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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

What we realized from Friday observe on the 2024 F1 Spanish GP

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Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes topped the instances as observe at Components 1’s 2024 Spanish Grand Prix bought below approach, whereas Pink Bull and Max Verstappen gave the impression to be struggling.

However, digging past the headline instances in FP2 reveals that Verstappen and co are removed from panicking – with a serious set-up change coming for his RB20 on Saturday that may deliver each one-lap and long-run features.

On the identical time, Mercedes is quietly assured it could actually keep within the hunt extra so than at different occasions this season the place it has appeared sturdy early in a weekend earlier than fading.

Add in quick instances over fliers and powerful long-run tempo from McLaren and Ferrari, and there’s hope a theorised four-way struggle for Barcelona supremacy will play out within the classes that matter.

The story of the day

Given the main demand on tyres at Barcelona and the worth of stability for early aerodynamic knowledge at this acquainted venue, FP1 was a slightly sedate affair. George Russell, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz exchanged the highest spot between them throughout the preliminary set up operating on the tougher compounds.

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Verstappen then led the change to softs earlier than he was pipped by 0.024s courtesy of Lando Norris and the Briton’s FP1-topping 1m14.228s. After a quick purple flag interval as particles from Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin was collected from Campsa (Flip 9), the sphere switched to larger gas operating.

Norris broke out of the traps quickest in FP1, and was near the summit in FP2 later within the afternoon

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

In FP2, Mercedes led from the off – with Russell heading the main gaggle on the medium tyres. Sainz was the primary of the frontrunners to modify to the softs and his time was solely overwhelmed by Hamilton’s session main 1m13.264s – an effort set 5 minutes later.

Pierre Gasly slotted his Alpine right into a shock fourth place on his FP2 qualifying simulation effort, earlier than Hamilton tried on a second set of softs and failed to higher his earlier time. Sergio Perez accomplished his soft-tyre operating a lot later than the remainder as Pink Bull made quite a few set-up tweaks, with the Mexican driver ending up down in thirteenth and 0.577s off Verstappen’s fifth-place time.

The sector then performed the everyday FP2 long-run data-gathering workouts relating to tyre life, which was notable just for Ferrari spending a very long time altering Charles Leclerc’s set-up (the Monaco winner having referred to as his automobile “horrendous” in FP1 when he was having to catch huge oversteer snaps at Flip 2) and Hamilton and Norris dipping wheels into the gravel.

The vital corners at Turns 10 and 12 are the place Hamilton features again his earlier 0.125s losses

These incidents befell late on on the exits of Flip 12 and Campsa respectively. Norris was so large in his second he feared he’d sustained flooring injury on his McLaren.

What the information tells us

That the most effective instances from Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren in FP2 had been lined by 0.055s highlights how shut issues sit proper now.

Mercedes additionally believes Russell might’ve matched Hamilton’s session main time had he not been “held up by [Nico] Hulkenberg at Flip 10 and misplaced 4 and a half tenths”, per group boss Toto Wolff.

Mercedes believes Russell could have matched Hamilton's FP2 time without traffic

Mercedes believes Russell might have matched Hamilton’s FP2 time with out site visitors

Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

FP2 total instances

Place Driver Workforce Time


Hamilton Mercedes 1m13.264s
2 Sainz Ferrari +0.022s
3 Norris McLaren +0.055s
4 Gasly Alpine +0.179s
5 Verstappen Pink Bull +0.240s
6 Bottas Sauber +0.660s
7 Magnussen Haas +0.757s
8 Alonso Aston Martin +0.827s
9 Tsunoda RB +0.947s
10 Albon Williams +1.543s

What’s attention-grabbing about Hamilton’s FP2 finest time is that – primarily based on GPS hint knowledge, plus further info gleaned from the Barcelona paddock by Autosport that features the understanding Mercedes seemingly has extra to come back on engine efficiency on Saturday – for the entire first sector and the primary two corners of sector two, he’s down in comparison with the drivers he finally ends up heading.

