• REPORT: Setting the Pace in Spain

Valtteri was quickest in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, with Lewis finishing second practice at the top of the timesheets

What Happened?

-  FP1 took place in warm but windy conditions, with the low-grip track surface causing plenty of spins and off-track excursions during the 90-minute session.

-  Valtteri's race weekend got off to an encouraging start, setting the pace on the Soft tyre with a best lap of 1:18.148. He completed 32 laps in total. 

-  Lewis ended the morning in second place, eight tenths behind his team-mate with a 1:18.997 on the Soft compound. The Brit managed 22 laps.

-  Temperatures increased for FP2 but the wind speed decreased. Nevertheless, conditions were still tricky out on track, with drivers continuing to struggle.

-  Lewis jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:18.259 on the Soft tyre, the quickest of his 39 laps in second practice.

-  It was a similarly productive session for Valtteri, who also completed 39 laps. The Finn was fifth fastest with his 1:18.611 on the SuperSoft.

What Did We Learn?

The team worked through its planned programmes on a busy Friday in Barcelona, with a particular focus being on learning about the three tyre compounds.

"It has been a productive day with both cars running reliably and completing their respective programmes," explained Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin.

"Conditions haven't been especially easy, the wind has been strong and unpredictable which caught out both our drivers on their SuperSoft laps but we weren't the only ones who seemed to be struggling to get all the sectors together.

"It was difficult to know quite what to expect with the tyres here as the conditions in the winter were so cold, and it is the first time we have run the thinner tread Pirelli tyres.

"For this reason, we spent more time than usual trying to understand how all three compounds compared to make sure we carry good information into the race.

"Our car worked very well here in the winter, but we've seen in the early races that both Red Bull and Ferrari have added a lot of performance and that was also evident today in their performance today. 

"We do need to find a bit of pace, especially on the SuperSoft tyre given that qualifying is so important here, but the car wasn't perfect today so hopefully we can make a bit of progress overnight and give Red Bull and Ferrari a tough time tomorrow."

What Did the Drivers Think?

Lewis: "The day was pretty good, but it was a tricky one because it was so windy out there. Every driver was struggling with the changing direction of the wind.

"You're constantly arriving at each corner and the wind direction is never the same, so we saw lots of drivers going off.

"These conditions make it very difficult to define where the set-up needs to go. We got through all our running and were quite fast compared to previous years.

"We've got some work to do overnight, I'm hoping that it's cooler and calmer tomorrow.

"I think it is going to be relatively close between the top three teams but I can't really say who is quickest at the moment."

Valtteri: "It's been a good day overall. FP1 was especially promising, the car felt good from the start.

"We made some changes for FP2, which didn't improve the car, so we reverted back to the original set-up.

"Today has been a good start to the weekend, but things can change quickly from Friday to Saturday especially since Ferrari and Red Bull looked quick today.

"I didn't really feel any gain of grip with the SuperSoft compared to the other tyres, so we will have to work on this area for tomorrow."