The first free practice session at the Spanish circuit near Barcelona went without many incidents. All the F1 drivers, including novices Nyck de Vries and Juri Vips, colored in neatly inside the lines. The Sneek native even managed to keep the Williams ahead of Nicholas Latifi on the timesheets. Vips finished at the bottom but had compliments from the Red Bull pit wall after a penalty-free hour. De Vries hands over the wheel to Alexander Albon in VT2 and Sergio Perez will also make his first meters of the weekend.
The eyes in the first practice session were mainly on Ferrari and Mercedes. Both F1 teams brought some upgrades to Barcelona and at first it looks like Mercedes has mastered porpoises. The W13 ran the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya without a bump, but the question is whether Mercedes can keep that up over the course of the weekend. Ferrari calls the shots in VT1. Charles Leclerc stayed just ahead of his Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz and Red Bull man Max Verstappen also had to acknowledge his superiority in the World Cup leader. The reigning world champion had to settle for third place with a difference of three tenths. George Russell (P4) was ahead of a surprisingly quick Fernando Alonso (P5). The Spaniard, on the other hand, was just ahead of Lewis Hamilton. This difference was 0.043 seconds. Can Mercedes take another step and can Verstappen put his RB18 ahead of the Ferraris?
The answers will be given during the second free practice of the Spanish Grand Prix, which starts at 17:00 Dutch time. Via the live blog below, our team of F1 journalists will keep you up to date with the latest developments during FP1.