F1 – Norris tops opening practice session for Spanish Grand Prix 


McLaren’s Lando Norris topped the timesheet in the opening practice session for the 2024 FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, beating championship leader Max Verstappen by just two hundredths of a second. Home hero Carlos Sainz took third place for Ferrari, three tenths of a second behind Norris. 

With a number of teams bringing upgrades to Barcelona, the early part of the session saw a number of drivers running aero rakes, with cars splashed in flo-vis paint and with a spread of Hard and Medium compound tyres on board. In the opening third of the session, Mercedes’ George Russell led the way before Verstappen moved to the top of the order, on Hard tyres, with a time of 1:15.424.

As the halfway mark approached Russell briefly returned to the top of the order with a Medium-tyre time of 1m14.753s before Sainz took over on the same compound. Verstappen then bolted on a set of Soft tyres and claimed P1 with a 1:14.252. Norris also moved to the red-banded compound and he was able to edge ahead of Verstappen thanks to a lap of 1:14.228. 

Soon after the red flags were shown when Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso ran over the kerbs at Turn 9 and a piece of the Spaniard’s car dislodged. With the debris on the racing line the session was halted to allow marshals to clear the track and after a swift removal the session got underway once more. 

Following the resumption much of the field moved to longer runs and there were no improvements at the top of the order. With Verstappen solid in second place, third place went to Sainz., who set his best time on Mediums. 

Russell, also on Mediums as fourth fastest ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez, who is facing a three-place grid drop for Sunday’s race owing to a penalty from the Canadian Grand Prix. 

Oscar Piastri added to a strong start by McLaren by taking sixth place at the end of the session ahead of the second Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Esteban Ocon was eighth for Alpine ahead of the unfortunate Fernando Alonso and the top 10 order was completed by Williams’ Alex Albon. Further back, Haas reserve Ollie Bearman took Nico Hulkenberg's seat for FP1 and ended the session 19th fastest, just over 0.2s behind team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

2024 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:14.228 27 225.860
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1:14.252 0.024 27 225.787
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:14.572 0.344 31 224.818
4 George Russell Mercedes 1:14.614 0.386 31 224.692
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1:14.692 0.464 28 224.457
6 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1:14.867 0.639 29 223.933
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:14.911 0.683 28 223.801
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:15.086 0.858 30 223.279
9 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:15.222 0.994 26 222.876
10 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:15.417 1.189 25 222.300
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:15.434 1.206 26 222.249
12 Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 1:15.472 1.244 24 222.138
13 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1:15.484 1.256 21 222.102
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:15.512 1.284 28 222.020
15 Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 1:15.580 1.352 30 221.820
16 Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 1:15.616 1.388 24 221.714
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:15.644 1.416 30 221.632
18 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1:15.752 1.524 25 221.316
19 Oliver Bearman Haas/Ferrari 1:15.865 1.637 29 220.987
20 Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 1:15.916 1.688 21 220.838