F1 Spanish GP 2024 Free Practice 1 – Exciting weekend beckons amidst tight field

Follow all the F1 action on the Total Motorsport live blog as teams and drivers take to Barcelona for FP1 at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

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Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s live F1 coverage of the Spanish GP 2024 Free Practice 1 session. Held at the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, today’s session marks the beginning of an exciting Formula 1 weekend, where teams will gather vital data and refine their setups ahead of Sunday’s race. Stay with us as we bring you real-time updates and insights from the track.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, often considered one of the most complete on the Formula 1 calendar, offers a challenging mix of high-speed corners and demanding straights. The circuit’s layout, including the high-speed Turn 3 and the intricate combination of Turns 13 and 14, tests the limits of both car and driver.

As the first practice session kicks off, teams will focus on gathering crucial data, evaluating their cars’ performance, and assessing tyre behaviour. Historically, the Spanish GP has been a key indicator of a car’s overall competitiveness, making today’s FP1 session particularly significant.

The 2024 Spanish Grand Prix will take place over 66 laps of the 4.657-kilometre Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The race weekend runs from Friday, June 21 until Sunday, June 23, 2024. With higher temperatures expected this year, managing tyre degradation will be crucial, potentially affecting strategy decisions for the rest of the weekend.

F1 Spanish GP 2024 FP1 LIVE: News and Latest Updates

Stay tuned to Total-Motorsport.com for all the live action from the 2024 Spanish GP with this crucial practice session at the historic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.


REPORT: RED BULL UNDER PRESSURE AFTER UNIMPRESSIVE FP1

Red Bull came into this race weekend with a lot of pressure on them to get back to their early season form following difficult races in Miami, Imola, Monaco, and Canada but they’ve failed to impress in the opening session of the 2024 Spanish GP.

Red Bull are expected to dominate this weekend as they won’t have to battle the kerbs and bumps around the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona whilst they will be able to tap in to their incredible aerodynamic efficiency that has rewarded them with excellent downforce without paying the price in extra drag but so far that’s not the case.

Max Verstappen was touch and go with George Russell throughout the long-run times before switching to the soft tyres, where he was beaten by Lando Norris’s McLaren on the same tyre compound.

Norris wasn’t having a perfect weekend either, struggling with rear instability on his car so there could be more to come from the men from Woking whilst Charles Leclerc will also be looking for a similar uptake in form after an off-colour start that saw him finish over a second off the pace as he battled set-up and clutch problems.

A clean session, that generally only saw drivers test the gravel as far as track limits were concerned, was momentarily interrupted when Fernando Alonso ran wide at Turn 9 and hit the kerb, knocking off some of his front-wing to cause a very brief red flag.

Pierre Gasly pitted before the end after slamming his Alpine as “undriveable” as he languished in 13th whilst Esteban Ocon managed to impressively go eighth fastest, ahead of Alonso’s Aston Martin and Leclerc’s Ferrari.

RESULTS AS VERSTAPPEN FAILS TO TOP FP1

As the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix race weekend got underway, Lando Norris set the fastest time in Free Practice 1 in his McLaren, just ahead of Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

Will Verstappen respond to the challenge thrown down by his rivals? Find out when Free Practice 2 gets underway at 17:00 local time/16:00 BST.

FIVE MINUTES TO GO: Norris still on top

Lando Norris’ 1:14.228 is still the time to beat as the standings haven’t changed with the rest of the field opting to get in some final long-run simulations or to switch to harder tyres to save their softs for the rest of the weekend.

More hiccups at Mercedes?

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are put out onto the race track at the exact same time, leaving the younger Mercedes driver very confused at the operational decision by his team…

“Why have you put us on track at the exact same point,” asks Russell.

An irritating couple of minutes for Charles Leclerc…

Charles Leclerc’s had a scruffy FP1 and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better as he slams Lance Stroll for being in the middle of Turn 12 on a slow lap whilst faster cars try to come through.

He then reports two strange problems on his Ferrari as he comes into the pit-box, complaining about the clutch.

“There was something strange with the clutch when I came in. The rear tyres locked up completely then went again when I stopped.”

15 MINUTES TO GO: Norris quickest so far

Lando Norris now leads the field after finding some pace in his McLaren car, banging in a 1:14.228 on the soft tyre to edge out Max Verstappen by just 0.024. Then comes Carlos Sainz on the medium tyre, some 0.344 back, and George Russell trails him closely.

GREEN FLAG: Session resumes

As expected, the damage was quickly moved from Fernando Alonso’s car and the teams can take to the track again which is boiling at 47.8 degrees centigrade, it’s meaning the tyres can’t last the whole lap at the moment which will make qualifying very driver-dependent if this continues.

RED FLAG: Damage from the Aston Martin on the circuit

It’s nothing serious, just a front-wing piece lying close to the racing line so the FIA throws a red flag to clear up the incident without any additional risk to the brave marshals that volunteer around the circuit.

Safety is paramount and not too much running will be lost. It’s only one small piece of front-wing. Fernando Alonso had taken too much kerb at the exit of Turn 9 and was punished by the circuit for his transgressions.

Russell and Tsunoda have a scary moment…

Yuki Tsunoda throws his RB into Turn 9 and slingshots out of the exit at rapid speed in one of the fastest corners in Formula 1 but happens across George Russell on his slow lap.

