Spanish GP: Ferrari top first practice in Barcelona as Mercedes appear to make progress on bouncing

Ferrari took a one-two in FP1 on Friday for the Spanish Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc leading the way from local hero Carlos Sainz.

The Spanish GP weekend is usually ushered in alongside a host of car upgrades and this year has proven no different, with all but one team – Haas – opting to bring changes in for this weekend.

Indeed, it’s going to be interesting seeing just what impact that has on the pecking order but, thus far, it looks as though things at the very top are still very much as you were.

Of course, Friday practice counts for little but it’s still a good indicator of pace, and Ferrari were out in front with their two drivers the only man to dip under the 1:20.000 mark.

Behind them, Max Verstappen in the Red Bull whilst Sergio Perez sat out, giving way to Juri Vips who would finish P20.

Vips was one of three drivers standing in for a regular in FP1 this afternoon, with Robert Kubica jumping into the Alfa Romeo and Nyck de Vries hopping into the Williams – both would impress, too, as they went quicker than Valtteri Bottas and Nicholas Latifi in the respective same equipment.

Elsewhere, Mercedes appeared to have got on top of their bouncing issues, which is naturally what they would have hoped for.

george russell drives in spain
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 20: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 20, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The Silver Arrows have brought upgrades this weekend in the hope that they are going to start solving the puzzle that is their car, and it looked a smoother ride for both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton – though ultimately the lap time still wasn’t up with the Ferraris and reigning world champion Verstappen.

Russell would be in P4 with Hamilton in P6, as the pair were split by the other local hero Fernando Alonso in P5.

The rest of the top ten saw Lando Norris in P7 and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in P9, with Pierre Gasly in between them, whilst Yuki Tsunoda was in P10 in the other AlphaTauri.

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