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Spanish Grand Prix: F1 Free Practice 1 Results

Spanish Grand Prix: F1 Free Practice 1 Results

So far today the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has hosted F1 Academy, F2, and F3 practice sessions. Formula 1's FP1 session follows - the first of the upcoming triple header grands prix

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Round ten of the F1 championship commences with Free Practice 1 in Barcelona.

Carlos Sainz Barcelona Ferrari F1
Home hero, Carlos Sainz laying down rubber in the streets of Barcelona on Wednesday. (Image Credit: @ESPNF1 on X)

Lando Norris topped the timesheet in today’s Free Practice 1 session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Max Verstappen secured P2 and Carlos Sainz was the third fastest during FP1 in Spain.

Recent news

Before the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, the FIA made a regulation amendment. They added a clause to the sporting regulations that will allow drivers to receive a super licence at 17 years old at their discretion. Many believe this change may help Andrea Kimi Antonelli gain an F1 seat before he becomes 18 in August.

If the speculations prove true,  the young Italian F2 driver would be in the running to replace a current F1 driver mid-season. However, most see the 17-year-old as a front-runner for the Mercedes or Williams 2025 seat.

Additionally, home hero, Carlos Sainz has yet to announce his decision for a 2025 F1 seat. The Red Bull seat is off the table following Sergio Perez’s contract extension. Equally, the Mercedes seat looks less likely due to their desire for a one-year deal to secure Kimi Antonelli at the earliest opportunity.

The remaining options available to the Spanish driver are likely the seats at Williams or Sauber (to be Audi in 2026). Could he make the announcement at his home race in Spain this weekend?

Oliver Bearman is also back on the F1 grid this weekend. He is taking Nico Hulkenberg’s place in the Haas for FP1 in Spain.

Lights out for FP1

The session began with Bearman out on track in the Haas. The young Briton is currently in P13 in the F2 Drivers’ Standings.

The rear wing on Yuki Tsunoda’s RB was wobbling as he topped the timesheet early into the session. At this medium to high downforce circuit, the rear wing is key. RB have brought rear wing upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix. Then, Daniel Ricciardo placed his RB in P6.

Max Verstappen topped the times with a 1:16 on the hard tyres. His time was quickly replaced by George Russell who set a 1:15.868 – also on the hard tyres.

Eight minutes into Free Practice 1 saw the two Spaniards – Sainz and Fernando Alonso – in P6 and P15 respectively. Sainz was on hard tyres and Alonso was yet to set a time.

Sainz’s Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc then set a time to put him into P3. He was followed by Perez who then put himself into P3. Meanwhile, Sainz reported issues with a lack of power. The problem was quickly fixed by his Ferrari mechanics via some radio instuctions.

On his next lap, Sainz set a time just 0.031 seconds slower than Russell for P2. 10 minutes into the session the top five were Russell, Sainz, Verstappen, Perez, and Leclerc. At this point, the bottom six drivers – including the two McLaren drivers – had not yet set a time.

Early stages

Verstappen set the session’s fastest lap with a 1:15.424 placing himself ahead of the Mercedes of Russell. His SIlver Arrows’ teammate, Lewis Hamilton was in P4 between Sainz ahead and Perez in P5.

Lando Norris was the first of the McLaren drivers to set a time. He placed himself in P5, demoting Perez to P6. His teammate, Oscar Piastri was setting green sectors on his lap. Heading round the final corner he set a 1:17.0 for P10.

At Turn 13, Leclerc caught a gust of wind and briefly lost the rear of his Ferrari. The Monégasque reported that “the car is horrendous for now”. His teammate then came into the pits.

Norris’ next fast lap time saw him move up to P4 above Hamilton. However, the British McLaren driver got caught by the wind at the exit of Turn 12 and went wide, reporting rear instability.

Halfway point

With 30 minutes remaining of Free Practice 1, Bearman was in P20 in Hulkenberg’s Haas. The top ten were Verstappen in P1 followed by Russell, Sainz, Norris, Hamilton, Leclerc, Piastri, Perez, Esteban Ocon, and Tsunoda in P10. With one home hero in P3, fellow Spaniard, Alonso was sitting in P13 in the Aston Martin.

Russell improved on his time and set a 1:14 to top the timesheet. He was quickly beaten by Sainz, setting a 1:14.572 for P1, and Perez just 0.120 seconds behind Sainz for P2.

Hamilton went too deep into turn 10 on his next lap, putting him in P4. Verstappen answered back with 1:14.252 for P1 on the soft compound tyres. The Red Bull drivers and Ricciardo (in P7) were the only two out on the soft tyres. The remaining drivers in the top seven were on mediums.

Bearman set a good time after putting on the soft tyres, putting him in P8, while Tsunoda has a traffic incident with Russell.

Next, Norris set the fastest lap time with a 1:14.228 on the soft compound tyres.

Red flag

There was a bit of debris on the track, appearing to be a piece from a wing. The piece belonged to Alonso’s Aston Martin, losing it in the exit of Turn 9. With just over 20 minutes remaining, Free Practice 1 was red-flagged to remove the debris.

Session restart

FP1 restarted with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Zhou Guanyu was on his hot lap, setting green sectors in the Sauber for P15. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas was in P12.

Leclerc had a close call with the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll. The Ferrari driver felt that Stroll was impeding in the middle of the track. Leclerc was in P11 with 12 minutes remaining.

In the closing stages of FP1, Norris was in P1. The McLaren driver was followed by Verstappen, Sainz, Russell, Perez, Piastri, Hamilton, Ocon, Alonso, and Alex Albon in P10. Most drivers were on soft compound tyres, with just the Ferrari, Mercedes, and Alpine drivers on mediums.

Then, Leclerc entered the pits and reported “something strange with the clutch” as he pulled in.

With seven minutes remaining, Hamilton was setting yellow sectors. The seven-time world champion was likely focusing on race runs with more fuel, rather than fast lap times. His teammate, Russell was unhappy that the team had sent both drivers out simultaneously.

Gasly reported “something wrong with the car” and boxed his Alpine. The French driver was sitting in P13 on the time sheet.

Closing stages

In the final five minutes of FP1, viewers were onboard with Leclerc on his next flying lap. The Ferrari driver failed to improve his P11 time.

Verstappen reported on the radio that “the clutch keeps anti-stalling” in his RB20. Meanwhile, his teammate removed a tear-off, which briefly got stuck on his rear wing before flying off.

Bearman was in P19 but was only 1.637 slower than the other Haas driver of FP1, Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen was in P17, with Logan Sargeant’s Williams splitting the two Haas cars.

The session ended with Norris in P1, Verstappen in P2, and Sainz in P3.

FP1 classification

Featured Image Credit: @F1 on X

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