F1 News

What stood out on Friday in Barcelona?

10 May at 17:51

In Formula 1's return to Europe, it looks like it will be more Mercedes domination at the Spanish Grand Prix after Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheet in both FP1 and FP2. Ferrari was in the mix but would have hoped to have been faster at the circuit that they dominated at during preseason testing earlier this season. 

After today's performance, Bottas is favourite for the race win on Sunday as Mercedes look set to pick up yet another one-two finish on Sunday. The Finn looked fast and comfortable in his car and clocked some impressive times as today's sessions unfolded. Lewis Hamilton wasn't far off the pace in FP2 but finished down in fourth in FP1 as Ferrari managed to split the two Silver Arrows. 

Ferrari would have gained confidence from this and perhaps could be on for their first race win at the circuit that they dominated at back in February. Having come to Barcelona with a new engine, front wing and engine cover, the Italian team have the ability to close the gap between their rivals and it will be interesting to see if they are faster in qualifying tomorrow. 

The main news in the midfield was that Haas seems to be back. After struggling at the past few Grand Prix's for tyre temperature the midfield team seem to be back where they belong. If things go their way it looks like they could secure a finish with both cars in the points which is exactly what they need at this part of the season. The team performed well at this circuit during preseason testing and will hope that this marks a turn in events for the rest of their season. 

The big news at the tail end of the grid was the fact that Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen was so near the bottom in 18th place. Although he bounced back to 11th in FP2 the Finns run of finishing in the points looks like it could be put on hold unless he suddenly improves massively. 

Although it is hard to judge race and qualifying pace from these practise sessions due to teams sandbagging and hiding their true pace, it looks like Mercedes will be the team to beat. We can all cross our fingers and hope that Ferrari improve and make this championship more exciting!