Hamilton on top, Verstappen ninth in Spanish GP practice 2

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Hamilton on top, Verstappen ninth in Spanish GP practice 2

Formula 1

Hamilton on top, Verstappen ninth in Spanish GP practice 2


Lewis Hamilton turned the tables on Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to end Friday practice on top of the time sheet, while their title rivals at Red Bull Racing failed to show competitive pace.

Hamilton trailed Bottas in morning practice but the Briton was best in the afternoon, setting a time of 1m18.170s to go 0.139s at the head of the field.

Neither Red Bull Racing driver was in the vicinity of the Mercedes teammates. Max Verstappen was 0.615s off the pace in ninth after abandoning his first flying lap on the soft tire when he ran wide at the new Turn 10, while poor first and third sectors left Sergio Perez 0.748 off the pace in 10th. Verstappen in particular seemed out of sorts, and the Dutchman damaged his wing for the second session in a row riding on the curbs through Turns 7 and 8.

The two teams subsequently diverged on long-run programs, with both Red Bull drivers sticking with the soft tire for their race simulations whereas Mercedes focused on the mediums, reflecting the W11’s preference for the harder compounds

Instead Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc slotted into third in the order, the Monegasque only 0.026s slower than Bottas. His teammate Carlos Sainz fared less well, losing some bodywork driving over the curbs at Turn 9 on his way to eighth on the time sheet and half a second off the pace.

Alpine teammates Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were fourth and fifth and less than 0.35s slower than the leading Mercedes, backing up the team’s highest double points finish of the season last week in Portugal.

AlphaTauri duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda followed, the pair closely matched less than half a second adrift. The Japanese rookie jumped over the curbs at the rapid right-hander at Turn 9, Campsa, early in the session and complained that his car momentarily “switched off” but he seemed unaffected for the rest of the session.

Sainz came next in eighth ahead of the Red Bull Racing drivers to complete the top 10. Sebastian Vettel was next up in the best-placed Aston Martin, the German continuing to warm to his new team despite its step backwards in the order this season.

Lando Norris’s best effort took McLaren to just 12th in the order and 0.922s off the pace, a marked comedown from the Briton’s fourth place in the morning. Antonio Giovinazzi followed for Alfa Romeo ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo in the second McLaren.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Williams driver George Russell both returned to their cockpits after sitting out first practice for their teams’ respective reserve drivers and delivered 16th- and 17th-fastest times.

Nicholas Latifi was 18th in the order ahead of Haas teammates Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin at the bottom of the timing board.