July 4, 2022

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2022 Spanish Grand Prix FP1 report and highlights: Leclerc tops Sainz, Verstappen as Ferrari starts Spanish GP weekend on the front foot

Championship leader Charles Leclerc finished first in a first practice session that saw teams test and assess their cars ahead of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix – with Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completing the top three.

Eagle Eyes have been trained closely on the cars in FP1 to detect any new upgrades, such as Williams, Aston Martin, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari who have brought important packages to their cars. As a result, flowing paint and pneumatic pistons appeared on the machine early on a frigid Barcelona afternoon.

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Times slipped after Verstappen set an early solid tire benchmark, the field appeared on soft cuts around the halfway mark for Leclerc to set the fastest lap of 1m 19.828secs – 0.079secs faster than Sainz. The Scuderia package included a new rear spoiler for Spain.

With Ferrari’s drive to the top, Verstappen improved to third on goal for Red Bull – 0.336sec off – after having a new nose fitted to his car early on.

1


Charles
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

1: 19,828

2


Carlos
Sains
Supreme Authority for Financial Control and Accountability
Ferrari

+ 0.079 seconds

3


the above
Verstappen
VER
Red Bull Racing

+ 0.336 seconds

4


George
contact
Russians
mercedes

+ 0.762 seconds

5


Fernando
Alonso
ALO
Alps

+ 0.940 seconds

Mercedes installed new engines for both of its drivers’ cars – both wearing brand new parts that surround the floor area – and Lewis Hamilton also took on a new gearbox this weekend (no penalty applied). George Russell was fourth while Hamilton was sixth, the last driver within a second of Leclerc.

Among the silver arrows was Fernando Alonso, the alpine driver who finished in the top five at home.

READ MORE: Alonso says ‘lucky, lucky’ to enjoy epic home atmosphere at 19th Spanish Grand Prix

McLaren’s Lando Norris – who also tested a set of parts – finished seventh and 17th, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in eighth. AlphaTauri stripped paint from his liver in an apparent weight-saving exercise, and also brought new hind wings to Spain.

Gasly’s team mate Yuki Tsunoda finished the top 10 behind McLaren’s ninth-placed Daniel Ricciardo. Esteban Ocon previously called Spain the “half” of the home race, given his father and extended family live here, and finished 11th in FP1 with Alpine.

The remodeled Aston Martin grabbed the eye on Friday

Behind Ocon was Lance Stroll, 12. Aston Martin broke the curfew on Thursday and spent a long night preparing upgrades to their AMR22, revised sidecar, which is the clearest indication of a new direction for the team in green. Sebastian Vettel finished 16th in this session.

Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica ran for Zhou Guanyu in FP1, with the veteran pole taking 13th – while Valtteri Bottas got P17.

Followed by the Haas drivers, Kevin Magnussen was 14th ahead of Mick Schumacher. Their promotions are tied to the French Grand Prix, not Spain.

Williams’ Alex Albon replaced Nick de Vries, Formula E driver and Mercedes F1 reserve, for 18th place. In an accidental tribute to Albon’s hair, Nicholas Latifi applied flushing red paint to his car early on, taking the Canadian P19.

Juri Vips has a full schedule, having finished sixth in F2 training earlier before Red Bull took Sergio Perez to F1 FP1. He completed the training program to finish 20 – and is now preparing to qualify for F2 at 1830 local time.

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FP1 Highlights: Spanish Grand Prix