F1: Verstappen dominates Practice 1 in Barcelona

–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.

Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 02, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

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.

New Ferrari Sidepod – unless they are sandbagging, the new sidepods Ferrari rolled out in Barcelona has not made them faster.  However, the weekend is still young.

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




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