Bottas gives a hint clocking the fastest times

Bottas gives a hint clocking the fastest times on the opening day

The first two free practice sessions staged at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya have evidenced the dominance of the leader of the world championship, although Ferrari is making pressure.

Formula 1

The European tour of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship™ started today with the staging of the free practice sessions of the FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2019. As usual, the event at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya marks a point of inflection in the world championship: multiple novelties were introduced in the single-seaters that are aimed at clearing some of the open questions of the championship. The battle between Bottas and Hamilton promises to be more thrilling than ever, although the balance inclined to Bottas so far, as he was fastest both in FP1 and FP2.

Neither the improvements of the single-seaters, nor the weather conditions or the used tyres were factors that altered the performance of Valtteri Bottas. The leader of the championship was the fastest with a time of 1:17.284 clocked in the second free practice session, against the 1:17.333 clocked by Lewis Hamilton, both on soft tyres. Yes, Mercedes seems to continue setting the rules on the asphalt, but the Silver Arrows have shown some weaknesses. In FP1 despite clocking the fastest time, Bottas left a huge cloud of smoke on the track, produced by a hydraulic leak. Hamilton clocked the fourth fastest time on the morning, and in the afternoon, he told the team that he didn’t feel comfortable with his single-seater as he had to fight to keep control of the car.

The third fastest time of the day was set by Charles Leclerc (1:17.585), followed by Sebastian Vettel, only a few thousands of a second behind. What the Maranello-based team wants is to shorten the distance to Mercedes as soon as possible, and to do so, they introduced new upgrades, and some aerodynamic improvements. We will have to wait for the qualifying practice to see if the Italians are able to slip in between the Mercedes, as already happened in FP1.

Max Verstappen had all kinds of mishaps at the Circuit. The Dutchman, who was fifth fastest in the afternoon, also confirmed reliability problems with the RB15. He saw part of the first free practice from his pit garage surrounded by senior officials of Honda. After mounting an engine that they had planned to mount on Saturday, the Dutchman was back onto the track for FP2, but with more problems: “I’m loosing power”, said Verstappen on the radio.

The good news for the local fans was the sixth position of Carlos Sainz in the first free session. The only driver who was able to get in-between him, Mercedes and Ferrari was Romain Grosjean (Haas). In the afternoon, the local driver was back among the top ten. Joined by the local public, Sainz has given clear signs that if he continues like this, he will be able to fight in Q3.

Luca Ghiotto frightens F2

Great day for Luca Ghiotto. The Italian driver took the pole position clocking 1:28.031. Moreover, he dominated the free practices in the morning. Nicholas Latifi (DAMS) will join the UNI-Virtuosi on the first row of the grid. Jack Aitken gave the fifth position to the Spanish team Campos Racing, only three tenths from Ghiotto’s fastest lap.

Pole for Robert Shwartzman in F3

The entrants of FIA Formula 3 were in charge of staging the last qualifying session of the day. The fastest lap went to Robert Shwartzman (Prema Racing), with a time of 1:31.975.  Christian Lundgaard (ART Grand Prix) and Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Racing) completed the top positions.

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup closed the track activity with the staging of their free practices. The single-make cup will have their fight for the pole position tomorrow.

More activities tomorrow: Fan Forum and Run the track

On Saturday, from 18 to 19h, the Fan Zone will have an irresistible offer for fans. This space, located behind the Main Grandstand, will host the Fan Forum. For a whole hour, fans will be able to get closer to their idols, ask them questions and interact with some of the protagonists of the Grand Prix, including the possible presence of the host driver Carlos Sainz. The drivers of the world championship will be on the stage after the qualifying session.

From 19h onwards, the Circuit will be once again the venue of Run the Track, a runner’s race that will allow the entered participants to run a complete lap around the track.  This activity, organised by Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in collaboration with the newspaper El 9 Nou, will provide the chance to step on the track already dressed-up with its best clothes, a few hours before the staging of the Formula 1 race.

Tickets available at

Tickets for the FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2019 are available at or at the Circuit’s box offices from 9 o’clock in the morning. Gates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be opened at that same time.

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