Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton surges to fastest Practice Two time with chasing pack ahead of Red Bull | F1 News

Lewis Hamilton set the pace for Mercedes in a fascinating Practice Two session at the Spanish Grand Prix in which Max Verstappen was only fifth fastest after a struggle in his Red Bull.

Underlining the growing multi-team competitiveness at the front of the field in F1 on a Barcelona circuit that Verstappen absolutely dominated on last year, Red Bull’s big rivals – Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren – finished with one car apiece in a closely-matched top three.

And it was Hamilton, who has endured a difficult season so far and was disappointed with his own performance last time out in Canada when team-mate George Russell took pole and then contended for the win, who posted Friday’s quickest lap of 1:13.264.

Spain’s Carlos Sainz, whose Ferrari team have brought a big car upgrade to this event, was a mere 0.022s adrift in second place with McLaren’s Lando Norris, the Practice One pacesetter, only 0.055s off the front himself.

Verstappen though finished 0.240s back in fifth behind surprise interloper Pierre Gasly, who was fourth on a competitive opening day for Alpine. Esteban Ocon was ninth in their other car.

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Highlights from Friday’s Practice One session at the Spanish Grand Prix.

On his earlier medium-tyre run, Verstappen was heard over Red Bull team radio complaining about his car’s balance, particularly at the rear, on a high-speed track where the ability to attack the fast corners is key.

The RB20 then did not show the outright pace of the top three when the field switched down to the soft-tyre runs.

Team-mate Sergio Perez, who carries a three-place grid penalty into Saturday from the last race, was only 13th in the sister car despite completing his soft-tyre run later than everyone else when grip levels should have been more advantageous.

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Toto Wolff shut down rumours about Lewis Hamilton’s car supposedly being sabotaged stating that online abuse needs to stop.

Charles Leclerc was only sixth in the second Ferrari with Oscar Piastri seventh in the other McLaren.

Mercedes’ Russell had set the pace on the medium compound but slipped to eighth on the soft-tyre simulations.

More to follow…

Spanish GP Practice Two Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.264
2) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.022
3) Lando Norris McLaren +0.055
4) Pierre Gasly Alpine +0.179
5) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.240
6) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.333
7) Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.358
8) George Russell Mercedes +0.458
9) Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.502
10) Valtteri Bottas Sauber +0.660
11) Kevin Magnussen Haas +0.757
12) Nico Hulkenberg Haas +0.789
13) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.817
14) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.827
15) Yuki Tsunoda RB +0.947
16) Daniel Ricciardo RB +0.993
17) Zhou Guanyu Sauber +1.081
18) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1.138
19) Alex Albon Williams +1.543
20) Logan Sargeant Williams +1.806

Sky Sports F1’s live Spanish GP schedule

Spanish GP

Friday June 21
1.55pm: F3 Qualifying
2.50pm: F2 Qualifying
3.35pm: Spanish GP Practice Two (session starts at 4pm)
5.25pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
6.15pm: The F1 Show

Saturday June 22
9.35am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: Spanish GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)
1.10pm: F2 Sprint
2.10pm: Spanish GP Qualifying build-up
3pm: Spanish GP Qualifying
5pm: F1 Academy Race 1

Sunday June 23
7.45am: F1 Academy Race 2
9am: F3 Feature Race
10.30am: F2 Feature Race
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Spanish GP build-up
4pm: Chequered Flag: Spanish GP reaction

Formula 1 heads back to Europe as the championship moves on to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix and the start of a triple-header. Watch every session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime