From now on, starting with Spain, the Grand Prix review will be divided into 3 parts:
1. Free practice
Free practices of the Spanish Grand Prix:
On Friday morning, two teams underwent temporary substitutions. In Williams, Roy Nissani got behind the wheel of George Russell's car, in Alfa Romeo Robert Kubica replaced Kimi Raikkonen.
In addition to the traditional program of searching for settings and evaluating the effectiveness of tires, the racers got used to the tenth turn, which was returned to its previous configuration in winter - the track became twenty meters longer.The condition of the asphalt after the morning Formula 3 training was good.
Drivers started the session with Hard (C1) tires and finished with Soft (C3) tires, which were noticeably faster.
The Medium tires were only used by Ferrari, trying to sort out the problems they had during the last week in Portugal.
In the fourth minute after the spin and the departure of Mazepin, yellow flags appeared in the 7-8 turn, but Nikita put in reverse gear, got out of the gravel trap and continued the series of laps.
This is already Mazepin's 10th spin`s for 4 racing weekends, in all weekends, without exception, Nikita turned around.
At the 44th minute, the session was stopped with red flags - Robert Kubica flew out in the tenth turn, the car got stuck in gravel - and it had to be evacuated. For the Pole, the training ended there.
Two drivers - Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc - had their lap times canceled due to going off the track in the second corner.
The first training session was headed by Valtteri Bottas, the Finn completed the lap in 1: 18.504, almost two seconds slower than in the first session in 2020.
Last year, the Spanish stage took place in mid-July, when it was very hot and many complained about overheating of the tires. This time the conditions were familiar and very comfortable, but last year's information on tire performance lost its relevance and in the second training session the teams focused on long runs, evaluating tire efficiency and wear.
If in the morning the riders worked with Hard and Soft, then in the afternoon everyone started the session with Medium, and then switched to Soft.
At the 11th minute, the virtual safety car mode was announced in order to remove from the track a small fragment of the aerodynamic body kit of Sainz's car, which had broken off after the curb attack.
The power plant on Tsunoda's car lost power on a fast lap, but Yuki was able to restart it, got to the pits, and after a short pause, drove out again.
Like a year ago, Lewis Hamilton topped the protocol for the second workout, completing the Soft lap in 1: 18.170 - faster than his teammate in the morning, but 1.3 seconds slower than last year. However, the track has changed its configuration since then.
The first ten minutes of the third training session, only Fernando Alonso worked on the home track, the rest joined later.
With the racing settings, many figured out the day before, and on Saturday morning in short series of circles, everyone was preparing for qualification - the key session of the Spanish weekend.
As in the second training session, the riders used only Medium and Soft - the Hard tires were too hard and did not provide enough grip in Barcelona.
On Raikkonen's car, there was a puncture in the rear left wheel, but the Finn was near the entrance to the pits and did not lose time.
Lando Norris was eliminated in the tenth turn, but was able to get out of the gravel trap and return to the pits.
On Friday, the results were very tight, the results of the third training once again confirmed that a tense struggle should be expected in qualification.
Max Verstappen headed the protocol with a lap in 1: 17.835.
We are waiting for an interesting qualification to which a little over half an hour is left
Qualification in Catalonia is crucial, over the past twenty years, seventeen Grand Prix on the Catalan circuit have been won by the pole owners - with only three exceptions. In 2011, Vettel, who started second, won, in 2013, tire wear decided everything and, to the delight of the stands, Alonso, who started fifth, climbed to the top of the podium, and in 2016 Mercedes drivers collided on the first lap and Max Verstappen won his first race for Red Bull Racing.
For the second weekend in a row, Pirelli brought the toughest rubber to the stage - C1, C2 and C3 were used in the roles of Hard, Medium and Soft. The Hard tires were too stiff and the teams focused on softer compounds.
The qualification began with a ten-minute delay - the track staff was rebuilding the protective barrier in the 10th turn, which was damaged due to an incident in the support race of the Alpine regional series.
In the first session, the Mercedes drivers used Medium, the rest went to Soft. Russell did not complete the circle and returned to the pits, but after a pause he left again.
A lot of people on a fast lap were hampered by traffic. Mazepin blocked Norris - the stewards sorted out the incident after qualifying and fined Nikita with the loss of three places at the start and one penalty point. In the first attempt, Valtteri Bottas showed the fastest time, completing the circle on Medium in 1: 18.005.
