Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Hamilton leads five different teams in close second practice at Catalunya

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton was fastest of all in the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr.

The Mercedes driver set the best time of the day with a 1’13.264 on soft tyres, less than a tenth of a second quicker than both Sainz and third-placed Lando Norris.

Conditions were slightly cooler than they had been for the opening hour of running for the day, with ambient temperatures sitting at 24C for the session. Naturally, with several teams having brought many new parts for their cars for this weekend, there was plenty of early running as drivers attempted to gather valuable data.

George Russell set the early pace with a 1’14.089, a tenth of a second faster than Norris in the McLaren, who had been quickest of all in the first session. Once teams began switching onto the soft compound, Carlos Sainz Jnr jumped to the top of the times with a 1’13.286, before Hamilton beat that by two hundredths of a second to go quickest.

As in the opening session, many drivers were having to fight with their cars around the multiple sustained corners. Sergio Perez was one of those drivers, continuing his struggles from the earlier session, but his afternoon was made further challenging when he spent and extended period of time in the Red Bull garage with a technical problem.

Heading into the later phase of the hour, teams started to focus on race simulation runs. Several drivers complained of losing grip from their tyres relatively early, even on the medium compound, including Max Verstappen. Norris abandoned his run on soft tyres after running very wide over the exit kerb at turn nine.

With no improvements in the times in the final 10 minutes, the chequered flag greeted drivers at the top of the hour at 6pm putting Hamilton quickest of all, mere hundredths ahead of Sainz in second.

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Norris ended the session third fastest, with Pierre Gasly a surprise entry in the top five in fourth for Alpine. Verstappen in fifth made it five different teams at the top of the times.

Charles Leclerc was sixth in the second Ferrari, with Oscar Piastri, Russell, Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top ten.

There was not a single yellow flag incident or notable off through the session, with all 20 drivers completing at least 21 laps of running.

2024 Spanish Grand Prix second practice result

P. # Driver Team Model Time Gap
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W15 1’13.264
2 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-24 1’13.286 0.022
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’13.319 0.055
4 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A524 1’13.443 0.179
5 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’13.504 0.240
6 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-24 1’13.597 0.333
7 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’13.622 0.358
8 63 George Russell Mercedes W15 1’13.722 0.458
9 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A524 1’13.766 0.502
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’13.924 0.660
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’14.021 0.757
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’14.053 0.789
13 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’14.081 0.817
14 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’14.091 0.827
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’14.211 0.947
16 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’14.257 0.993
17 24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’14.345 1.081
18 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’14.402 1.138
19 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’14.807 1.543
20 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’15.070 1.806

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2024 Spanish Grand Prix

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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...

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44 comments on “Hamilton leads five different teams in close second practice at Catalunya”

  1. Enjoy 7th place tomorrow champ. I’ve seen this before…

    1. Podium looks like it’s on the cards for him. His long run pace seemed on par with the Ferrari

      1. I mean he has been always good here. Even in 2022 when the car was even worse. Last year, they were very quick here and have been very quick since 2014. So no surprise about Mercedes’ pace. All he needs to do is just put the car where he should have been in the last few races.

        1. chances are he won’t be fast enough and will be running his classic, low straight line speed setup in favor of George for Qualifying. Given how hard it is to pass on this circuit, the chances of Merc letting Lewis beat his teammate is very likely, very not so much.

          That said, if he can let off on the hard breaking, and realize that Pirelli have a tire that won’t make it one lap, on the front, and he can make those fine balance adjustments, and sand bag up to qualifying, he might have a chance.

          But, chances are, Mercedes will give him the ability to pathfind through all practice sessions, and hand his data over to George, and detune his motor so hes like 1/10th or more off his teammate. If I were sabotaging him, I would detune his motor, so hes desparate on the brakes, and pushes his fronts to the point of failure much sooner. In this case, Lewis has to observe obscene patience, and be able to make some line adjustments, perhaps even inducing understeer to ‘cut’ some of the corners, if thats possible, without throwing off his balance at apex around Catalunya.

          1. Your endless conspiracy theories, including the entire FIA being aligned against Lewis, are adorable.

          2. @pcxmac
            I hope you find help.

            Or I misread the /s

          3. “Mercedes will give him the ability to pathfind through all practice sessions, and hand his data over to George, and detune his motor so hes like 1/10th”

            LOL, so true, so true.

          4. How does it feel to be called “Cowards.” “Mad people.” “Lunatics.” by Toto Wolff?

    2. No one stays at the top forever, so what he is having a bad run of qualifying. Not the end of the world, we all have our ups and downs.

      1. Lewis excels when the car comes good and struggles when it’s mediocre. I expect Lewis to be back to his old self if the car stays strong.

        I guess Mercedes really have figured out their car.

        Meanwhile, RBR is really missing Newey setting up their suspension.

  2. If Aston Martin is still that terrible in the first 2 races of the next season, Fernando should quit right away and go to IndyCar where could compete and not just participate.
    How many years can you waste on driving garbage cars?

