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Max second after Barcelona opening practice

Published on 07 May 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen opened his Spanish Grand Prix weekend with a second place in the opening Friday practice session. Valtteri Bottas lapped the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona quickest, with Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton completing the top three.

At the start of the session, there are a couple of drivers taking on FP1 duties instead of the regular drivers. Rober Kubica steers the Alfa Romeo instead of Kimi Raikkonen and George Russell’s cockpit is occupied by Roy Nissany.

When the pitlane opens, a lot of drivers head out on track with a yellow flag being waved shortly after; Nikita Mazepin ploughs through a gravel trap before making his way back to the pits.

Max is one of the last drivers to steer his car out of the garage, but when he does, he is on the pace with his first flying lap, clocking the quickest time thus far. On his fast lap, the RB16B sports the Pirellis hard tyre.

The Dutchman cannot enjoy top spot for long with Fernando Alonso (Alpine) stealing the crown, followed by Lewis Hamilton taking charge. Both drivers are on the grippier and faster soft compound.

At the haflway mark, Max heads back out on track, once again on a set of the hard Pirellis. He improves on his lap time but is no match for those running the soft tyres. Once the Dutchman makes the switch to the latter, he ups the pace and sets the second quickest lap of the session.

With fifteen minutes to go, Robert Kubica spins and beaches his Alfa Romeo in the gravel traps at turn 10. The red flag is waved in order to give the marshals the opportunity to clear the car. Meanwhile, the session timer keeps ticking and valuable track time is lost.

Once the circuit is cleared, most drivers pursue fastest laps on the soft Pirellis. In the end, Bottas is quickest ahead of Max and Hamilton.

Contest GP Spain: win a by Max signed Red Bull Racing driver cap

Results first free practice Spain:

1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:18.504 25
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:18.537+0.033s19
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:18.627+0.123s22
4Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:18.944+0.440s24
5Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:18.996+0.492s25
6Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:19.020+0.516s22
7Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:19.062+0.558s26
8Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:19.234+0.730s24
9Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:19.349+0.845s17
10Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:19.429+0.925s25
11Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:19.669+1.165s22
12Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:19.681+1.177s25
13Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:19.694+1.190s23
14Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:19.732+1.228s24
15Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:19.950+1.446s25
16Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:20.270+1.766s25
17Roy NissanyNISWilliams Mercedes1:20.700+2.196s23
18Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:20.766+2.262s23
19Robert KubicaKUBAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:21.887+3.383s13
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:21.976+3.472s22