Seven drivers in the top 8 gave up on the second attempt to save a set of tires, and Hamilton drove out to Soft, but did not complete the lap. Lando Norris headed the protocol with a lap in 1: 17.821.
The first ten fit into four tenths. Tsunoda, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Latifi and Mazepin dropped out of the further struggle.
In the second session, everyone except Giovinazzi drove out to Soft. In the first attempt, Verstappen topped the protocol with a lap in 1: 16.922.
Verstappen refused the second attempt, the others continued to fight. Mercedes drivers closed the gap, but Verstappen's result remained the best. Stroll, Gasley, Vettel, Giovinazzi and Russell did not qualify for the final.
The final was full of drivers from five teams - Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine.
In the first attempt, Perez flew out on a fast lap and returned to the pits. Hamilton drove the fastest - 1: 16.741, ahead of Verstappen by 36 thousandths.
In the second attempt, the wind changed and none of the first three could improve. Leclair climbed to fourth place, Perez to eighth, and Daniel Riccardo waited a long time in the group of drivers who were going to start a fast lap, and did not have time to do so.
Lewis Hamilton won Barcelona qualifier, taking second pole of the season and 100th in his career! Together with him, Max Verstappen starts from the first row, Bottas and Leclair will start the race from the second row, Ocon and Sainz will start from the third.
Remaining sets of tires for the race:
Strategy options proposed by Pirelli (there are 4 of them):
The fastest in Pirelli is considered the variant with two pit stops and two segments on Soft. In this case, you need to drive 19 laps on Soft, then 28 laps on Medium - and another 19 laps on Soft in the final segment.
The variant with two pit stops and two segments on Medium is slightly inferior in speed. In this case, you need to drive 16 circles on Soft, and then two segments of 25 circles on Medium.
The slower option with one pit stop - 25 laps on Soft and to the finish line on Hard.
An even slower option - 30 laps on Medium and to finish on Hard.
RACE STARTED 14:00 CET
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Race start was successful for the Red Bull pilot, but not for the Mercedes pilots, Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton for 1st, Charles Leclerc, who started on the 4th, beat Valtteri Bottas.
Mick Schumacher started just as well, he overtook two rivals, advancing from 18th to 16th position, but by lap 5 Tsunoda overtook Schumacher in the fight for 16th place, but his joy was short-lived after 3 laps on his car the engine stalled, the safety car drove out.
Giovinazzi turned into the pits, the front left tire from the kit that was going to be supplied to him turned out to be damaged, so the whole kit had to be changed - as a result, the pit stop lasted 35 seconds.
Williams had a double pit stop, changing tires on both cars.
On lap 10, a restart was announced, Verstappen retained the lead in the fight against Hamilton.
On lap 19, a wave of pit stops began, the tires were changed: Gasly (who received a penalty for shifting on the starting grid), 22 Vettel and Alonso, 23 Sainz, Stroll and Mazepin, Bottas - An earlier pit stop helped Bottas regain his position in the fight with Charles Leclerc, Ocon, Norris and Schumacher, on the 25th - Verstappen.
There was a delay at Verstappen's pit stop due to the rear left wheel attachment. The pit stop lasted a little over 4 seconds.
The Red Bull strategists chose the 1-stop strategy hoping to stay ahead of Hamilton.
Mercedes made a pit stop for Hamilton on lap 29, he, after a pit stop, raised the pace, quickly recouping the gap from the Red Bull pilot, already on lap 34, he was at DRS distance, but the difference in speed was not enough to attack - the scenario of the first segment was repeated.
On lap 38, Raikkonen changed tires.
Top ten on lap 39: Verstappen - Hamilton - Bottas - Leclerc - Riccardo - Perez - Sainz - Ocon - Norris - Stroll.
On lap 43, Hamilton changed tires for the second time, returned to an open track and rushed to close the gap. In Red Bull Racing did not respond with a pit stop Max, expecting to pass the race with one pit stop. At this point, Hamilton was 22 seconds behind Verstappen.
On lap 52, Hamilton overtook Bottas for second position. Before that, the team asked Valtteri to let his partner pass - they used a different strategy, but the Finn was in no hurry to concede.
