Mercedes F1 answered their detractors in FP2 at the Barcelona GP weekend. Their cars were P2 and P3 behind Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc, but again Hamilton couldn’t match his team mate 1/10th second slower despite his previous mastery at this circuit.
Hamilton has been on the front row of the starting grid at the Circuit de Catalunya for 9 consecutive years and won the last 5 races, yet he will have his work cut out for him to maintain that record on Sunday.
Team mate George Russell was merely 0.1s behind the Ferrari and his on board showed he made a couple of small mistakes and could have topped the time sheets as he did in Miami.
The big surprise was the Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Perez were merely 5th and 7th respectively and Alpine appear to be now at the head of the midfield with Alonso managing P6, just half a second behind the lead Ferrari.
The ‘Green Red Bull’ demonstrated a significant improvement with Sebastian Vettel in P8 as the Aston Martin team ran their Red Bull lookalike car for the first time.
The row over potential Intellectual Property theft was ramped up by Christian Horner after the session speaking to Sky. He refused to explain what evidence they may or may not have that Red Bull personnel took design documents when they left the Milton Keynes team for Aston Martin.