Spain, FP2: Bottas continues to set pace as Mercedes pull away

Ferrari just behind them


By Olivier Ferret

10 May 2019 - 16:38
Spain, FP2: Bottas continues to set (...)

After finishing fastest in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas again set the pace in the afternoon, outpacing team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.049s as Mercedes pulled away from Ferrari. Charles Leclerc was third for the Scuderia, three tenths of a second behind Bottas.

Bottas went a tenth quicker than Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the opening practice session but in the afternoon both Bottas and Hamilton opened a healthy gap to the Italian squad during the performance runs.

Vettel and Leclerc were the first to move to the soft tyres and low fuel. They traded times across their runs with the young Monegasque eventually edging his four-time champion team-mate by 0.088s.

It was all in vain, however, as when the Mercedes drivers bolted on soft tyres halfway through the session they quickly outstripped their rivals. Hamilton was initially quickest with a lap of 1m17.410s, but Bottas who looks the more comfortable of the pair at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya beat that with a time of 1:17.284. Hamilton shaved a little over seven hundredths of a second of his time with his next run but it wasn’t enough to dislodge the Finn from top spot.

After a morning troubled by an oil leak that forced Red Bull Racing to make a precautionary engine change, Max Verstappen reclaimed his customary placing behind the silver and red cars His fifth-place time was 0.750s off Bottas’s pace.

Verstappen’s woes weren’t done, however, and after reporting a loss of power he returned to the Red Bull after completing juts 15 laps. He returned to the action late in the session, and in all posted 30 laps.

Haas’s Romain Grosjean had profited best from Verstappen’s morning P12 to take fifth in FP1 and he continued to set the midfield pace in the seconds session, beating Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull and finishing just over a tenth off Verstappen. Gasly was left with seventh place place, two tenths off his team-mate.

Kevin Magnussen also finished two tenths behind his team-mate to put the second Haas eighth. The Dane was well clear of McLaren’s home hero Carlos Sainz who finished the day with a best time of 1:18.658, 1.374 off Bottas and three tenths behind Magnussen. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia rounde3d out the top 10 for Toro Rosso 1.4s behind Bottas.

01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:17.284 35
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:17.333 35
03 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:17.585 42
04 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:17.673 41
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:18.035 30
06 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:18.153 42
07 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:18.238 34
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:18.355 40
09 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:18.658 45
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:18.722 40
11 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:18.727 30
12 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:18.779 44
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:18.839 33
14 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:18.861 43
15 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:18.934 40
16 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:19.041 43
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:19.427 37
18 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:19.448 40
19 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:20.191 38
20 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:20.781 23

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