Categories: News

Max Verstappen chases Mercedes again during the first practice session GP of Spain

Valtteri Bottas
Photo: Mercedes F1 team

In Spain, Mercedes and Red Bull again seem very well matched. During the first practice session for the GP of Spain, Max Verstappen was only a handful of thousandths slower than Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes.

The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, on which the Spanish GP is held, is known by the teams and drivers like the back of their hand. In recent years, the preparatory winter tests for the new season have always taken place. This year, however, was different, as three days of testing took place in Bahrain.

That a ‘known’ circuit can also be treacherous was immediately apparent when F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin left the track at the start of the session. Fortunately, Mick Schumacher’s teammate was able to return to the pits.

For two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, it was ‘coming home’ after a two-year absence from Formula 1. The very experienced Alonso obviously knows the circuit near Barcelona very well and Alonso was able to find the limits of the car and the circuit a bit faster.

Robert Kubica was allowed to get behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo F1 car again during the practice session, something that the Pole owed largely to his sponsors. It was not really a success for Kubica because he lost control of his car, ended up in the gravel and caused a red flag.

At the end of the first practice session it became very busy on the track and that almost led to a collision between Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes and Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari.

In the end it was Valtteri Bottas who set the fastest time. In the Mercedes, the Finn was only a handful of thousandths faster than Max Verstappen.

01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1: 18.504 25

02 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:18.537 19

03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.627 22

04 Lando Norris McLaren 1: 18.944 24

05 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1: 18.996 25

06 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1: 19.020 22

07 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:19.062 26

08 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:19.234 24

09 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1: 19.349 17

10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:19.429 25

11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1: 19.669 22

12 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:19.681 28

13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1: 19.694 23

14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1: 19.732 24

15 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:19.950 25

16 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:20.270 25

17 Roy Nissany Williams 1:20.700 23

18 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:20.766 23

19 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo 1:21.887 13

20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:21.976 22

More F1 News:

  • – “Mercedes doubts Valtteri Bottas and wants to replace him with George Russell this season”
  • – Red Bull continues to steal Mercedes staff: five new ‘switchers’
  • – Lewis Hamilton is counting on experience to win the title battle with Max Verstappen
  • – Remarkable: Romain Grosjean wears the racing suit of Stoffel Vandoorne at Mercedes
  • – Mercedes boss: “Maybe next time I should shut up”
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