Bottas sets the pace as Mercedes pull away in Spain

Bottas sets the pace as Mercedes pull away in Spain

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. 

2019 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 35 1:17.284 
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 35 1:17.333 0.049
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 42 1:17.585 0.301
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 41 1:17.673 0.389
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 30 1:18.035 0.751
6 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.153 0.869
7 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 34 1:18.238 0.954
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:18.355 1.071
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 45 1:18.658 1.374
10 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso 40 1:18.722 1.438
11 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 30 1:18.727 1.443
12 Alex Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso 44 1:18.779 1.495
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes RP19 33 1:18.839 1.555
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 43 1:18.861 1.577
15 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 40 1:18.934 1.650
16 Lando Norris McLaren 43 1:19.041 1.757
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 37 1:19.427 2.143
18 Sergio Perez Racing Point 40 1:19.448 2.164
19 George Russell Williams 38 1:20.191 2.907
20 Robert Kubica Williams 23 1:20.781 3.497

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