- F1 drivers’ championship leader Valtteri Bottas continued his impressive run of form as he topped both FP1 and FP2 for Mercedes on Friday in Barcelona. Teammate Lewis Hamilton completed a one-two finish in second practice, with the team running three-tenths clear of Ferrari in second.

- Sebastian Vettel said the gap between Ferrari and Mercedes looked like a “fair picture”, leaving the Italian team with work to do if it is to end its winless start to the year this weekend.

- Red Bull remained marooned as the third-fastest team. While Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly were both pleased with the updates on the RB15 car, the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes does not appear to have been overturned.

- Verstappen was sidelined by an oil leak in FP1 that prompted Red Bull to change his Honda power unit ahead of schedule. Verstappen had been due to debut the Spec 2 Honda power unit in FP3 on Saturday, but used it in FP2. Gasly will get the Spec 2 PU tomorrow as planned.

- Gasly has also taken a fresh gearbox for this weekend’s race, permitted as he did not finish the last race in Azerbaijan.

- Other power unit element changes include new engines for Vettel, Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo also takes a new turbocharger and MGU-H, while both McLaren drivers have fitted a new control electronics unit.

- Ricciardo was left uneasy about Renault’s car updates, saying the team needed to “take a step back” after failing to build on a good initial feeling with the new parts on Friday. Ricciardo ended the day 15th-fastest for Renault.

- Romain Grosjean managed to lead the midfield fight for Haas in both FP1 and FP2, taking P5 and P6 in the sessions respectively. Grosjean said after the session he felt Haas had “got the tyres working”, giving the team a boost in its weakest area so far this year.

- A meeting was held between a number of race promoters and F1 management in Barcelona on Friday, with the calendar for 2020 beginning to come together. F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey said earlier this week he anticipated the calendar to remain at 21 races next year, with two existing events set to be replaced by the Vietnam Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix.

- Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur confirmed changes have been made to the C38 car’s front wing after Kimi Raikkonen was excluded from qualifying in Azerbaijan due to a technical breach. Vasseur called the ruling “harsh”, but said efforts had been made to ensure it was not repeated.

- New McLaren F1 managing director Andreas Seidl made his first appearance on the pit wall today in Barcelona. The former Porsche LMP1 chief joined the team officially on May 1 in the new rule. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown confirmed today Seidl will be given “free rein” over the F1 operation, allowing him to focus on the brand as a whole.

- There was success for F1's junior drivers in the lower categories today in Barcelona. Williams reserve Nicholas Latifi took P2 in Formula 2 qualifying behind Luca Ghiotto, while Ferrari youngster Robert Shwartzman took pole for the first FIA Formula 3 race under the new series' identity.



Loading Comments...