Spanish grand prix – Friday round up

Friday practice at Spain’s circuit de Barcelona Catalunya concluded earlier today and there are some interesting things to take from the 2 sessions.

First off a new regulation designed to help fans more easily identify drivers meant the cars looked a little bit different with cars featuring bigger numbers and names.

Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid bodywork detail at Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 11 May 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

FP1:

It was another terrible time for Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard making it just a few corners before his engine blew up and spun the car round. When marshals tried to recover the car fluid came pouring out of the back.

Clearly Alonso has had enough, after the incident he left the track and posted on Instagram him playing tennis to pass the time.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 stops on track in FP1 at Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 12 May 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

He wasn’t the only one with trouble though. As Vettel had gearbox problems at the end of a flying lap.

It was Hamilton who took the fastest time with teammate Bottas just 0.029 seconds behind.

Raikkonen was second wit Max Verstappen who was 4 tenths ahead of teammate Ricciardo.

Magnussen went off at turn 4 ending his session there. Sergey Sirotkin took over running for Jolyon Palmer hit trouble after a water leak ended his session with 10 laps on the board.

FP2:

It was Hamilton who again topped the time sheets as almost every driver struggled when strong winds hit the circuit.

Bottas again came second still less than a tenth behind. Main rivals Ferrari caught up though with Raikkonen ahead of Vettel, 3 & 4 tenths off the pace respectively.

The former had an unusual incident when he came into the pits with a suspected engine problem but was sent back out without pitting.

It was again the Red Bull’s who took 5th and 6th however the gap to Mercedes had decreased to just 0.6 seconds with Verstappen getting the upper hand despite hitting the gravel trap at turn 9.

Max Verstappen (NED) at Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 12 May 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

The Renault of Hulkenberg was next in 7th with Palmer in 8th.

Massa was 9th in the Williams and Carlos Sainz completed the top 10, debris from the Spaniards car caused a red flag as marshals recovered it.

As for Mclaren, Alonso managed to get some laps in but posted the slowest time of the session whilst team mate Vandoorne wound up 13th with 36 laps.

However Alonso had more to say on the radio “The engine feels good. Much slower than before. Amazing.”

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