Mercedes parks doubts to dominate with authority in Montmeló and Sainz finishes seventh





Mercedes parks doubts to dominate with authority in Montmeló and Sainz finishes seventh 5

– Classification of the second free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix:
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes) 1: 16,883
2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes) +0.287
3. Max Verstappen (HOL / Red Bull) +0.821
4. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS / Renault) +0.985
5. Romain Grosjean (FRA / Haas) +1,250
6. Charles Leclerc (MON / Ferrari) +1.264
7. Carlos Sainz (ESP / McLaren) +1.331

The British Lewis Hamilton six times world champion of Formula One and current leader of the championship, c commanded the second free practice session this Friday of the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of the Finnish Valtteri Bottas, his teammate in the Mercedes team.

[ Spanish GP live Sunday at 3:10 pm]

The two silver arrows, dyed black this season as a vindication against racism, were repeated in the afternoon session in the highest positions of the classification, although Lewis Hamilton recovered one seat ay topped the list in Free Practice 2. The Stevenage driver, with a time of 1: 16.883, improved his partner's record by 0.287 seconds.

Both brought Mercedes back to the top of the standings, after being overtaken by Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) in last Sunday's race at Silverstone (UK). That was the end of the good run for Mercedes, winner of the four preceding Grand Prix.

In the Barcelona-Catalonia circuit he aspires to regain his hegemony. That is why from this very Friday he put on his overalls.

Sainz improves and rises to seventh place

Mercedes significantly distanced itself from its rivals, with an advantage close to second. Max Verstappen stayed away from Lewis Hamilton (+ 0.821), on a day marked by heat and wind.

Under these conditions, the Australian Daniel Ricciardo put his Renault in fourth place . The Frenchman Romain Grosjean (Haas) was fifth and the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), sixth.

In seventh position appeared the Spanish Carlos Sainz (McLaren), 1,331 seconds behind Hamilton . Just behind him, the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) and the French Esteban Ocon (Renault) and Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) closed the top-10.

In the morning the Mercedes dominated, with Bottas over Hamilton

The Mercedes dominated with enough authority the first free practice sessions this Friday of the Spanish Grand Prix, sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship, while the Spanish Carlos Sainz (McLaren) started out of the 'Top 10'.

The tires and the heat were a real headache for the German team, which saw how the management of the tires and the strategy of their rivals was very effective to endorse their first setback of the year. On the other hand, in Montmeló, with harder Pirelli compounds, the two Mercedes appeared to suffer less and regained their traditional dominance with both hard and soft.

The best chrono of this first contact was, however, for the Finnish Valtteri Bottas who signed 1: 16.785 to lead by just 36 thousandths to the hex world champion, both being the only ones to come down from the barrier of the 1:17.

Verstappen was third, and the 'Top 5' was completed by the two Ferraris, who offered some improvement over previous races, especially that of the German Sebastian Vettel, that was on par with his partner Charles Leclerc, separated only by eleven thousandths. This trio was the only one that shot in 1:17.

There was also a lot of equality between the two McLarens, although both were initially left out of the 'Top 10'. Carlos Sainz who seeks that running at 'home' helps him forget the misfortune of the two races at Silverstone, was eleventh with 1: 18.733, with his teammate Lando Norris very close (1: 18.744).

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