Russell appears to be a little slow to notice the fast-approaching car behind and moves right very late, but Tsunoda had already dived that way because of how long the Mercedes was taking…

Fortunately, F1 drivers have rapid reactions and the Japanese ace quickly flicks his wheel back to the left and avoids an accident.

30 MINUTES TO GO: Medium tyres on as the times begin to tumble

The order shuffles around but not at the top as Max Verstappen sets the fastest time on the soft tyre by banging in a 1:14.252 on the soft tyre. He leads Carlos Sainz by 0.320 (mediums) and Sergio Perez by 0.440 (softs).

It seems that if you save your tyres through Sector 1 to use them through S2 and S3, it rewards more lap time or at least a stable performance, as Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz set purple Sector 1s before making errors in the second sector.

Lando Norris isn’t finding it easy out there either…

Lando Norris is the latest to kiss the gravel as he tests track limits, although he insists it isn’t out of choice as he slams the behaviour of the car and rattles off a compilation of problems he has with it to his engineer.

“Instability into some of those corners. Pretty poor grip from the rear. As soon as I get stability the whole corner has pretty much gone.”

Charles Leclerc’s not happy with his Ferrari…

The Monegasque driver, who took his first win of the season less than a month ago, is finding it very tough in the Spanish GP that used to be dominated by Michael Schumacher.

Will he manage to solve the car problems and go on to emulate the Ferrari icon through the rest of the weekend? He’s currently sixth fastest and almost 0.7 down on Verstappen’s time.

40 MINUTES TO GO: Verstappen back on top

Max Verstappen’s now reclaimed his status as the top dog in the F1 pack as he leads FP1 with the better part of an hour to go. His time of a 1:15.424 is a tenth and a bit faster than George Russell, who is ensuring the Dutchman can’t take his foot off the gas for too long.

Then comes Carlos Sainz in third, showing promising form for the rest of the weekend at the moment.

Problems for Checo…

After a trio of scruffy F1 weekends for Sergio Perez, the last thing he needed in Barcelona was to be placed on the backfoot after 20 minutes of the session with this being where his boss, Christian Horner expects him to bounce back.

But he appears to have issues with his throttle, even though his engineer tells him there’s currently nothing in the data.

“Is there anything wrong with the throttle pedal,” the Mexican asks Hugh Bird. “We are understeering too much on corner exits.”

Update on McLaren’s aero tests…

There isn’t much of a cause for concern down at McLaren as they’re just making sure everything is in order before they head out to attack the flowing nature of the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona in Spain.

“We’re having a look at the rear wing,” Bernie Collins said to Sky Sports F1. “The rake that was on there earlier has come off now, but they have made some adjustments to the front wing.

“This circuit has corners that we’ve not had at recent circuits in terms of the speeds, so they are sanity checking the upgrades they have brought are working as expected on this circuit.”

50 MINUTES TO GO: Russell faster than Verstappen

George Russell looks to build on the 2024 Canadian GP by beating Max Verstappen again, at least over one lap, and in the early doors of FP1 it’s going well for him as he bangs in a 1:15.868 to go 0.3 quicker than the Dutchman, as Carlos Sainz slips in the middle of them.

Sainz looks to have recovered from a momentary loss of power and continues on his way. They’re all on the hard tyres at the moment.

Wondering where Nico Hulkenberg is? Not to worry!

Nico Hulkenberg will give up his Haas F1 seat for Oliver Bearman, as the youngster and team continue with their mandatory development driver sessions. Bearman is forecast to be signed to Haas in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on how he’s doing!

GREEN FLAG: FP1 gets underway

Formula 1 returns to traditional circuits with a big question over just how well Max Verstappen and Red Bull will perform in a converging field but all eyes currently turn to McLaren, who are running aero-rakes on their car despite bringing no upgrades according to reports.

Who said popularity in F1 is declining? 👀

The home hero guns for a win this weekend, but will he be on the grid for 2025?

After courting Red Bull, Mercedes, Audi and Williams, Carlos Sainz is set to announce his future soon but where will he go? Will he be on the grid in 2025 or copying Mika Hakkinen by taking an F1 sabbatical?

Welcome to the blog for FP1!

Will Red Bull be back to form around the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona? Or will there be a surprise in store for the grid?

Spanish GP Weather: Latest forecast for FP1 and FP2

On Friday, the weather is expected to be mostly sunny with moderate temperatures around 24°C (75°F). However, there is a notable 20% chance of thunderstorms developing in the afternoon, which could disrupt the practice sessions. Wind speeds will be moderate, averaging 10 km/h from the southeast, with gusts up to 30 km/h during FP2​.

Spanish GP 2024 Pirelli Tyre Info

Tyre management at the 2024 Spanish GP is set to play a pivotal role, with Pirelli bringing its hardest compounds—C1 as Hard, C2 as Medium, and C3 as Soft—to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Known for its technical demands, the circuit exerts significant lateral forces, particularly on the left side due to the predominance of right-hand turns, challenging tyre durability and performance. The higher temperatures expected this year add another layer of complexity, likely impacting tyre degradation and influencing strategic decisions throughout the weekend.

Pirelli tyre information for the 2024 Spanish GP | Pirelli
Pirelli tyre information for the 2024 Spanish GP | Pirelli

Where to Watch the F1 2024 Spanish GP

Sky Sports F1 remains the home for live Formula 1 racing in the UK. The channel will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2024 Spanish GP, including practice, qualifying, and the race itself. Meanwhile, F1 fans in the USA can catch all the action from Barcelona across ESPN.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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