Follow live updates from the opening day of action at the Spanish Grand Prix, as Formula One returns to the Circuit de Catalunya for practice ahead of the sixth race of the season this weekend. The talk among the paddock is all about Mercedes, after the team reportedly held a secret testing session in an attempt to figure out their performance struggles and catch up on the early pace set by Red Bull and Ferrari.
F1 teams allow for two filming days a year where teams can run up to 100km in their current cars, enabling them to trial new upgrades, and Ferrari are also said to have used one of them this week as they look to hit back and halt Red Bull’s momentum. After holding off the late challenge of Charles Leclerc in Miami, Max Verstappen has won two races in a row to cut the lead at the top of the standings and the defending champion looks to be in ominous form for the rest of the field.
Today’s practice sessions will offer clues as to whether the upgrades implemented by Ferrari and Mercedes have been successful, as Lewis Hamilton clings to the hope of once again challenging at the top of the leaderboard. The seven-time world champion has expressed frustration with the lack of pace and comes into the Spanish Grand Prix 68 points behind championship leader Leclerc. Follow live updates from Spanish Grand Prix practice, below:
Spanish Grand Prix schedule
- 9.30am: F1 Drivers’ Press Conference
- 1pm: Spanish GP Practice One
- 4pm: Spanish GP Practice Two
- 6.15pm: W Series Qualifying
- 12pm: Spanish GP Practice Three
- 1.20pm: W Series Race
- 3pm: Spanish GP qualifying
Jamie Braidwood20 May 2022 08:32
How to watch Spanish Grand Prix practice online and on TV
Charles Leclerc will be hoping he can return to winning ways at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend as he looks for a third victory of the season.
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen became the first driver to secure back-to-back wins in the 2022 season when he followed up his Emilia Romagna GP triumph with another victory in Miami.
However, the Red Bull driver remains 19 points adrift of Leclerc in the drivers’ standings due to his two reliability failures in Bahrain and Melbourne.
So, if it is another battle between Leclerc and Verstappen this weekend, who will come out on top?
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the opening day of action at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Jamie Braidwood20 May 2022 08:31
Mercedes hold secret test in bid to close gap on Ferrari and Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team have taken part in a secret test as they scramble to return to the front of the Formula One pack.
Hamilton has been cast a distant 68 points adrift of championship leader Charles Leclerc ahead of the sixth round of the season in Spain on Sunday.
Mercedes are expected to bring a number of new parts to Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in the hope of combating their ‘porpoising’ woes which have all but put an end to Hamilton’s bid for a record eighth title.
And it is understood that Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell drove the revamped Mercedes at a behind-closed-doors test on Wednesday.
F1 teams are allocated two filming days each season, with Mercedes electing to use their second of the year at Circuit Paul Ricard in southern France.
Jamie Braidwood20 May 2022 08:30