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FP1: Norris heads Verstappen and Sainz in Barcelona first practice as Alonso brings out red flags

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 21: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on

Lando Norris set the pace during the opening practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix, with the McLaren driver leading the way from Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz to kick off a triple-header of races over the next three weeks.

After a weekend of mixed weather last time out in Canada, dry and sunny conditions greeted the teams and drivers as FP1 got under way at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with several cars queuing in the pit lane as the lights turned green.

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Amongst those early to hit the track was Oliver Bearman, who had taken the wheel of Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas for the second of his scheduled six practice appearances with the outfit in 2024.

Several teams looked to be using the opening section of the hour for testing, with many having brought upgrades to their cars for the weekend in Barcelona, while others were keen to maximise the updates that they have already introduced.

Spain 2024

Practice 1 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1NOR1:14.228
2VER+0.024s
3SAI+0.344s
4RUS+0.386s
5PER+0.464s
View Full Results

It wasn’t smooth sailing for some. Sergio Perez – who is set to serve a three-place grid penalty on Saturday – reported issues with his throttle pedal, prompting his engineer to inform him that it would be discussed in the garage. Over at Ferrari, Charles Leclerc stated: “The car is horrendous for now.”

Verstappen had put himself at the top of the timesheets as the session reached its halfway point, with the Red Bull setting a lap of 1m 15.424s. The times rapidly started to tumble from there, before the action was brought to a halt to allow for a piece of debris from the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso to be retrieved from the track.

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Following that brief red flag period, there were traffic problems for some as the majority of the field were on circuit, with Leclerc complaining about the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll being in the “middle of the corner as always”.

It was Norris who stayed on top as the chequered flag fell, having gone fastest of all on a 1m 14.228s in the McLaren, putting him 0.024s clear of Verstappen in second – despite the Dutchman experiencing issues with his clutch in the latter stages – while Sainz slotted his Ferrari into third.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 21: Oliver Bearman of Great Britain driving the (50) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari

Bearman was back in action for Haas, marking his second FP1 appearance for the team in 2024

George Russell – off the back of his podium in Montreal – was the lead Mercedes in fourth, from Perez in fifth and Oscar Piastri’s McLaren in sixth. Lewis Hamilton went seventh quickest, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in eighth, Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin in ninth and the Williams of Alex Albon in 10th.

Leclerc ended the session in P11, while Valtteri Bottas was P12 for Kick Sauber as the squad continue to search for their first points of the year. Pierre Gasly followed in the Alpine in P13, with Stroll behind in P14 and Daniel Ricciardo P15 in an RB running a significant upgrade this weekend.

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Kick Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu was 16th, while Kevin Magnussen in the Haas and Williams’ Logan Sargeant took 17th and 18th respectively. Bearman and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the pack in 19th and 20th.

With the first practice session now complete, the teams and drivers will have the opportunity to debrief before the track action resumes with second practice at 1700 local time.

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