Monday, April 15, 2024

Alonso Edged Out By Verstappen in Second Practice, Hülkenberg Impresses

Max Verstappen topped the timesheets during the second practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but it was much closer in the second session with Fernando Alonso picking up the pace.

Verstappen put in the fastest lap of the session on the soft tyre with a time of 1:13.907, just under two-tenths ahead of Alonso of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team. The session was a lot closer than the first session, where Verstappen was over seven-tenths ahead of his team-mate in second place, and hopefully, Alonso’s performance is a sign that Oracle Red Bull Racing will be challenged this weekend.

The session was a lot of running from the teams, despite the threat of rain late. Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Ocon showed great performances for Haas F1 Team and BWT Alpine F1 Team, securing third and fifth place respectively. They sandwiched the Red Bull of Sergio Pérez, who fell short of his team-mate, Verstappen by just over three-tenths of a second.

Scuderia Ferrari continued to test their upgraded package, which included modifications to the engine cover, sidepods, and floor. Charles Leclerc, who ran without the updates in FP1, had his first experience with the new components, and put himself sixth on the timesheets, closely followed by his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr., who had already tested the parts during the first practice session.

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

George Russell emerged as the quickest among the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers, claiming eighth position. He was one and a half tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton, who found himself three places behind Russell. Mercedes haven’t shown their true pace yet with both drivers were still adapting to the significant updates introduced by the team in the previous race in Monaco.

Valtteri Bottas from Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake and Pierre Gasly from Alpine secured the final two spots in the top ten positions. Hamilton finished in eleventh ahead of Oscar Piastri, who appeared to impede Russell early in the session, causing the Brit to go off track into the gravel.

Zhou Guanyu finished in the exact same place as he did in first practice in thirteenth ahead of McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris, who will need to show more pace if he wants to score points in Sunday’s Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen failed to match the impressive pace of his team-mate Hülkenberg, finishing just under six-tenths down on him in fifteenth.

Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda finished the day in sixteenth and seventeenth place respectively, despite de Vries having a strong opening to the weekend. Lance Stroll had a relatively uneventful session, finishing in eighteenth, and worryingly roughly one second behind his team-mate Alonso. Stroll was ahead of only the Williams Racing duo of Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant.

1 Max Verstappen Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:13.907 34
2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team 1:14.077 +0.170s 30
3 Nico Hülkenberg MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1:14.177 +0.270s 31
4 Sergio Pérez Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:14.219 +0.312s 30
5 Esteban Ocon BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:14.242 +0.335s 30
6 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 1:14.246 +0.339s 32
7 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari 1:14.274 +0.367s 32
8 George Russell Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:14.392 +0.485s 31
9 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1:14.448 +0.541s 32
10 Pierre Gasly BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:14.457 +0.550s 29
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:14.549 +0.642s 31
12 Oscar Piastri McLaren F1 Team 1:14.583 +0.676s 30
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1:14.585 +0.678s 29
14 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 1:14.694 +0.787s 30
15 Kevin Magnussen MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1:14.713 +0.806s 24
16 Nyck De Vries Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:14.785 +0.878s 33
17 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:14.840 +0.933s 34
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team 1:15.010 +1.103s 31
19 Alexander Albon Williams Racing 1:15.056 +1.149s 32
20 Logan Sargeant Williams Racing 1:15.415 +1.508s 33