Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Norris pips Verstappen in first practice session at Catalunya

Formula 1

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Lando Norris was narrowly quickest in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen.

The McLaren driver was just two-hundredths of a second faster than Verstappen around the Circuit de Catalunya. Both drivers set their best times on the softest tyres.

Conditions were sunny and warm for the opening hour of running for the weekend, with an ambient temperature of 28C and a track temperature sitting at 47C under the Spanish sun. Ferrari junior driver Oliver Bearman made his second Friday practice appearance of the season in the Haas, stepping into Nico Hulkenberg’s car for this first session.

Several drivers complained about having poor balance in their cars, including Norris, who battled with his McLaren through the corners. Sergio Perez also complained about on-throttle understeer in his Red Bull and Charles Leclerc called the handling of his upgraded Ferrari “horrendous” during his early run.

Verstappen was the early pace setter, posting a 1’14.252 on the soft tyres, until Norris beat it. The latter part of the session saw drivers focus on higher fuel runs, which meant that Norris’s best time was not beaten over the remainder of the hour. The McLaren driver had a brief run-in with Bearman at one point, passing the Haas driver off-track between the final two corners.

Carlos Sainz Jnr was third-fastest for Ferrari, with George Russell fourth for Mercedes ahead of Perez, Oscar Piastri and Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes. Esteban Ocon was eighth, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Alexander Albon in tenth.

Alonso triggered a brief red flag with just over 20 minutes remaining when a part came off the front-left corner of his Aston Martin as he ran over the serrated kerb at the exit of turn nine. The damage did not prevent him from running in the final third of the hour, with the Aston Martin driver covering 25 laps.

RB driver Yuki Tsunoda’s session was the most interrupted of any as he spent considerable time in the garage with the team working on his car. He covered the fewest laps of any 20 drivers and ended the session slowest in 20th. Bearman completed 29 trouble-free laps in the Haas and was 19th in the session, just over two tenths slower than Kevin Magnussen.

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2024 Spanish Grand Prix first practice result

P. # Driver Team Model Time Gap
1 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’14.228
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’14.252 0.024
3 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-24 1’14.572 0.344
4 63 George Russell Mercedes W15 1’14.614 0.386
5 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’14.692 0.464
6 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’14.867 0.639
7 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W15 1’14.911 0.683
8 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A524 1’15.086 0.858
9 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’15.222 0.994
10 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’15.417 1.189
11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-24 1’15.434 1.206
12 77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’15.472 1.244
13 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A524 1’15.484 1.256
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’15.512 1.284
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’15.580 1.352
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’15.616 1.388
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’15.644 1.416
18 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’15.752 1.524
19 50 Oliver Bearman Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’15.865 1.637
20 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’15.916 1.688

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2024 Spanish Grand Prix

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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...

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6 comments on “Norris pips Verstappen in first practice session at Catalunya”

  1. VSC should’ve been enough for the carbon piece.
    The new overpassing building towards T10 looks weird, but I’ll get used to it.

  2. Mansell pips…
    Norris pips…

    Who pips next ?

    1. Well you can’t write ‘edges’ anymore…

      1. I wasn’t aware of that, I don’t even know why that word is a problem. In case I would use “narrowly beats”.

  3. McLaren pace is real, also on RB friendly tracks… championship fight is on it seems :)

    1. I luv chicken
      21st June 2024, 16:00

      It’s Friday!

Comments are closed.