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2021 Spanish Grand Prix report: Hamilton sets second pace of training in Spain, ahead of Botas and Leclerc



Championship leader Luis Hamilton did better than Mercedes team-mate Valteri Botas as he set the pace for a second practice session for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix as his main title contender Max Verstappen retired from his low fuel level. …

Only one-tenth separated Verstappen and Hamilton in FP1, the first to take the lead in the morning – but when everyone switched to soft rubber for their qualifying simulation, Verstappen had a very careless lap.

READ MORE: Bottas heads first Mercedes training session in Spain ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton

First he locked on turn 1 and while the Red Bull driver had dropped only 0.1

seconds after the first sector, he sped too much in turn 10, ran very wide – overstepping the limits of the track and decided to stop running and eventually finished ninth.

There were no such problems for Hamilton, who gave up a bit of Bottas after the first runs on the middle tires, but shot to the front of the pack when he moved to the softest joint, finishing 0.139s from the Finns.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was surprisingly third, with the Monegasque placing the fastest final sector of all, finishing just 0.165 seconds ahead, about three-tenths faster than team-mate Carlos Sainz, who had a less clean lap that was also affected by traffic.

1


Louis
Hamilton
HAM
Mercedes

1: 18.170

2


Walter
Bot
BOT
Mercedes

+ 0.139 sec

3


Charles
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

+ 0.165 sec

4


Esteban
Windows
HULO
Alpine

+ 0.296 sec

5


Fernando
Alonso
HELLO
Alpine

+ 0.348 sec

Alpine was something of a surprise package in Portugal, finishing on Friday with the two cars in the top six and scoring with both cars on Sunday – and they continued that good form in Barcelona, ​​along with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso – with a series of new aircraft parts – fourth and fifth, respectively, within 0.4 seconds of the above time.

Pierre Gasley was behind in sixth place, and his AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda was recovering from a run over the curbs at the start of the session – which put the car at idle – to be a strong seventh, just 0.026 seconds behind Gasley.

The Red Bulls of Verstappen and Sergio Perez closed the top 10, nor did they show the true pace of RB16B in a slightly disappointing session for the four-time world champion team.

READ MORE: Kubica apologizes for turning FP1 – “I paid a high price for a small mistake”

Sebastian Vettel, who received the upgrade of Atten’s teammate Martin Lance Stroll, who received in Portugal, was the leading green car in 11th place, with 0.777 seconds of pace and two tenths faster than the Canadian.


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Verstappen ran wide with his soft tire and pulled away from his lap

It was not such a successful session for McLaren, which brought a new front wing and floor to Barcelona. Lando Norris ran widely on at least four turns in his low-fuel run, which explains why he only managed the 12th best time.

His teammate Daniel Ricciardo, knocked out in Q1 in Portugal, was 0.1 seconds slower in the 15th. Antonio Giovinazzi was the fastest Alfa Romeo in 13th place, with tenth and three places ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who got his car back from reserve Robert Kubica for FP2.

There was no hero from George Russell in FP2, as he was seven-tenths behind Raikkonen, but he defeated his teammate Nicholas Latifi, with the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, who raised their heads.


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