    1. It’s embarrassing for Dan Fallows. He should quit if they don’t land Newey.

  3. Maybe his car is no longer being sabotaged >:)

    1. The sabotage starts in quali ofc, these sessions don’t matter!

      1. I started to make that joke yesterday. Now I’m glad I didn’t.

      2. You’ll see Hamilton has nearly always dione well in practice, only for it to not translate in quali.
        And yes, Russell does get the benefit of seeing Hamilton’s practice data, the same for Hamilton.

    2. They’re no longer “sabotageing” him?

  4. Verstappen will need to take at least one sandbag out before Q1

    1. Maybe they should remind Perez to do that too.. he seems to forget the sandbags on a regular basis ;-)

      1. I think you will find that it is Perez’s car that Max is stuffing his old sandbags into ;)

        1. And perez isn’t a sharp observer and only tends to notice that at the end of the season, explaining why his mid-season is consistently horrible!

          1. An Sionnach
            21st June 2024, 20:28

            In reality they all drive the same car, they’re just different colours. The performance difference is controlled by Masi from a control room in his hidden floating cloud fortress. That fortress floats using a limitless and micro-sized green energy power source. The reason why F1 won’t share this technology with the rest of humanity is that they, the corporations and billionaires hate the planet and they want to destroy it, themselves included.

          2. I knew it.. Glad toto called in the police

          3. I knew it, Sionnach! I thought I had spotted a large UFO, but then I saw a flash of Masi through the window.

            Perez has now had more seasons in a WDC worthy car than Alonso has his entire career. Pathetic.

          4. An Sionnach
            22nd June 2024, 9:12

            No wonder some “people” call him Alonslow. It’s the car!

            (that’s slow)

            Yes, it’s sad. He’s done well to extend his career so long. I rate other drivers who’ve driven full careers more highly, but Schumacher retired a little early. Prost had more in him, too, but I understand why he’d had enough. They had done it all, though. Alonso’s haul seems meagre considering his talents. Perhaps 2005 might have gone to Schumacher had he not been nobbled, but with the right car (and not a ridiculously overpowered one), Alonso could have gotten a couple more. Champions since Vettel have often had it too easy. I really rate Max, but if he’d had the same level of competition as Prost, he might have only gotten one out of the last two.

  5. Verstappen was fastest on sectors 1 and 3, got traffic on 2.

    Before some say “it’s on for the championship!!” or stuff like that.

  6. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    21st June 2024, 18:35

    I’m sure he’ll be fast in the race but several positions down in qualifying. Does feel like Hamilton leans too much towards a race setup at the moment – especially given overtaking is only getting harder again.

  7. 18 cars within little more than 1 sec.
    At this point the order doesn’t much and drivers can make a difference.

    1. 18 cars within little more than 1 sec.

      Which is ironically closer than most BoP’d and outright spec series. Presumably this means all F1 teams are equally clever and skilled…

      But on a more positive note, this is fun in theory, but it’s unfortunately happening at the same time that following and passing is becoming ever harder once more. Brawn promised that changes would be made to protect the 2022-gains, but… nothing has.

  8. Serious question. Does anyone see Sergio getting out of this rut?

    1. Carlos Slim is presumably confident that Pérez continues to be 1) Mexican and 2) in F1, which is pretty much all he has to do.

      For a team that once did so much to bring new talent into the sport, the current line-up of the four-car Red Bull team is really disappointing.

      1. An Sionnach
        21st June 2024, 20:32

        Speculation: building an engine requires bags of cash?

        1. Nah, just boosting the catering budget.

        2. With the budget caps, we know they don’t need the $ to be able to compete at the top. They just like money for themselves, which we all do I guess.

  9. 4th & 9th… that crook’s making a difference already.

    1. Man knows where the skeletons are buried!

  10. Poor Williams and I mean that sincerely. Sainz should probably enjoy his podiums now because it doesn’t look good for the future.

  11. Xan anyone explain the headline to me? If Hamilton leads five different teams, surely that would mean the other five teams were ahead of him?

    1. He means there are five different teams in the top five. MB, SF, McL, Alpine, RBR.

      1. I see, I think. Thank you. Though if it is referring to him being the first of the top five, shouldn’t it say he is leading four, not five.

        1. That is a bit confusing, but it makes sense if you think about it as him leading his team. But, yes, it could have been slightly clearer.

  12. Hooray, ever since the news of Newey’s departure, we are seeing RB constantly going backwards, safe to say it’s now the no. 4th or 5th car in performance. Welcome to no more single man domination.

    1. I agree. That is also why Perez is even further back than his regular gap to Max. Luckily this stint of domination only lasted 2 seasons (and not the 8 processional years of the Mercedes borefest), despite everybody (well, the Lewis fans mostly) screaming and yelling and panicking.

    2. Without him to setup their suspension and figure out what they’re doing wrong, they’re now just a top team and not a dominant team.

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