–by Mark Cipolloni–
Red Bull Honda driver Max Verstappen demoralized everyone in opening practice for the Spanish GP with a lap of 1m14.606s.
Even his teammate, Sergio Perez, could not touch Verstappen’s time, he was 0.768s behind in the identical car.
For Round 7 of the season, Red Bull has taken the plunge and introduced complete new Honda power units for Verstappen and Perez ahead of the race weekend.
That means the title-battling duo will each have a new Internal Combustion Engine, Turbocharger, MGU-H, and MGU-K, the first new PUs taken for both drivers with four permitted for the season.
More power and secret upgrades to the Red Bull chassis should have the opposition shaking in their boots.
Esteban Ocon, hot off his 3rd place in Monaco, was 3rd quick for Alpine, 0.812s behind.
Nyck de Vries, driving to save his job, was 4th in the Alpha Tauri, 0.898s behind.
Pierre Gasly in the 2nd Alpine rounded out the top-5.
It’s a good start for Red Bull and Alpine, and AlphaTauri will be impressed with that lap time from de Vries. Aston Martin were in the mix courtesy of – you’ve guessed it – Alonso, while Sainz wound up in the top 10 on home soil in a steady opening.
It is not only Verstappen and Perez taking on new PUs for the race weekend though, with McLaren doing the same Lando Norris who will have a fresh Mercedes PU bolted into that McLaren MCL60.
Elsewhere, Alonso has taken a new Energy Store and Control Electronics for his home race, while Williams’ Logan Sargeant also has a fresh Energy Store and Control Electronics.
Practice 1 Results
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m14.606s||+0.000s||32|
|2||Sergio Perez||MEX||Oracle Bull Racing||1m15.374s||+0.768s||32|
|3||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m15.418s||+0.812s||28|
|4||Nyck de Vries||NED||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m15.504s||+0.898s||27|
|5||Pierre Gasly||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m15.545s||+0.939s||27|
|6||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant||1m15.547s||+0.941s||24|
|7||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||MoneyGram Haas F1 Team||1m15.689s||+1.083s||22|
|8||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1m15.694s||+1.088s||28|
|9||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1m15.726s||+1.120s||27|
|10||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||1m15.753s||+1.147s||32|
|11||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m15.783s||+1.177s||25|
|12||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||1m15.845s||+1.239s||29|
|13||Zhou Guanyu||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake||1m15.906s||+1.300s||24|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m15.915s||+1.309s||27|
|15||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant||1m15.939s||+1.333s||25|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake||1m15.978s||+1.372s||24|
|17||Oscar Piastri||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m16.353s||+1.747s||26|
|18||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||MoneyGram Haas F1 Team||1m16.461s||+1.855s||28|
|19||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||1m16.506s||+1.900s||30|
|20||Alex Albon||THA||Williams Racing||1m16.630s||+2.024s||28|