The vital corners at Turns 10 and 12 are the place Hamilton features again his earlier 0.125s losses. This means he aced the everyday Barcelona problem of not pushing too exhausting early in a lap and having tyre life left to spend come the ultimate turns. Even with out the low-speed chicane that was faraway from the F1 structure for 2023 right here, that problem stays demanding and will likely be a key characteristic of qualifying tomorrow.

The GPS knowledge additionally reveals one thing uncommon for a non-sprint Friday: Verstappen’s Pink Bull heading his rivals on high pace down the straights.

Verstappen was quick through the speed traps although Red Bull ended up only fifth in FP2

Verstappen was fast by the pace traps though Pink Bull ended up solely fifth in FP2

Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Usually, Pink Bull runs with its engine mode turned down considerably in observe and whereas rival groups clocked that once more on their post-FP2 finding out of Verstappen’s time, the Dutchman’s slender rear wing in comparison with a extra regular Barcelona downforce association made the distinction on the straights.

“The set-up has to go in that route [higher downforce] for the race,” mentioned Pink Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko – referring to how an even bigger rear wing will naturally assist tyre life and add one-lap stability on this monitor. “We didn’t use full energy, so it isn’t so alarming. The lengthy runs had been okay.”

Pink Bull’s finest common on the comfortable long-runs is a large 0.71s up on McLaren and an additional 0.158s higher than Mercedes

Smooth long-run averages

Place Workforce Time laps
1 Pink Bull 1m19.342s 6
2 McLaren 1m20.052s 12
3 Mercedes 1m20,210s 12
4 Ferrari 1m20.316s 14
5 Alpine 1m20.881s 12
6 Aston Martin 1m21.065s 11
7 Haas 1m21.276s 15
8 Williams 1m21.712s 14
9 RB 1m22.053s 17



Marko’s remaining level will be seen within the desk above – the place as ever, it’s vital to recollect the various observe gas hundreds caveat throughout the groups.

On this, it’s value noting how on the most effective comfortable tyre averages and medium tyre averages from the related groups (see under), Alpine drops again from being amongst the frontrunners.

Alpine drops away from the leading pack when longer runs are factored into the mix

Alpine drops away from the main pack when longer runs are factored into the combo

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Nonetheless, although, Pink Bull’s finest common on the comfortable lengthy runs is a large 0.71s up on McLaren and an additional 0.158s higher than Mercedes. Verstappen’s instances on the red-walled compound do nevertheless tail off slightly in comparison with Norris and Hamilton, which suggests he was affected by extra tyre degradation in comparison with the 2 Britons.

They had been seemingly rewarded for beginning their runs holding again extra, with Norris in flip capable of lap nearer to the tempo he began at on the softs in comparison with Hamilton.

A caveat to spotlight right here is how Verstappen and Norris had been offset on testing two compounds – the latter going for an extended run on the mediums to a shorter second stint on the softs, with Norris doing the reverse. Hamilton accomplished only a single prolonged softs stint.

The averages present Ferrari to be additional adrift on long-run tempo at this stage – together with on the medium tyre averages. Right here, the decrease lap depend clocked by each McLaren and Ferrari is one other Positive signal for Pink Bull forward of what’s going to be a two-stop race, the place the exhausting just isn’t anticipated to be a very good race tyre.

Additionally intriguing for Ferrari was simply how a lot work it accomplished on Leclerc’s automobile forward of his FP2-closing long-run, with the Scuderia apparently making appreciable set-up adjustments round a trip peak adjustment because the SF-24 was stored within the storage.

Medium long-run averages

Place Workforce Time Laps
1 McLaren 1m19.030s 4
2 Ferrari 1m20.247s 5
3 Pink Bull 1m20.506s 12
4 Alpine 1m21.133s 10
5 Sauber 1m21.257s 14
6 Haas 1m21.331s 13
7 RB 1m21.507s 12
8 Aston Martin 1m21.630s 11
N/A Mercedes/Williams    
Is there more to come from Ferrari and Leclerc tomorrow after set-up changes kept him in the garage in FP2?

Is there extra to come back from Ferrari and Leclerc tomorrow after set-up adjustments stored him within the storage in FP2?

Photograph by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

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