Alfa Romeo makes permanent front wing fix after Baku exclusion
Alfa Romeo has made a permanent front wing tweak to ensure Kimi Raikkonen’s exclusion from Formula 1 qualifying in Azerbaijan is not repeated at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Raikkonen had to start from the pitlane in Baku after his front wing failed a deflection test on Sunday morning.
The wing had a problem with the flap adjuster hook on both sides, which was changed to a new specification for the race.
Team boss Frederic Vasseur said the issue should not be repeated this weekend.
"Just to clarify, that I think first we were out of the spec, we did a mistake," he said.
"Perhaps you could consider that the decision was a bit harsh, but it’s like this. We have to clean in front of our door first.
"The mistake was on our side and for sure we are not coming to Barcelona with the same wing."
Alfa had identified a component weakness ahead of the Baku race following a problem Raikkonen had suffered in an earlier grand prix.
However, resolving that properly was not possible during the run of flyaway races, hence a final fix being readied for this weekend’s race.
Asked by Autosport to clarify whether Alfa had needed to change the specification or simply replace it with a new component, Vasseur said: "We changed the hook and the fixation."
Aside from change the adjuster hook, Alfa’s front wing has been upgraded for the Spanish GP.
The team has revised the inner wing tips and the shape of the elements sitting between the flap adjuster and the endplate.
“That was a difficult day for us, with lots of issues here and there. At the end of FP2 we understood the car a bit better, but we still have a lot of work to do for tomorrow’s qualifying.”
Spanish GP: Bottas stays on top by beating team-mate Hamilton in FP2
Valtteri Bottas topped the second Formula 1 free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, outpacing Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.049 seconds.
Bottas, who also set the pace in the morning session, was fastest in the early stages when using medium-compound Pirellis, seven-tenths faster than Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel and team-mate Charles Leclerc then traded top spot as the first frontrunners to use the soft Pirellis, with the latter eventually winning the intra-team battle with a lap 0.088s quicker than Vettel.
But at the halfway mark of the 90-minute session, Bottas and Hamilton were out and lapping quickly on the softs.
Hamilton initially took first place with a lap of 1m17.410s, only for Bottas to eclipse it with a 1m17.284s on his first flier on softs.
Although Hamilton subsequently improved, it was not by enough and he ended up just behind his team-mate and a quarter-of-a-second faster than the lead Ferrari of Leclerc.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who suffered an oil leak in the first session that led to an engine change – with the spec 2 engine that was slated to be put in overnight anyway fitted – was fifth fastest and 0.750s down.
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.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.035s||0.751s||30|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.238s||0.954s||34|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m18.658s||1.374s||45|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.722s||1.438s||40|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m18.727s||1.443s||30|
|12||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.779s||1.495s||44|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.839s||1.555s||33|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m19.427s||2.143s||37|
|18||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m19.448s||2.164s||40|
Spanish GP: Bottas beats Ferraris in FP1 before suffering oil leak
Formula 1 championship leader Valtteri Bottas eclipsed the two Ferraris to set the pace in opening Spanish Grand Prix practice but his session was ended early by an oil leak.
The Mercedes driver traded times with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel before establishing himself at the head of the order with two laps good enough to end the session quickest.
Bottas was left out of the car in the final half hour, though, as Mercedes stripped down his W10 to understand what was initially described as a hydraulic problem.
Mercedes determined an oil leak had caused a precautionary engine shutdown, which it is investigating the cause of.
The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton ended FP1 fourth fastest, half a second adrift after complaining of "terrible" tyre preparation.
Vettel set the early pace on soft tyres and topped the times at the midway stage of the session on a 1m18.407s.
Bottas was more than a second slower at this point but had only run the medium tyres, and immediately usurped Vettel once he bolted on softs with just over half an hour of the session left.
He initially set a 1m17.990s, the first sub-1m18s lap of the day, and then improved on the same set of tyres after a cool-down lap to end up on a 1m17.951s.
No other driver set a 1m17s lap, although both Ferraris finished within two tenths of Bottas.
Leclerc initially moved himself ahead of Vettel thanks to a 1m18.172s lap and his team-mate botching his first flier during the second set of runs.
Vettel caught traffic in the final sector and ran wide, dipping his left wheels into the gravel, as he cleared a slower car on the outside exiting the long uphill Turn 12 right-hander.
However, after a cool-down lap, Vettel was able to push again and re-established himself as the lead Ferrari on a 1m18.066s.
Hamilton’s session was understated, and included him falling to the foot of the times briefly after failing to set a competitive effort on medium tyres in the first half of FP1.
He bemoaned his rear tyres being "done" after a mediocre flying lap on softs that left him 0.6 seconds slower than Bottas.
The Red Bulls did not feature in their usual position between Mercedes, Ferrari and the rest of the field after avoiding using soft tyres.
Pierre Gasly was the lead Red Bull representative in eighth, 1.3s off the pace, while Max Verstappen was only 12th and 0.6s slower.
Like Bottas, Verstappen ended his session early as Red Bull assessed an unknown problem on his RB15.
Red Bull’s tyre strategy opened the door for Romain Grosjean to end FP1 fifth-fastest as Haas seeks to respond to its poor start to the season at a more favourable circuit.
Grosjean beat the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr to best-of-the-rest honours in first practice by 0.2s.
Kevin Magnussen was 0.025s slower than Sainz in the second Haas, while behind Gasly the top 10 was completed by Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Beyond a minor early run-in between Bottas and Verstappen, who caught the Mercedes while on a flying lap and gesticulated at the points leader, the session was almost completed without major incident.
That was until Lance Stroll crashed his Racing Point with just over a minute left to run.
Stroll had a wobble on the entry to Turn 9 after clipping the grass and locked up a front wheel as he corrected it, which sent him straight on and into the barriers nose first.
He emerged unharmed, although the front of his car picked up a significant damage, and the session ended under red flags.
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m19.155s||1.204s||31|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m19.285s||1.334s||30|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m19.364s||1.413s||34|
|12||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m19.844s||1.893s||14|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m19.855s||1.904s||28|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m20.021s||2.070s||28|
|15||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m20.030s||2.079s||25|
|17||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m20.459s||2.508s||26|
|18||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m20.591s||2.640s||22|