Hamilton, who leads Verstappen in the Formula 1 classification by eight points, set the best time in the second session with a lap of 1 minute and 18.170 seconds.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton controls his car during Friday’s second practice session ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in Montmelo. AP
Hamilton set the fastest time in the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, while Verstappen took a distant ninth place.
Hamilton, who leads Verstappen in the Formula 1 standings by eight points, drove in the second session with a lap of 1 minute and 18.170 seconds the best time. Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was 0.139 seconds back in second place after the Finn set the fastest time in the first practice session.
« It was a good start to the weekend, the track is fantastic and our balance is similar to that in the last race, « said Hamilton. « It looks good, but I think we have a good pace. »
Verstappen was .615 out of pace. The Red Bull driver missed some time on the track while his team was working on the car and his final lap was canceled when he damaged the right tip of his front wing.
« How competitive we will be tomorrow will depend on one Friday will always be a question mark, but we’re pretty happy from our side, « said Verstappen. “Of course you always want to improve and do better, so tomorrow we just have to make sure we’re up there. But I’m looking forward to it. «
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had the third-fastest time, followed by the Alpine couples Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, who is back in Spain for the first time since 2018.
Hamilton won the season opener in Bahrain and the race of Last week in Portugal. Verstappen won the second race of the season in Italy. Hamilton and Verstappen finished 2-1 in all three races.
Hamilton also seems to be ahead of the race on Sunday, with no driver dominating the corners and right on the 4.6 kilometer long Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit like the British driver who has won the race for the past four years.
On Saturday, Hamilton is aiming for his 100th career pole, on Sunday he wants that achieve six wins for Michael Schumacher in Montmeló.
However, Verstappen is the last driver besides Hamilton to win on this track. At the age of 18, he became the youngest race winner in F1 when he won the Spanish GP in 2016.
Mercedes ‘Valtteri Bottas goes off the track in the first free practice session on Friday before the Spanish Grand Prix. AP
This season, Verstappen could have been even closer – or maybe even ahead of Hamilton – in the overall standings if he hadn’t broken the track limit violations that cost him points in Bahrain and Portugal.
The other Red Bull driver, Sergio Pérez, finished on Friday with the 10th fastest time behind Verstappen.
McLaren driver Lando Norris, the surprise of the season in a distant third place, had 12th with his Aston Martin . Best time behind Sebastian Vettel.
« It’s amazing to see the progress McLaren, Ferrari and Alpine, not just Red Bull, and that puts us under pressure, » said Hamilton.
The two sessions during sunny skies near Barcelona saw only a red flag when Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica pulled out of a corner and got stuck in the gravel.
« I paid a pretty high price for what I would say That’s a minor mistake, « said Kub ica after his first spin in an F1 car in five months.
May 07, 2021 10:47:27 PM IST
Monaco announced a relaxation of health restrictions in the principality 10 days ago, but without a decision on the Grand Prix, the fifth round of the season’s calendar.
Romain Grosjean will drive a 2019 Mercedes in “demonstration laps” ahead of the French Grand Prix on June 27, the W10 model in which Lewis Hamilton won the world championship.
Bottas was 0.025 seconds ahead of Verstappen, the other Red Bull driver Sergio Perez was third.
Sign up for a weekly curated briefing on key strategic issues from around the world.