Spanish Grand Prix: Mercedes takes first free practice session as McLaren hit more trouble
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News May 12, 2017 Updated: 9:22 PM
BARCELONA, Spain -- Mercedes AMG Petronas finished the first practice session ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix strong with both cars crossing the line a second ahead of Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton finished ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.029s on the medium (White stripe) tire.
"First practice was very, very good but in second practice the track changed and shifted quite a lot, so it was slippery and quite a lot slower for everyone - especially with the gusts of wind. It was massively challenging but still fun nonetheless. The team has done an amazing job with the upgrades and the car is working just as we expected," Hamilton said.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen who said “It was pretty windy and slippery out there today. I think it was the same for everybody; the first day you find out how the track is and you go from there. The lap times from today’s practice don’t tell a lot , we were able to follow our programme and try different things." Raikkonen ended the day third and was 0.144s faster than Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel, who ran into a gearbox issue but still managed to complete 23 laps and ended the day in fourth.
Next were Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo who finished fifth and sixth with Verstappen just 0.106s behind Vettel's Ferrari. Red Bull brought a hefty amount of updates this weekend, and they will pay dividends for them on Sunday.
Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished seventh but had an unfortunate lock up which sent him off at Turn 4 as he was trying out the car's newly updated floor. Magnussen's teammate Romain Grosjean, who will get to run the new floor tomorrow in FP3, finished eighth. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg ended the first part of the day in ninth while Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz ended in tenth.
“It’s not been an easy day. We’ve been dealing with a lot of things. I think the tires are struggling a bit here to work, or at least we’re struggling to get the tires to work. I don’t think we’re the only ones – a lot of cars have been running wide. So that’s going to be key, getting those correct," Grosjean said.
Force India's Sergio Perez finished 11th followed by teammate Esteban Ocon in 12th.
McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne finished 13th as he tried his best to make use of the upgrades the team had brought this weekend. Felipe Massa took 14th in the Williams ahead of Sainz' Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat in 15th with the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein in 16th and 17th. Massa's teammate Lance Stroll finished 18th.
Renault's reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin finished 19th but ran into some trouble after the car suffered a leak.
McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso finished 20th as troubles continue for the team after an engine failure caused his rear wheels to lock heading into Turn 3.
McLaren-Honda later confirmed it was an oil leak that was the cause of the problem and that a new engine will be fitted for FP2.