Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two as Alonso stops again

2017 Spanish Grand Prix first practice

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Mercedes were comfortably quickest in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix with almost a second in hand over their closest rivals.

There was little to choose between their drivers, however. Lewis Hamilton kept Valtteri Bottas from the top spot by less than three-hundredths of a second after their fastest runs on the medium tyres. There was little to choose between them on the hard compound as well.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
Spanish Grand Prix practice in pictures
The Ferrari pair were around a second slower, Kimi Raikkonen the quicker of the pair in second. Team mate Sebastian Vettel lost time early in the session when his car came to a stop at the pit lane exit with a suspected gearbox problem.

The two Red Bulls were next, Max Verstappen 1.1 seconds slower than Hamilton. The next-quickest team was Haas, Kevin Magnussen a further second behind in their updated car. He hit a snag at the end of the session, however, when he went off at turn four and parked his car.

Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault and Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Toro Rosso completed the top ten. Sergey Sirotkin drove Renault’s second car but as in Russia he hit trouble, covering just ten laps before having to pit with a technical problem.

This was nothing compared to Fernando Alonso’s plight, however. His McLaren came to a stop at turn three on his first lap out of the pits. Lubricant poured from the rear of the MCL32 as it was craned away, and before the session finished Alonso was posting pictures on social media of himself playing tennis back at his hotel.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’21.52128
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’21.5500.02930
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’22.4560.93524
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’22.6001.07923
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’22.7061.18522
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’23.0841.56317
720Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’23.6702.14922
88Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’23.7582.23723
927Nico HulkenbergRenault1’23.9932.47224
1055Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’24.0042.48321
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’24.1882.66723
1231Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’24.3242.80322
132Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’24.4002.87924
1419Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’24.6183.09734
1526Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’24.6423.12118
169Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’24.9663.44523
1794Pascal WehrleinSauber-Ferrari1’25.1823.66124
1818Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’25.9194.39834
1946Sergey SirotkinRenault1’26.2934.77210
2014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’21.521

+0.029 Valtteri Bottas – 1’21.550

+0.935 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’22.456

+1.079 Sebastian Vettel – 1’22.600

+1.185 Max Verstappen – 1’22.706

+1.563 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’23.084

+2.149 Kevin Magnussen – 1’23.670

+2.237 Romain Grosjean – 1’23.758

+2.472 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’23.993

+2.483 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’24.004

+2.667 Sergio Perez – 1’24.188

+2.803 Esteban Ocon – 1’24.324

+2.879 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’24.400

+3.097 Felipe Massa – 1’24.618

+3.121 Daniil Kvyat – 1’24.642

+3.445 Marcus Ericsson – 1’24.966

+3.661 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’25.182

+4.398 Lance Stroll – 1’25.919

+4.772 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’26.293

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

DriverTeamBest medium timeMedium gapBest hard timeHard gap
Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’21.5211’23.531
Valtteri BottasMercedes1’21.5500.0291’23.6140.083
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’23.0841.5631’25.0191.488
Max VerstappenRed Bull1’22.7061.1851’31.0897.558
Sebastian VettelFerrari1’22.6001.0791’27.3423.811
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’22.4560.9351’24.3660.835
Sergio PerezForce India1’24.1882.6671’25.5221.991
Esteban OconForce India1’24.3242.8031’25.4581.927
Felipe MassaWilliams1’24.6183.0971’25.8942.363
Lance StrollWilliams1’25.9194.3981’29.6106.079
Fernando AlonsoMcLarenNoneNone
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1’24.4002.8791’26.6243.093
Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso1’24.0042.4831’35.92112.39
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’24.6423.1212’40.65477.123
Romain GrosjeanHaas1’23.7582.2371’25.7282.197
Kevin MagnussenHaas1’23.6702.1491’25.6882.157
Nico HulkenbergRenault1’23.9932.4721’25.8272.296
Sergey SirotkinRenaultNone1’26.2932.762
Marcus EricssonSauber1’24.9663.4451’27.1243.593
Pascal WehrleinSauber1’25.1823.6611’26.5473.016

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two as Alonso stops again”

  1. Early but ominous.

  2. Let’s just hope Mercedes aren’t genuinely 1 second faster…

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      12th May 2017, 10:32

      Personally I reckon they’re even further ahead than that. Primarily because:
      1) Ferrari typically run lighter fuel loads than Mercedes in FP1.
      2) This track suits Mercedes very well, and has done so for the last 3 years.

      1. There is no proof to the pt.1. They might have done in the early years but not this year.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          12th May 2017, 10:40

          And do you have proof that they aren’t running less fuel this year? Not trying to have a go at you, but rather I’m genuinely curious to know if there’s any more info out there other than what the TV and Print journo’s report?

