Spain – EL1: Norris sets the pace under the Catalan sun

The Briton achieved the best time in Free Practice 1 in Barcelona ahead of Max Verstappen, at the end of a very studious session where many developments were tested.

Published on 21/06/2024 à 14:32

Dorian Grangier

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Spain – EL1: Norris sets the pace under the Catalan sun

© Eric Alonso / DPPI

  • If the rain could well disrupt the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, it is under a radiant summer sun that the weekend began for the Formula 1. And at the end of the first Free Practice session, it's Lando Norris who set the best time aboard his McLaren. The Briton set the benchmark in 1'14″228 at the end of sixty minutes of driving.
  • Lando Norris leads a Top 4 made up of four different cars, since the McLaren driver narrowly beat the Red Bull very evolved Max Verstappen (+0″024), the Ferrari of the local hero Carlos Sainz (+0″344) and the Mercedes from the last pole sitter to date, George Russell (+0″386). Note that the last two cities achieved their best time on medium tires, compared to soft tires for the first two.
  • More difficult day on the other hand for Charles Leclerc : the Monegasque, only 11th (+1″206) at the end of Free Practice 1, suffered a lot at the wheel of his Ferrari, to the point of describing it as “horrible” during the session… A laborious session also for Yuki tsunoda and RB: the Japanese, classified in 20th and last place in these EL1s, was the victim of a DRS problem at the start of the session on his advanced Racing Bulls, then collected an element which was ingested in the air box of his car.
  • Many teams made changes this weekend in Barcelona: Red Bull and Ferrari introduced many new features to their respective cars, as did Aston Martin and Racing Bulls. Like every year, the Catalan circuit is one of the most popular tracks for testing new components, and 2024 is no exception.
  • A red flag was displayed around twenty minutes from the checkerboard because of debris present on the trajectory. Fernando Alonso lost a large piece of his front wing when going over the curb at the exit of turn 9. An express session interruption, time to remove the piece of carbon stranded on the track.

  • On the French side, an encouraging first session for the drivers Alpine from a performance point of view. Esteban Ocon took the 8th time, eight tenths off the benchmark, while Pierre Gasly, 13th (+1″256), suffered from several problems on his A524 at the end of the session. Ollie Bearman, who took part in Free Practice 1 with Haas instead of Nico Hulkenberg, finished in 19th place, two tenths behind Kevin Magnussen.

Free Practice 1 – Ranking

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Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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