Looking at just the practice sessions, you’d think that Valterri Bottas would be at a better driver standing than No. 4
The FP1 session was paused early on as MazeSpin once again lived up to his moniker, and red-flagged with 15 mins left as Kubica (driving Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo) got stuck in the gravel trap at the reshaped Turn 10.
George Russell’s place was taken by Roy Nissany for the session- he placed P17. Other than that, the session was as uneventful as expected.
Here are all the changes made to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since 1991!
The most recent Turn 10 track change was made this year to increase the safety of the drivers while racing. The turn now resembles the original curve into Turn 11, as opposed to the former sharp hairpin bend.
So, what do the drivers think of this change?
The opinions are varied: Some think that it might reduce overtaking opportunities, others believe that it makes for a faster corner and provides a whole new set of opportunities.
For the first time since 2014, there has been no pre-season testing at the circuit, so most driver opinions have been based on their past experiences as F1 drivers rather than an actual drive around the track.
Overall, the consensus seems to be that it won’t make THAT big a difference to the race in general.
Some seasoned drivers like Fernando Alonso speak from the experience of driving on the original Turn 10, saying"I don’t that it’s going to be a huge impact on the laptime, on the set-ups, on the overtaking possibilities – I think it’s pretty similar."
We’ll get a better idea of the impact of change once we see how the drivers fare in Sunday’s race.
Hamilton, who has won the last 4 Spanish GPs consecutively, has topped the FP2 rankings, followed closely by his teammate.
You might look at this table and wonder “WHAT HAPPENED TO REDBULL???”
Well, Max Verstappen might as well have been the protagonist of the book series A Series of Unfortunate Events once he switched to the soft tyres in the 60-minute FP2.
He faced significant traffic during his flying lap, went deep into Turn 10, and finished the session with the right footplate of his front wing hanging off due to damage caused by running over the kerbs at Turn 8 multiple times.
The other team that did surprisingly poorly was McLaren, who have introduced a new front wing and floor to their cars in Barcelona. Lando Norris, who finished P4 in FP1, finished 12th after running wide in numerous turns on his low-fuel run. His teammate, Ricciardo did as well as expected based on his FP1 results, coming in at P15
Because the top positions were freed up by the poor performance of the aforementioned teams, midfield teams like Ferrari and Renault had their time to shine!
Meanwhile, Antonio Giovinazzi had a disastrously long pit stop of 35.1 seconds as one of his tires-to-be was punctured. The engineers therefore had to change the whole tire set, causing the massive delay.
This has been unheard of, even by the more seasoned commentators like David Croft
Luckily, the engineer caught it, or he could’ve suffered a horrible accident
Lewis Hamilton wins the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix!!!
Not only that, but he also won Driver of the Day by a whopping 22%! This is his 5th consecutive Spanish GP win
Another F1 record is broken as HamVerBot bag their 3rd consecutive Spanish GP podium, the most any trio has won consecutively at a single track
Verstappen came in at P2, about 15s behind Hamilton, and Bottas trailed behind in P3. Max won Fastest Lap while Bottas won his 50th podium with Mercedes Benz
Charles Leclerc (Driver of the Day, in my opinion) claimed P4 while his teammate Sainz ended in P7 in his home race.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull driver #2, came in at P5 after a great drive and in P6 was Danny Ric. The other MCL35M must have something wrong with it as it has performed poorly this weekend, Norris finishing P8.
In P9 and P10 were Ocon and Gasly, respectively.
A much more lively race than last weekend’s but it would’ve been nice to see a different set of people on the podium