          Traditionally, and especially in testing, Ferrari run lighter fuel loads than most others. They’ve done it in almost every FP1 session this season.

          1. Last year, they would be close in the FP2 (as seen in the analysis) and then drop off from Mercs in the race. This season they have won 2 and were less than a second in the third. Says all we need to know about their race pace. If Ferrari were still running light, they would be a lot faster than Mercedes in the FP2 and it will reflect in their lap times as well.

            All this shows that they are not doing glory runs anymore.

      2. (@tophercheese21)
        really? so, easy money then.

    2. How can they be?
      In other words Ferrari have stood still and Redbull must have found a second without engine upgrade, I fear what happens when Renault upgrade the engine.
      People need to take a chill pill same reaction in Australia after FP1.

    3. next obvious headline “Hamilton: Ferrari are sandbagging”,

      and this time I hope it is true haha

  3. Here’s a joke for everybody: Mclaren-Honda.

    1. Massa just said during an interview “it’s not correct for Alonso to miss FP1” ;)

      1. Yeah, and referencing that picture from the hotel –
        Fernando has some balls driving that McLaren-Honda!

    2. That joke has run it’s course……Oh wait

  4. What tyres were they using?

    1. MG421982 (@)
      12th May 2017, 10:34

      All cars used Mediums for this session.

  5. MG421982 (@)
    12th May 2017, 10:32

    I think Ferrari is sandbaging at the moment. At least, I hope!
    They lapped in the 1m22s time window equipped with Mediums right from day1 of testing. Don’t remember if any of the Ferrari drivers did 1m21s on Mediums, but they managed 1m19s on Softs. A difference of 3 seconds between Softs and Mediums… seems too much.

  6. Boring weekend incoming…
    BTW what is the weather forecast?

    1. Enjoy your weekend activities; we’ll let you know on Monday what the weather was :p

      1. good one

    2. Sunny sunny sunny, unfortunately no chance of rain

  7. Can they not at least stick last year’s engine in the back of one of the McLaren’s. Last year they were at least in the battle for the midfield, and the engine ran a lot more reliably than this year’s. I know it might seem like a step back in some respects, but they’re engine falling apart every weekend is so much more damaging for McLaren and Honda’s image right now. Looking at the bigger picture, it might be wiser.

    What does everyone think McLaren will do next season? I can’t decide if switching and paying for Merc engines is any worse than sticking with Honda with the financial benefits, but losing out massively on their reputation, which in turn is putting off sponsors and potential revenue. Also, the motivation must be pretty close to 0 in Woking now.

    1. Can they not at least stick last year’s engine in the back of one of the McLaren’s.

      won’t fit – better redesign for a Merc17 ;)

    2. Stoffel wasn’t that far off the midfield. If he reaches the grid that is

  8. Well, this sounds very, very bad… :/

  9. Even McLaren’s broken down site is broken :
    https://hasmclarenbrokendown.com/
    Honda should either pull out or buy Mercedes engines and dismantle them to do the homework.

    1. I admire the honesty of the website owner!

      1. @john-h me too, but it was a bright idea, it made lough each time.

  10. McLaren-Honda are clearly sandbagging; they can complete a few laps, but don’t want to show their hand so soon.

  11. That Mercedes looks like a completely different car. The upgrade is immense. I know quite a few commentators predicted that early on Ferrari would have the measure of Merc, but in terms of the development race would lag behind due to the current personnel. I worry they may have been right.

    1. @john-h The Merc upgrade is incredible – it must now be the most aerodynamically complex F1 car in history. The level of detail is just on a totally different scale to anything else on the grid. Can’t help but feel that the times in FP1 are fairly representtive of the step forward taken by both Mercedes and RBR. Ferrari may have been caught napping.

      1. Yeah it’s going to be really interesting. Merc will need these changes to have affected how the car treats the rear tires. RBR has had the most room for improvement having come out with quite a basic car. And Ferrari? Let’s just see. They were already pretty solid overall, seeming to be better in dirty air than Merc, better on average at different tracks not needing a specific type of track to excel, so it’s going to continue to be great to watch. And there’s already looking to be a close call between the Merc drivers. So much to play for. It’s great.

  12. I bet Jenson is licking his lips…..

    If Alonso doesn’t care for Monaco, I doubt he cares about missing any others. Putting my Eddie Jordan hat on, I’m predicting Alonso to leave McLaren and replace Palmer before the end of the season. At this point in time he’d probably do it for free.

