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Friday Report: 2023 Spanish GP

Learning and data gathering the focus on Friday in Barcelona

  • Heading to a permanent track, as opposed to a street circuit, for the first time since Bahrain, gathering data and learning about the W14 were the key goals for the Team on Friday.

  • Pirelli brought a prototype tyre for teams to run in FP1 and FP2, a new construction that will be used from the British Grand Prix onwards.

  • In FP1, the Team focused on longer runs on the prototype and medium tyre, prioritising that over single-lap running; George ended the session P10 with Lewis P12.

  • In cooler temperatures, FP2 saw both drivers use the prototype tyre initially before switching to running on the soft compound.

  • Both drivers examined single-lap pace before concentrating on high-fuel running; George finished the session P8 with Lewis P11.

  • The Team will now work hard overnight, going through today’s data to extract the maximum performance from the car ahead of Qualifying.


George Russell

32 Laps



Medium, Prototype, Prototype, Soft

Lewis Hamilton

29 Laps



Medium, Prototype, Prototype, Soft


George Russell

31 Laps



Prototype, Medium, Soft

Lewis Hamilton

31 Laps



Prototype, Medium, Soft, Medium

George Russell

We learned a huge amount today and have got a lot of data to go through tonight. We need to learn what we can from the information we’ve got and try to move forward; I think we can find some gains as there were a few surprises out there today. It’s only Friday and we tend not to be Friday specialists. We usually take a step forward on Saturday and Sunday, which is the right way to be. We expect the story to be slightly different tomorrow and then again on Sunday. After all, the points are scored on Sunday so that is what we are aiming for.

It was also fun to drive around this version of the Barcelona circuit. It’s gone from one of the worst corners in F1 to one of the best! It’s now a really enjoyable sector and I think it will help with overtaking in the Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton

I would say it was a difficult FP1 and FP2, trying to get on top of the tyres and the degradation. The car felt OK overall though, and we’re fighting as hard as we can to learn as much as we can.

Our long run pace didn’t look too bad in FP2, but we need to focus on trying to extract more pace from the single lap. It’s very close between ourselves and the cars ahead. It’s impressive to see the improvements those around of us have made, so it’s not going to be easy. I’m focused on doing the best job we can tonight to make the right set-up changes. There are improvements I know we can make, so we will get on top of that.

Finally, the final two corners are awesome! It’s very fast and I definitely prefer it to the chicane we had in the past. I haven’t followed anyone through there yet so I don’t know how that will affect overtaking during the race, but it’s going to make it tough on tyre degradation.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

It was difficult to read the order in the first session, because the extra prototype tyres meant everyone deviated from their normal run plans. Our programme in FP1 was biased towards long run work on the new tyres and it does give us the data we need ahead of their full introduction at Silverstone.

The second session was more normal and the conclusions for us were quite familiar; single lap needs a bit of work and long run looks OK. We looked at two different wing levels, which is useful as we have a bit of data to study to understand the effects on tyres and overall pace. We’ve got a good idea of what the limitations are in terms of balance and hopefully by the morning, we’ll have come up with a few solutions to those issues.