Spain, FP1: Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 in opening practice

Verstappen 3rd, Red Bull 4th


By Olivier Ferret

20 May 2022 - 15:08
Spain, FP1: Leclerc leads Ferrari (...)

Charles Leclerc set the quickest lap of opening practice for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix ahead of team-mate and local hero Carlos Sainz to hand Ferrari a one-two start to the weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The session welcomed two F1 debutants in the shape of 2021 FIA Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries, replacing Alex Abon at Williams for FP1, and Red Bull Racing Reserve and F2 driver Juri Vips, who deputised for Sergio Pérez.

And it was de Vries who set an early benchmark of 1:27.438, though the Dutch driver was soon dropped down the order, first by Sainz and AlpahTauri’s Pierre Gasly, before the Formula E driver’s compatriot Max Verstappen took top spot. The world champion Red Bull driver eventually worked his way down to a time of 1:22.143 over the course of a stint on hard compound Pirelli tyres.

That stood as the best time of the first half of the session, but when the field began to move to soft compound tyres, his stay at the top was ended.

Sainz moved to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:19.907. Verstappen attempted to respond on softs but after posting best times in the opening two sectors, the Dutchman hit traffic in the final third of the lap and crossed the line over two tenths of a second off Sainz.

Leclerc then went quickest in the middle sector to narrowly beat team-mate Sainz by 0.079s.

George Russell finished fourth for Mercedes with a lap of 1:20.50, while Fernando Alonso was fifth for Alpine thanks to a late run on softs. That left Lewis Hamilton in sixth place ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Gasly. Daniel Ricciardo was ninth in the second McLaren with Yuki Tsunoda tenth for AlphaTauri.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:19.828 27
02 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:19.907 27
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:20.164 28
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:20.590 28
05 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:20.768 24
06 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:20.811 27
07 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:21.279 24
08 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:21.422 23
09 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:21.737 23
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:21.814 28
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:21.891 26
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:21.920 23
13 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:21.975 20
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:22.089 16
15 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:22.146 21
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:22.164 20
17 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:22.614 25
18 Nyck De Vries Williams Mercedes FW44 1:22.920 28
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:23.011 27
20 Juri Vips Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:24.138 23

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