Report and highlights of 2022 for the Spanish FP1 Grand Prix: Leclerc drives Sainz and Verstappen as Ferrari kicks off the Spanish GP weekend at the front

Championship leader Charles Leclerc took first place in a first training session to see teams experimenting and evaluating their cars ahead of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix – with Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen completing first trinity.

The Eagle’s eyes were carefully trained in the FP1 cars to detect any new upgrades, such as Williams, Aston Martin, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari that brought significant packages to their respective cars. As a result, flow paint and aircraft rakes appeared on the machines early this stormy afternoon in Barcelona.

PALMER: Why the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the perfect track for teams to upgrade

Times plummeted as Verstappen set the early benchmark for hard tires, the field emerged softly around halfway through for Leclerc to make the fastest lap of 1 m 19.828s – 0.079s faster than Sainz. The Scuderia package included a new rear wing for Spain.

With Ferrari reaching the top, Verstappen improved to third place in the soft for Red Bull – 0.336 seconds of pace – having put a new nose in his car early.

1


Charles
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

1: 19.828

2


Carlos
Sainz
SAI
Ferrari

+0.079 sec

3


Maximum
Ferstappen
VER
Red Bull Racing

+0.336 sec

4


George
Russell
RUS
Mercedes

+0.762 sec

5


Fernando
Alonso
ALO
Alpine

+ 0.940s

Mercedes fitted new engines to both of its two drivers’ cars – both of which wore brand new floor-to-ceiling components – and Lewis Hamilton also had a new gearbox this weekend (no penalty imposed). George Russell finished fourth while Hamilton was sixth, the last driver within a second of Leclerc.

Among the Silver Arrows was Fernando Alonso, the Alpine driver who finished in the top five at home.

READ MORE: Alonso says he is “lucky, privileged” to enjoy the epic atmosphere at home at the 19th Spanish Grand Prix

McLaren’s Lando Norris – who also tested a number of spare parts – was seventh and two tenths ahead of AlphaTauri eighth driver Pierre Gasly. AlphaTauri removed the paint from their lives in an obvious weight-saving exercise, also bringing new rear wings to Spain.

Gasly’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda finished in the top 10, behind McLaren ninth driver Daniel Ricciardo. Esteban Ocon had previously described Spain as the “half” race of his home, as his father and extended family live here, and finished 11th in FP1 for the Alpine.


The remodeled Aston Martin caught the eye on Friday

Behind Ocon was Lance Stroll, 12th. Aston Martin broke the curfew on Thursday and spent the big night putting upgrades to the AMR22 cars, revised sidepods that are the clearest sign of a new direction for the team in green. Sebastian Vettel finished 16th in this session.

Alfa Romeo ran back-up driver Robert Kubica in place of Zhou Guanyu for FP1, the veteran Pole finished 13th – while Valtteri Bottas took the P17.

Next on the board were Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen 14th ahead of Mick Schumacher. Their upgrades are for the French Grand Prix and not for Spain.

Alex Albon in Williams was replaced by Nyck De Vries, the driver of Formula E and the reserve Mercedes F1 finished 18th. In a random tribute to Albon’s hair, Nicholas Latifi put red flow-vis paint on his car early, while the Canadian picked up the P19.

Juri Vips has a full schedule, having previously finished sixth in F2 training before taking over Sergio Perez’s Red Bull for F1 FP1. He completed his training program to finish 20th – and is now preparing for F2 qualifiers at 1830 local time.

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