Leclerc ahead of Sainz in the first free practice in Montmeló

The Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), leader of the Formula One World Championship, was the fastest, ahead of his Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz, this Friday in the first free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, the sixth of the year, which took place dispute in the circuit of Montmeló, in the outskirts of Barcelona; where the double Asturian world champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine) marked the fifth time.

In the best of his 27 laps, Leclerc covered, with a soft tire, the 4,675 meters of the Catalan track in one minute, 19 seconds and 828 thousandths, 79 less than his Spanish teammate, who turned the same times as him; and with a 336 advantage over the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), the last world champion, who went one more lap.

Alonso -like the rest with the soft compound- set the fifth time, nine tenths behind the Monegasque. The Asturian double world champion, who was two tenths of the time of the English George Russell (Mercedes), fourth in the time table, gave 24 laps in a session that ended at 29 degrees Celsius ambient and with 46 on the asphalt and in which no major incidents were recorded. Seven-time English world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), whom ‘Mad Max’ dethroned last year, set the sixth time of the session, four hundredths behind Alonso.

The Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) did not go out on the track.

The brave driver from Guadalajara, third in the World Championship -38 points behind Leclerc- gave the wheel of his car to the Estonian Juri Vips, F2 driver, who set the twentieth time of the session, more than four seconds behind the championship leader. It was not the only change of drivers -all of them announced long ago- in this first test for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Dutchman Nyck de Vries, winner of F2 in 2019 and last world champion of Formula E -the electric car championship-, got into the Williams of the Thai Alex Albon. He finished eighteenth, three seconds behind Leclerc. And Guanyu Zhou, the first official Chinese driver in the history of F1, gave his Alfa Romeo to Polish veteran Robert Kubica, so he does not count as one of the two changes to give opportunities to young drivers that each team must make throughout throughout the season. Kubica set the thirteenth time of the trial, two seconds and one tenth behind Leclerc.

The second free practice will start at five in the afternoon (15:00 GMT).

– Time table of the first free practice for the Spanish GP:

.one. Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 1:19,828

.two. Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari at 0.079

.3. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull 0.336

.4. George Russell GBR Mercedes 0.762

.5. Fernando Alonso ESP Alpine 0.940

.6. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 0.983

.7. Lando Norris GBR McLaren 1,451

.8. Pierre Gasly FRA Alpha Tauri 1,594

.9. Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren 1,909

10. Yuki Tsunoda JPN Alpha Tauri 1986

11. Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine 2,063

12. Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin 2,092

13. Robert Kubica POL Alfa Romeo 2,147

14. Kevin Magnussen DIN Haas 2,261

15. Mick Schumacher GER Haas 2,318

16. Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin 2,336

17. Valtteri Bottas END Alfa Romeo 2,786

18. Nyck De Vries NED Williams 3,092

19. Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams 3,183

20. Juri Vips EST Red Bull 4,310.

Sainz: “My goal is not to beat Leclerc in the ‘cuali’; it’s to beat them all”

The Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), fifth in the Formula One World Championship, who two Sundays ago, after finishing third in the Miami Grand Prix (USA) signed his ninth podium in the premier class, said this Friday at the Montmeló circuit, before free practice began for the Spanish Grand Prix -the sixth of the year-, that his “goal is not to beat” his Monegasque teammate Charles Leclerc, leader of the championship, “but to beat them all”.

“My goal is not to beat Charles (Leclerc) in the ‘quali’; my goal is to beat them all,” said Sainz, 27, when asked during the official press conference of the FIA ​​(International Federation of the Automobile) that took place in Montmeló on the circumstance that the Monegasque surpassed him, 5-0, in the internal qualifying duel.

The Spanish Grand Prix reaches its 51st edition this weekend since it debuted in the F1 World Championship in 1951 and in Pedralbes (Barcelona), with the victory of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio, five-time world champion for Argentina. Then, after another race was held on that track, there were nine editions at Jarama (Madrid), four at Montjuic (again in Barcelona) and five at Jerez; until, starting in 1991, they began to compete in Montmeló, which will host for the thirty-first time the main automobile race that is held in Spain.

The German Michael Schumacher and the Englishman Lewis Hamilton share a record of victories in the Spanish Grand Prix, six, all in Montmeló. In the case of the Briton from Mercedes, dethroned last year by Verstappen, five of them came during the past five editions. And always with the German team.

On the Barcelona track, Verstappen became in 2016, in his first race with Red Bull and at the age of 18, the youngest winner in F1 history. Among the active drivers, the four-time German world champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) also knows the victory in Montmeló.

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