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FP1: Verstappen comfortably leads Perez and Ocon during first practice session in Barcelona

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 02: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull

Max Verstappen picked up from where he left off last weekend in Monte Carlo, to top the timesheets of the first practice session in Spain. The championship leader was comfortably ahead of his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez and Alpine's Esteban Ocon in preparation for this weekend’s action.

Under the baking hot Spanish sun, which saw track temperatures reaching as high as 43C, it proved to be ideal temperatures for the drivers to test the new Pirelli tyre construction ahead of them being used at next month's race at Silverstone.

READ MORE: Verstappen sets simple target for rest of the season as he ponders whether Red Bull can win every race in 2023

Many of the drivers opted to start the day with a run on the prototype tyres before switching to the mediums, with Verstappen setting the early pace ahead of both his former and current Red Bull team mates Pierre Gasly and Perez.

Spain 2023

Practice 1 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1VER1:14.606
2PER+0.768s
3OCO+0.812s
4DEV+0.898s
5GAS+0.939s
View Full Results

The Red Bull pair then made the early switch to the soft tyre, with Perez going to the top of the leaderboard, only for Verstappen to set a time of 1m 14.606s, eclipsing his team mate’s time by a whopping 0.768s, just moments later.

Fresh from finishing on the podium last time out in Monaco, Ocon was third fastest, ahead of the surprise package of AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries in fourth, and his Alpine team mate Gasly in fifth.

READ MORE: 'A step in a different direction' – Sainz hopeful Ferrari can 'get the season' going in Barcelona with first major upgrade of the year

Home favourite Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest for Aston Martin, ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, and the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in eighth and ninth, respectively – with Sainz the lone Ferrari running their upgraded package in FP1.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton – the latter a six-time winner in Barcelona – were 10th and 12th, respectively, for Mercedes with the McLaren of Lando Norris between them.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 02: Nyck de Vries of Netherlands driving the (21) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04

Nyck de Vries enjoyed a strong session for AlphaTauri at FP1 in Spain

Zhou Guanyu, in the Alfa Romeo, was 13th quickest, ahead of the other AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda, and the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll down in 15th.

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas was 16th, ahead of McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri in 17th, the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, with the Williams pair of Logan Sargeant and Alex Albon at the bottom of the field.

Join us again at 1700 local time for the second practice session ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

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