Bottas remains on top with fastest time in Barcelona


Valtteri Bottas continues to set the pace for Mercedes in Spain, with teammate Lewis Hamilton in tow.

We left the Circuit de Catalunya in March expecting Ferrari to dominate Formula 1, but the signs ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix are that Mercedes have turned the tables in Montmelo after Valtteri Bottas ended Friday practice as the fastest driver on the track.

Hamilton was not entirely satisfied with the performance of his car through FP2, though, reporting late in the session that something “felt wrong” as he visibly struggled to get it turned in for a number of corners.

Max Verstappenย bounced back from his oil leak in FP1 to finish the session fifth for Red Bull as the Spec 2 Honda power unit made its on-track debut.

He subsequently complained of a loss of power that led to him returning to the pits after completing only 15 laps, although he did return to the track for the final 15 minutes of the session.

Romain Grosjean, driving the upgraded Haas, split the Red Bulls in sixth place after outpacing Pierre Gasly.

Kevin Magnussen was running in the old-spec Haas to allow the team to compare its revised package to the known one, and ended up eighth – two-tenths slower than Grosjean.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr pipped the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat to ninth.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was one of the last drivers to improve during the session, allowing him to jump from 15th to 11th, putting him just ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Alex Albon.

Lance Stroll, who crashed his Racing Point machine at the ultra-fast Campsa right-hander in the morning and drove a car without the latest aero upgrades in FP2 as a result, was 13th fastest ahead of the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

Lando Norris was 16th, albeit only three tenths off the top 10, ahead of the second Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.

Sergio Perez was 18th in the Racing Point, ahead of Williams pair George Russell and Robert Kubica – the latter duo separated by six tenths.


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