” He drove through the pits, practicing a start on his way out.

Red Bull lined up fifth and sixth with Max Verstappen ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Both drivers within a second of Hamilton’s P1 time along with Nico Hulkenberg.

Jolyon Palmer, back in the Renault after Sergey Sirotkin’s FP1 run, was eighth quickest ahead of Felipe Massa.

Carlos Sainz, who lost a bit of bodywork over the kerbs, completed the top ten. The session was briefly red flagged to allow a marshal to clear the debris.

It was a much better session for Fernando Alonso who, after an engine change between practices, covered 21 laps in second practice. His best time, a 1:24.077, was 3.2s off the pace with the McLaren driver reporting that the “engine feels slower, amazing.”

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.802
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.892 0.090
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.112 0.310
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.220 0.418
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.438 0.636
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:21.585 0.783
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:21.687 0.885
8 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:21.992 1.190
9 Felipe Massa Williams 1:22.015 1.213
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:22.265 1.463
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:22.371 1.569
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:22.520 1.718
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:22.693 1.891
14 Sergio Perez Force India 1:22.722 1.920
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:23.007 2.205
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:23.082 2.280
17 Lance Stroll Williams 1:23.221 2.419
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:23.236 2.434
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:23.599 2.797
20 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:24.077 3.275