It was not a bad Friday, quite the opposite, for Spanish interests in Barcelona. Carlos Sainz, fourth, dropped three tenths from Leclerc in the final attempt of the Llibres 2, but the Ferrari looks comfortable this weekend on an uncomfortable circuit for Red Bull, because it does not favor his top speed, and the distance between the two Carlos seems solvable in one lap. Meanwhile, he commands the leader and the champion suffers, although the big surprise of the day came from… Mercedes. With the improvements implemented in Montmeló, the Silver Arrows are dangerously close to the lead, or so the time table shows: Russell was second and Hamilton third. While Pérez saved the gravel and Verstappen was three tenths behind, the W13s begin to look remotely like what they have been in recent years.
And that’s good news: the great drivers have to be up front. A sir lewis He is expected there and can spice up the Leclerc-Verstappen battle, like Sainz. Not far away, for now, is an optimistic Alonso with the Alpine, because as soon as he got out of the car in practice he answered with a resounding “yes” to the usual question from his boss: “Can you go faster?” For the rest, the heat is on at the Spanish GP and the degradation of the tires will mark the weekend with strategies to two stops, minimum, and a conservative ‘set-up’ to stand up to a blazing sun. In the hours of the race, the temperature of the track will be around 50ºC.
With problems for Bottas and Norris, and less filming than usual for Pérez (in the morning he gave the Red Bull to Juri Vips, who did the ugly job of correlation), Ferrari escapes from Red Bull at the start of Barcelona with the unknown from Mercedes, which has been intoned one lap but has to prove it at the race pace, where the smallest differences are magnified. In any case, in the paddock there was not so much talk about the greats and yes about that Aston Martin that maintains the bright green of two weeks ago, but suddenly inherits the forms of Red Bull.
Atmosphere and excitement at the Circuit
The fans responded on the training day by populating the main grandstand and for this Saturday and Sunday they expect, every day, to 110,000 spectators. An entry like this has not been seen at the Spanish GP since the good old days, when Alonso was driving a Ferrari and fighting for victories and is above the attendance of the gleaming and recent Miami GP. Sainz aspires to fight for pole this Saturday before his fans. And Alonso, if the Alpine does not get off the hook, hopes to bring joy to a grandstand that has been wanting to daydream for nine years.