Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

Verstappen still fastest but Alonso comes closest in second practice

2023 Spanish Grand Prix second practice

Posted on

| Written by

Max Verstappen remained at the top of the times in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, but Fernando Alonso got within two tenths of as second of him.

Only Verstappen’s Red Bull lapped under the 1’14 barrier on Friday as he ended the second session quickest of all. Alonso was just 0.170s slower than the Red Bull in second, while Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg surprisingly posted the third-fastest time.

Despite the ominous clouds heading towards the circuit at the end of the opening hour of practice, the second session began with clear conditions and no sign of rain affecting running. Conditions were similar to how the earlier session had ended, with the track starting to cool slowly as running began.

As in the opening session, teams were permitted to run prototype Pirelli tyres that are due to be introduced at the British Grand Prix as race tyres. Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes sent both of their drivers out on the prototype tyres to begin with, while Ferrari opted to send Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr out on soft tyres straight away, both now running the updated bodywork on the SF-23.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Hulkenberg produced the surprise performance of second practice
Sainz quickly improved on the team’s best from the opening session, setting a 1’14.999 to go fastest of all, while team mate Leclerc were just over two tenths slower, putting his Ferrari into second place. George Russell, who had suffered from porpoising in the opening session, continued to complain about bouncing in his Mercedes through the high speed right handers of turns three and nine.

Verstappen switched from the prototype tyres to a set of mediums and jumped to the front of the times with a 1’14.968, fractionally quicker than Sainz. Determined to reclaim the top spot, Sainz took a new set of softs and took almost seven tenths off Verstappen to move back into first place. But it did not last long, however, as team mate Leclerc beat him by almost three hundredths of a second.

Verstappen fitted another set of soft tyres and moved back to the top of the times sheet with the first lap under 1’14 of the day. Fernando Alonso attempted a push lap on softs and moved up to second place, but was over a tenth off Verstappen’s best.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Spanish Grand Prix practice in pictures
After the half way stage of the session, focus turned to longer, higher-fuel runs. Verstappen ventured out for a run on the medium tyres, while most of his rivals decided to run on the soft. Verstappen then pittedto switch onto the red marked tyre himself as the entire field continued to conduct race simulation runs in the final third of the session.

There were no improvements in the final part of the session, meaning that Verstappen retained his position at the top of the times. Alonso was second, 0.170s behind the championship leader, followed by Hulkenberg

Sergio Perez was fourth in the second Red Bull, with Esteban Ocon fifth for Alpine. The two Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz were sixth and seventh ahead of Russell’s Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly were the final cars in the top ten as the session came to a close.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Spanish Grand Prix second practice result

11Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB191’13.90733
214Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’14.0770.17029
327Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-231’14.1770.27031
411Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB191’14.2190.31229
531Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5231’14.2420.33529
616Charles LeclercFerrariSF-231’14.2460.33931
755Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-231’14.2740.36731
863George RussellMercedesW141’14.3920.48531
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’14.4480.54131
1010Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA5231’14.4570.55028
1144Lewis HamiltonMercedesW141’14.5490.64230
1281Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’14.5830.67629
1324Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’14.5850.67828
144Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’14.6940.78729
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-231’14.7130.80623
1621Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Honda RBPTAT041’14.7850.87833
1722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPTAT041’14.8400.93334
1818Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’15.0101.10330
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW451’15.0561.14931
202Logan SargeantWilliams-MercedesFW451’15.4151.50832

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Spanish Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

One comment on “Verstappen still fastest but Alonso comes closest in second practice”

  1. And of course this may have some effect
    Verstappen and Perez’s cars will be given new Internal Combustions Engines (ICE), Turbochargers (TC), Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H) and Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K).

Comments are closed.