Formula 1

2024 Spanish Grand Prix: Hamilton Sets Pace Ahead of Sainz

2 Mins read
Photo: LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton set the pace during the second hour of Free Practice for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, leading the way from Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris.

George Russell led the way early on the medium compound tyre, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team continuing their strong showing from the Canadian Grand Prix and the earlier practice session on Friday.

Max Verstappen was’t happy with his RB20 once again, despite Oracle Red Bull Racing introducing a large, significant upgrade package for this weekend. The three time world champion cut a frustrated figure on the radio, complaining about understeer mid-corner. 

Once teams had done some long running, collecting data for the race on Sunday, focus switched to qualifying simulations. Sainz went quickest as one of the first to put on the soft rubber, before Hamilton took top spot by just +0.022s.

Once everyone had done a few runs on the soft compound tyre, attention once again switched to race simulations, with at least a two-stop strategy expected during Sunday’s race. Norris was less than a tenth behind Hamilton, ending the day in third after going quickest in Free Practice One.

An impressive lap from BWT Alpine F1 Team driver, Pierre Gasly, put him fourth ahead of Verstappen, who will be scratching his head at what went wrong for Red Bull today. 

Pierre Gasly on track during Free Practice Two – Photo: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Charles Leclerc improved on his performance in the first hour earlier in the day, but was still trailing his teammate’s pace, ending the session sixth. Oscar Piastri also fell short on his push lap, losing lots of time in the final sector, meaning his time was only good enough for seventh. 

Russell was slightly out of sync with all the other runners, and he ended the day in eighth. Esteban Ocon made it a double top ten for Alpine, which will give them lots of hope going into the rest of the weekend.

Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top ten. Nico Hülkenberg trailed his teammate after missing the first hour with Ollie Bearman taking his place – Kevin Magnussen was eleventh, Hülkenberg twelfth.

If Verstappen thought things were bad on his side of the garage, he will be counting himself lucky that he didn’t have the session Sergio Pérez endured. The Mexican lacked any real pace and found himself down in thirteenth. 

Fernando Alonso was the lead Aston Martin Armaco F1 Team car down in fourteenth, with Lance Stroll also in a disappointing eighteenth. It was a day of data gathering for Visa Cash App RB with their significant upgrade package coming into effect this weekend – Yuki Tsunoda was in fifteenth, half a tenth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in sixteenth.

Zhou Guanyu was seventeenth, while Alex Albon was four tenths behind Stroll in nineteenth, with Logan Sargeant a further three tenths back, signalling a difficult day for Williams Racing.

Keep up to date with all the action from the Spanish Grand Prix on our ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) page!

144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:13.26428
255Carlos SainzFERRARI1:13.286+0.022s30
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:13.319+0.055s31
410Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:13.443+0.179s27
51Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:13.504+0.240s29
616Charles LeclercFERRARI1:13.597+0.333s22
781Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:13.622+0.358s28
863George RussellMERCEDES1:13.722+0.458s28
931Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:13.766+0.502s30
1077Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:13.924+0.660s30
1120Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:14.021+0.757s32
1227Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:14.053+0.789s29
1311Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:14.081+0.817s23
1414Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:14.091+0.827s28
1522Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:14.211+0.947s31
163Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:14.257+0.993s29
1724Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:14.345+1.081s21
1818Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:14.402+1.138s28
1923Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:14.807+1.543s34
202Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:15.070+1.806s33
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