Follow all the action from the Spanish Grand Prix as qualifying takes place this afternoon.
Max Verstappen’s victory in Miami reduced Charles Leclerc’s lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to just 19 points, but it was the Ferrari driver who was quickest in yesterday’s second practice session . There were also encouraging signs for Mercedes after it was revealed the team had tested new upgrades to their car during a filming day earlier this week. George Russell finished second in practice, ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who was buoyed by the progress after constantly battling the car’s porpoising problem.
Earlier on Saturday, Leclerc completed a hat-trick of fastest laps by finishing top of the FP3 timesheets again, while Mercedes confirmed their increase in pace with another solid session for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. The Silver Arrows have significantly lessened the intensity of porpoising they have suffered so far this season, and could well change for pole position in qualifying,
Championship leader Leclerc qualifies as favorite to secure pole, but Red Bull’s long-term pace has been impressive, and Mercedes cannot be ruled out after their step forward.
Hamilton ‘super happy’ with Mercedes progress in Spain
Lewis Hamilton says he is “super happy” with the progress his Mercedes team appears to have made ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
In the two practice sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Friday, Mercedes appeared to take a significant step forward, finishing the day second and third fastest behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with a huge reduction in power. porpoising intensity. In Saturday’s final practice session, George Russel was third fastest and Hamilton fourth.
“It’s positive,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “I’m super happy with the progress. We’re not the fastest yet but I think we’re on the right track. It’s the first time we’ve gone down the straight without bouncing. We still have a few rebounds but it’s much better and we’re starting to exploit the potential of the car.
You can read the full story here:
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:52 p.m.
De Vries admits dreaming of F1 after ‘nervous’ first outing with Williams
Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries says his aim is still to join Formula 1 in the near future, after having a successful first test with the Williams team in Barcelona ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix of this weekend.
The 27-year-old is one of motorsport’s highest-rated drivers outside of F1, having won the 2019 Formula 2 championship before claiming the Formula E crown at the end of 2021, and served as a reserve driver and development for the Mercedes team alongside Stoffel Vandoorne since last season.
“I would be lying if I said that Formula 1 is not my goal, it is the pinnacle of our sport. I love what I do in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship. Time will tell really, the most important thing is to do my job on the right track and win my opportunities.
You can read the full story here:
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:42 p.m.
Russell fears ‘health consequences’ of porpoising in F1
George Russell fears Formula 1 drivers could be at risk of long-term head trauma if the sport’s “porpoising” phenomenon is not addressed.
The British driver compared the new-for-2022 feeling – when the car bounces hard on its suspension at high speeds – to football’s dementia problem.
“When you’re going 200mph down the straight and crashing to the ground, you definitely wouldn’t choose to have it that way,” said Russell, 24.
“The cars are extremely stiff and they’re not meant to be comfortable. You can compare it to footballers in the 60s, 70s and 80s when they had massively heavy footballs.
You can read the full story here:
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:32 p.m.
Mercedes confirm improved pace in FP3
Charles Leclerc once again grabbed the headlines in FP3, but the main benefit of this practice session should be that Mercedes appear to have confirmed their improved pace with another strong run.
Both Silver Arrows cars have been consistently around a second off qualifying pace so far this season, but George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have been within touching distance of championship leader Leclerc in FP2 and FP3 after Mercedes brought a series of upgrades in Spain.
Both men now look capable of battling for a top-tier start to Barcelona when qualifying begins at 3pm.
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:22 p.m.
Haas confident Schumacher will qualify
Haas is confident that Mick Schumacher will be able to take part in qualifying this afternoon after suffering a major right rear brake fire during this practice session.
The German’s car was engulfed in flames after catching fire entering Turn 9 at high speed, and mechanics covered the heavily damaged rear with wet rags after extinguishing the fire, which melts the carbon fiber on the rim.
The team are changing Schumacher’s gearbox as a precaution, but are confident he will take part in qualifying, which starts at 3pm.
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:14 p.m.
Full ranking of Saturday training as Charles Leclerc leads again
Charles Leclerc was fastest in all three practice sessions before the Spanish Grand Prix, and you can see how close all the other drivers were behind him at the end of FP3 here:
1 Charles LECLERC 1:19.772
11 Daniel RICCIARDO +1.138
12 Sebastien VETTEL +1.172
13 Fernando ALONSO +1.209
17 Alexandre ALBON +1.800
18 Nicolas LATIFI +2.647
19 Mick SCHUMACHER +5.695
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:09 p.m.
Saturday practice ends with Charles Leclerc fastest for Ferrari again
The checkered flag is out and Saturday’s practice session is over, with Charles Leclerc scoring a hat-trick for Ferrari as he finishes top of the standings again, as he did in both rounds on Friday.
The championship leader has an advantage of just under a tenth of a second over current champion Max Verstappen, who is then followed by Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in third and fourth.
Behind Hamilton is Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz in front of his home crowd, with Sergio Perez in sixth.
Lando Norris, Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon complete the top 10.
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:03 p.m.
Half a second separating the top three teams
FP3 will end in a few moments, and half a second separates the top six drivers from three different teams.
Charles Leclerc tops the standings, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez just under five tenths behind the Ferrari in sixth.
The Mexican made a mistake in the last sector on his first lap on new soft tyres, meaning the gap should theoretically be smaller in qualifying.
We could have a very close battle for pole position between the six Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes drivers here.
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 1:00 p.m.
Schumacher looks unlikely to qualify
Haas mechanics are still working on Mick Schumacher’s crashed car, which suffered a massive fire in the right rear brake earlier in the session.
Wet rags are placed all over the loose rear parts of the car, and it would be a surprise if the 23-year-old could make it into qualifying this afternoon, to be honest.
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 12:51 p.m.
Russell closes in on Leclerc
George Russell has just set a very impressive time which propelled him to second place in the standings.
The 23-year-old is just one-and-a-half tenths behind leader Charles Leclerc, implying that Mercedes could genuinely compete in the lead in qualifying later today.
Lewis Hamilton is lower in the order in eighth, currently separating the two Alfa Romeos.
Dan AustinMay 21, 2022 12:45 p.m.