GP Spagna, prove libere venerdì–13/05/2016
Spanish Grand Prix practice: Nico Rosberg puts Mercedes on top
Championship leader Nico Rosberg set the quickest time of the second Formula 1 practice session ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
After Mercedes spent the morning session solely using Pirelli’s medium-compound tyres, the switch to softs in the afternoon at Barcelona’s Catalunya circuit enabled Rosberg to set the leading time of 1m23.922s.
The lap came midway through the 90 minutes, dropping Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen down to second, with the Finn finishing a quarter of a second adrift.
Shortly after the lap from Rosberg, Raikkonen was ordered to slow down and pit by his team due to a fuel system problem, one that was soon repaired as he later returned to the track.
Lewis Hamilton, running with an updated MGU-H this weekend following recent problems in China and Russia, finished 0.719s shy of team-mate Rosberg after his first outing on the soft rubber.
Sebastian Vettel finished just over a second adrift of Rosberg for fourth place, followed by Carlos Sainz in his Toro Rosso and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Their respective team-mates in Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen, who swapped seats last week, finished 15th and eighth, with the Russian 1.5s adrift of Sainz.
Verstappen was at least closer to Ricciardo, with the 18-year-old less than two tenths of a second behind the Australian.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was seventh quickest, that after running wide at one stage over a section of artificial grass that damaged his car’s plank, forcing a replacement.
Team-mate Jenson Button also encountered problems as his car shut down early in the session on entry to the pits.
After the technical problem was repaired, Button’s first lap back on track on soft tyres slotted him into 12th, just under two seconds behind Rosberg.
Renault encountered an eventful day, with reserve Esteban Ocon sustaining a right-rear puncture in FP1, leading to him completing just six laps and failing to set a time.
Come Jolyon Palmer’s return to the car for FP2, the Briton suffered a spectacular puncture to the left-rear tyre along the main straight, leading to a red flag given the debris on the track.
After his car was recovered and returned to the pits, Palmer managed to get back on track, finishing 17th and almost 2.9s off the pace, and half a second down on team-mate Kevin Magnussen in 14th.
Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez both complained over the radio about the handling of their car, the former swearing at one point in FP2 such was his frustration.
Grosjean eventually finished 13th, with Gutierrez down in 21st and only managing nine laps due to a technical problem that confined him to the garage for a lengthy period.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1.209s||39|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.272s||37|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1.453s||31|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.515s||32|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.531s||35|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2.453s||44|
Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in first Spanish GP practice
Sebastian Vettel spearheaded a Ferrari one-two in the opening Formula 1 practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The German clocked a 1m23.951s to beat team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by 0.138 seconds, with both times set on the soft tyre.
In contrast, Mercedes chose to focus on the medium tyre, as it did at Barcelona in pre-season testing, and racked up more than 60 laps in total.
Nico Rosberg was third quickest, half-a-second off the pace, with his reigning world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton 0.16s further back.
Warm and sunny conditions greeted the drivers for the first practice session of the European season with Mercedes getting on with its programme straight away.
Rosberg and Hamilton traded quickest times, with Rosberg leading the way by just 0.002s after the first series of runs.
But the Mercedes duo were bumped down when Ferrari joined the fray, running the softs.
Vettel stopped at the end of the pitlane right at the end of the session after narrowly failing to leave before the red light flickered on.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ended the session fifth quickest, 1.465s off the pace, with his new team-mate Max Verstappen only a couple of tenths adrift in sixth.
Valtteri Bottas was the leading Williams in seventh.
Carlos Sainz Jr, Felipe Massa – who spun at Turn 5 but continued – and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat was 12th quickest on his return to Toro Rosso, half a second shy of team-mate Sainz.
Kevin Magnussen was 11th for Renault but his team-mate Esteban Ocon, who stepped in for Jolyon Palmer, managed just six laps and failed to set a time on his first appearance this season.
There were also mixed fortunes for Force India with Nico Hulkenberg managing 27 laps but his team-mate Sergio Perez spending a large chunk of time in the garage after pitting with smoke pouring from the rear of the car.
Romain Grosjean, who like his Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez is running the latest spec Ferrari engine this weekend, said the car was "a disaster at low speed" and was 15th, a tenth quicker than the Mexican.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.416s||1.465s||25|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.585s||1.634s||29|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.078s||2.127s||19|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.583s||2.632s||21|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.938s||2.987s||27|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.064s||3.113s||9|