    It actually hurts seeing this.

    1. He has probably gone home to get his classic 2005 racing car.

      1. To have it painted yellow and black

    2. Alonso will leave and McLaren will win a race next year. It’s almost guaranteed!!

  13. Sviatoslav (@)
    12th May 2017, 12:01

    Alonso doesn’t want to drive McLaren even on practices.

    1. He has to have a quick practice to learn where the escape roads are positioned!

  14. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    12th May 2017, 12:31

    What an utter disgrace Honda is. To see such a historical team struggle when they should be fighting for podiums stinks. If Renault in 3 full years and 4 races into the 4th year haven’t caught Mercedes, Honda never will.

  15. Argh, McLaren and Honda need some serious help. An oil leak to this extent is not solely a Honda issue. This is a team issue, McLaren-Honda. This has to be starting to really effect the brand identity around the world. Here in the US the Indy cars are advertised in TV commercials. It’s sad that their F1 engine would be 50/50 running long enough for a 30 second advertisement.

    Also Haas being first behind the “Big 3” is nice, but I am worried that their upgrades are not gaining enough. MAG is only a tenth up on GRO with the new floor. I hope its down to tuning with the new floor and as practice continues there will be a distinct bump in performance.

    Planning on watching practice tonight, but from what I have read it appears Mercedes is looking scary fast again.

  16. What’s the expression, like watching a train wreck in slow motion? I think I might start saying ‘like watching a McLaren Honda in real time’. But seriously besides the fact that it’s just way too easy to get comedy material from them now, has there been a bigger failure historically in F1, comparatively, considering that these are two major names in motorsport, in their 3rd year of partnering now and seemingly only increasingly falling apart at the seams?

  17. I don’t see why McLaren and Honda even bother showing up for race weekends. Mr.Hasegawa has openly admitted that they do not know how to diagnose problems with with engine, and they haven’t been able to develop any reliability or performance upgrades because of this. They just keep coming with the same garbage bin of a machine at every race weekend just for it to break down and get laughed at.

    Honda is a disgrace to F1. It’s just a matter of time before one of the higher ups in Honda pull the plug on the most disastrous venture their company has ever undertaken.

  18. @Todfod Mr.Hasegawa has openly admitted that they do not know how to diagnose problems with with engine, What is your source for this information? Hasegawa openly stated after the first race that the had encountered a serious vibration issue which did not show up on the dyno testing and that the vibration is causing component failures on the ice. (water and oil leaks) As well as ERS problems. After two rear suspension failures which were also caused by the vibration, he stated that the output power had to be reduced to try and minimise the vibration and that the problem could only be fixed at the earliest by Canada. Once this problem has been taken care of they will be able to turn up the power output considerably and then they will be able to see where they are in comparison to the other teams. So from my perspective, Hasegawa has been completely open and honest regarding the situation so I think that you are being very unfair calling them a disgrace and that they don’t know how to fix their problems. If you are so all knowing, perhaps you could go and help them out?

    1. If you are so all knowing, perhaps you could go and help them out?

      Did I claim I knew how to fix it? I would help them if I could.

      I think you need to go back and check out every response from Hasegawa after the car has broken down. They have investigated, yet not made one release regarding the problem and an apparent fix. In fact, when their car doesn’t break down, they don’t even realise why it’s running capably. If that doesn’t convince you about their diagnosing problems…. then god only knows what will convince you.

      Even a nitwit will tell you that vibrations cause issues, but that’s barely a diagnosed problem is it? And if you think their rate of failures will reduce after Canada.. you need to get your expectations in check.

      I think that you are being very unfair calling them a disgrace and that they don’t know how to fix their problems

      I don’t think I’m being harsh. I’m just being a realist. Let’s start with them actually fixing an issue, and then I’ll retract my statement.

  19. I was very surprised and disappointed to read the McLaren-Honda car was leaking oil from the car as it was being carried away. I can’t help but suspect the root of this problem is well known inside McLaren-Honda and this latest failure was entirely avoidable, which then raises the question of why it wasn’t avoided.
    Maybe McLaren-Honda need to get some advice from Mr Andretti.

  20. I have followed the Honda Engine saga….and after the first race Honda promised a better engine for this weekend { to fix the vibration that stopped them turning it up}…a team member today said it would now be in 2 races…Van Dorne said it would be 6 races…and Alonso reckons by end of Sept when he will know if he has a car that can challenge……this is year 3 guys…..enough is enough…I would not be surprised if this was not Alonsos last McLaren race if its another engine disaster for him…..with JB carrying on from Monaco …a track which should actually suit the Honda engine

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