Lando Norris pips Max Verstappen to top red-flagged opening Spanish GP practice

Lando Norris edges out Max Verstappen to the fastest time in first practice at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Practice
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10,…

Lando Norris set the early pace by heading Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in opening practice at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver topped the FP1 timesheet with a best lap of 1m14.228 seconds as he edged out reigning world champion Verstappen by a minuscule 0.024s.

Carlos Sainz - one of two home heroes for the Spanish crowd to cheer on - wound up third-fastest for Ferrari, 0.344s off Norris’ FP1 benchmark, though his time was set on the medium compound.

Having set the pace early on in the first hour-long practice session, George Russell ended up fourth and nearly four-tenths adrift in his Mercedes.

Sergio Perez was fifth in the other Red Bull, ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lewis Hamilton, who ran wide at Turn 10 and ended up a few tenths adrift of his Mercedes teammate Russell.

Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso and Alex Albon completed the rest of the top-10 order for Alpine, Aston Martin and Williams respectively.

Alonso caused the only red flag of FP1 when a piece of bodywork flew off his front wing and fell onto the racing line after he ran over the exit kerbs at the fast right-hander of Turn 9.

Charles Leclerc was unhappy with his Ferrari car as he missed out on the top-10, finishing 11th in the order.

The Monegasque complained his car was “horrendous” during the early stages, before reporting there was something wrong with his clutch.

Britain’s highly-rated Oliver Bearman was 19th-fastest and only two tenths off the other Haas driver, Kevin Magnussen, as he made his latest FP1 outing of the season.

The 19-year-old Ferrari protege has been heavily-linked with a full-time Haas seat for 2025, after his starring debut as an emergency stand-in for Sainz in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. 

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