Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first free practice at the Catalunya circuit in front of his teammate Valtteri Bottas, while the Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were third and fourth.
Traditionally, all teams have big upgrades for their cars during the weekend of the Spanish Grand prix. Mercedes is among the teams with the most new components: significant changes in the front of the F1 W08, complex new barge boards, new floor. Red Bull is also with a lot of new elements, while Ferrari has an interesting version of the T-wing.
The air temperature at the beginning of the session was 19 degrees, that of the track – 24. All teams demonstrated how they had met the new requirements for presenting the names and numbers of their drivers on the cars. Most used the shark fins where the signs appeared. There was only one change among the drivers for the session – Sergey Sirotkin was in the cockpit of Jolyon Palmer.
Teams wasted no time from the beginning and began with installation laps right after the green light appeared at the end of the pitlane. Last year Sebastian Vettel had the best time in FP1 was of – 1:23.951, and Lewis Hamilton won pole position on Saturday with 1:22.000 minutes.
Fernando Alonso had major problems as he stopped almost immediately after getting on track. His power unit broke down and the reason according to Honda was an oil leak.
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first free practice at the Catalunya circuit in front of his teammate Valtteri Bottas. The Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were third and foruth
Later Vettel stopped at the pitlane exit and called on the radio a problem with the gearbox: “Something is broken.”
Hamilton was at the top of the table with 1:23.637 minutes. Second was his teammate Bottas – almost a second behind, and then he improved Lewis’ time by 0.023 seconds. They swapped places a couple more times and at the end of the session the Englishman was faster.
Ferrari examined Vettel’s car and suspected it might not be a broken gearbox but rather a problem with a rear wheel. After a 20-minute stay in the pits, Sebastian was ready to return to the track.
At the end of the session Kevin Magnussen, who was with the new Haas floor, stopped at the track. The race control put the car in virtual safety car mode, meanwhile there were no significant shifts in the standings. Hamilton remained fastest, followed by Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, etc.
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