Spain, FP2: Verstappen continues to set the pace in Barcelona
Ahead of Alonso and Hülkenberg
Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen continued to lead the way at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, setting the quickest lap of the second practice session for Sunday’s 2023 FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Grand Prix ahead of local hero Fernando Alonso. Nico Hülkenberg took third place for Haas.
Verstappen picked up where he left off in FP1, taking top spot in the late afternoon hour of running with a best time of 1:13.907, 0.170 clear of Alonso.
At the start of the session, Ferrari, using updates sidepods on both cars after Carlos Sainz had the benefit of the upgrades in the first session, set the early pace on soft tyres, with Sainz in P1 thanks to a lap of 1:14.999s, as team-mate Charles Leclerc took P2, 0.601s behind.
Both Ferrari drivers improved on the red-walled tyres but after running prototype tyres early on Verstappen bolted on a set of medium compound Pirellis and with a quarter of the session gone he set a time of 1:14.968 to take top spot.
After a brief lull, Ferrari’s drivers emerged on new softs for their qualifying simulations and Sainz returned to the top of the order with a lap of 1:14.274 before he was ousted by Leclerc who established a new benchmark of 1:14.246.
Verstappen then emerged on the red-banded tyres and he reclaimed top spot just before the halfway mark with a lap of 1:13.907, 0.339 ahead of Leclerc.
Surprise package Hülkenberg then jumped to second place, 0.270s behind Verstappen. The German’s hold on P2 was brief, however, as just after the half hour, Alonso delivered a lap of 1:14.077 to beat the Haas driver by a tenths of a second. The Spaniard was just 0.170s slower than Verstappen and went purple in the final sector.
Sergio Pérez took fourth place with his first flying lap on soft tyres, while fifth place was taken by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon after the Monaco podium finisher ended up third in the earlier session.
Leclerc and Sainz moved down to sixth and seventh respectively, and the Ferrari pair were followed by Mercedes’ George Russell and the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas. The top 10 order was rounded out by Pierre Gasly in the second Alpine.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19||1:13.907||33|
|02||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23||1:14.077||30|
|03||Nico Hülkenberg||Haas Ferrari VF-23||1:14.177||31|
|04||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19||1:14.219||30|
|05||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A523||1:14.242||30|
|06||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF-23||1:14.246||32|
|07||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari SF-23||1:14.274||32|
|08||George Russell||Mercedes W14||1:14.392||31|
|09||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43||1:14.448||32|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault A523||1:14.457||29|
|11||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W14||1:14.549||31|
|12||Oscar Piastri||McLaren Mercedes MCL60||1:14.583||30|
|13||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43||1:14.585||29|
|14||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL60||1:14.694||30|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-23||1:14.713||24|
|16||Nyck de Vries||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04||1:14.785||33|
|17||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04||1:14.840||34|
|18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23||1:15.010||31|
|19||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW45||1:15.056||32|
|20||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes FW45||1:15.415||33|