After being beaten to top spot in first practice by over eight tenths of a second by team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton powered forward in the afternoon session to claim P1, a tenth of a second ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull Racing driver bounced back from a first-session crash to edge team-mate Max Verstappen by 0.141s.
Hamilton’s best lap, in a time of 1:18.259, came on the soft compound Pirelli tyres and was set early in the session. When the Briton later went for a qualifying simulation on the supersoft compound, a mistake at Turn 7 lost him time and his soft tyre time remained the benchmark.
It was a similar tale for Ricciardo. Despite limited running in the first session following a slide in the barriers that damaged the front left corner of his car in, the Australian quickly found a rhythm in the afternoon session and he joined Hamilton at the top end of the timesheet with a soft tyre best of 1:18.392.
But when he moved to supersofts his pace ebbed slightly and he found himself three tenths off his earlier time.
With other drivers struggling to get the best out of the red-banded tyre on qualifying sims, the soft compound times stood until the end of the session with Ricciardo 0.133s behind Hamilton and with Verstappen, who didf improve on the supersofts, marginally further back.
Sebastian Vettel, third in the opening session, also improved on supersofts, ton finish just five hundredths of a second behind Verstappen, while FP1’s quickest driver Valtteri Bottas finished in fourth place, two hundredths of a second further back. Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari finished in sixth place just over half a second adrift of Hamilton.
In the opening session it was McLaren who had taken best of the rest honours behind the top three teams, but in the afternoon Haas improved to end with Romain Grosjean seventh on a time of 1:19.579, over 1.3s behind Hamilton but just six hundredths of a second ahead of eighth-placed team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
McLaren’s decent start to the weekend was confirmed by Stoffel Vandoorne whose lap of 1:19.722 left him ninth, over two tenths of a second clear of Force India’s Sergio Pérez, whose session was brought to an early end, 13 minutes from time, after a pit stop left him with a loose front-left wheel.
2018 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 39 1:18.259
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 41 1:18.392 0.133
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 39 1:18.533 0.274
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 34 1:18.585 0.326
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 39 1:18.611 0.352
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 16 1:18.829 0.570
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 24 1:19.579 1.320
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 39 1:19.643 1.384
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 32 1:19.722 1.463
10 Sergio Perez Force India 28 1:19.962 1.703
11 Esteban Ocon Force India 38 1:20.024 1.765
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren 35 1:20.035 1.776
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 43 1:20.183 1.924
14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 32 1:20.373 2.114
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 37 1:20.501 2.242
16 Charles Leclerc Sauber 29 1:20.514 2.255
17 Carlos Sainz Renault 31 1:20.672 2.413
18 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 34 1:21.265 3.006
19 Lance Stroll Williams 35 1:21.556 3.297
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 36 1:22.060 3.801