Top ten on lap 52: Verstappen - Hamilton - Bottas - Leclerc - Perez - Riccardo - Ocon - Sainz - Alonso - Russell.
Hamilton catching up Verstappen for two seconds per lap and got close to the attack distance. The Briton's tires were noticeably fresher and on lap 60 he overtook Max to lead the race.
The Red Bull race was lost.
On lap 61, Red Bull mechanics pit-stop Verstappen planning to minimize losses by taking the fastest lap in the race, which in the end they did, even despite Bottas's attempts to keep the fastest lap behind him.
Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix with his third win of the season, 98th in his career - and his fifth in a row in Barcelona.
Max Verstappen finished second, Valtteri Bottas climbed to the third step of the podium.
Best lap: Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) - 1: 18.149 (62 lap, 215.357 km / h)
Analysis of free practice sessions at the Monaco Grand Prix
Already in the first laps, Charles Leclerc complained about problems - the fourth gear did not turn on, turned into the pits and never left, having lost an important session on the home track.
In the 24th minute, Alonso hit the barrier in the last corner, breaking the front wing. To remove the debris, a virtual safety car was announced for a few minutes, and Fernando slowly returned to the pits.
On the 31st minute, yellow flags appeared again - Raikkonen blocked the tires on braking, being in the safety pocket - the car was not damaged. Alonso later repeated this mistake.
Sines hit the barrier with the right side of the car, drove into the boxes for a check - and left again.
During the session, lap times were automatically canceled 11 times for violating the track limits in the 10th turn. Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Nikita Mazepin had two such violations each.
Sergio Perez headed the protocol with a lap in 1:12.487
Charles Leclerc missed the first training session due to problems with the gearbox, by the beginning of the second Ferrari mechanics had replaced it - and the Monegasque was one of the first to enter the track.
The program was traditional - finding the optimal balance and maximum downforce. The riders started the session on Medium - many complained about the lack of grip, then switched to Soft - and seriously increased their speed.
As in the morning, there were some incidents. Monaco debutant Yuki Tsunoda hit the barrier at the exit from the "Pool", drove to the boxes - and never left. Spare parts for repairs were stored elsewhere, and the team got access to them after the session.
Nicholas Latifi stopped in a hairpin, not entering the turn, but continued to move. Sebastian Vettel complained that something hit him in the eye and tears were falling, but to the end he drove the planned series of circles.
At the 52nd minute, Mick Schumacher hit the barrier with his right wheels in the third turn, tried to slowly reach the pits with a broken suspension and a puncture, but first he was asked to stop the car, and then red flags appeared - it was necessary to remove the debris. After that, it was decided not to resume the session.
During the session, the lap time was automatically canceled 27 times for violating the track limits in the 10th turn. Lewis Hamilton had the most such violations - five.
The protocol was headed by Charles Leclerc, having driven a circle in 1:11.684 and tenth ahead of Sainz, who showed the second time.
By the beginning of Saturday's training, the track was completely dry after the morning rain, which added intrigue to the Formula 2 race.
Compared to Thursday, the state of the track has changed, it has become cooler - the teams focused on working with soft tires to prepare for qualifying - a key session of the weekend.
The riders worked in short bursts trying to get the tires warm before the start of the fast lap.
There were some incidents. Norris and Sainz almost caused an accident, Charles Leclerc was in his safety pocket.
At the 43rd minute, the session was stopped with red flags - Latifi's car was thrown on the curb at the exit from the "Pool" and he crashed into a barrier. The car was evacuated, the wreckage was removed - and five minutes later the racers left again.
The second time red flags appeared in the last minutes, when Mick Schumacher seriously crashed a car at the Casino. After the session, the Haas F1 confirmed that the car was seriously damaged, it will not be possible to restore it to qualification, so the German will not be able to participate in it.
During the session, the lap time was automatically canceled 32 times for violating the track limits in the 10th turn. Charles Leclerc and Daniel Riccardo had the most such violations - five each.
Max Verstappen topped the protocol with a 1: 11.294 lap and five hundredths ahead of Carlos Sainz - qualifying will be tough.
Qualifying is a crucial session of the weekend in Monaco. In training, the teams sought to achieve maximum downforce and looked for settings that would quickly bring the Soft tires into operation.
In training on Thursday, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari showed the best time, with Max Verstappen taking the lead on Saturday morning. Mercedes failed to achieve the desired traction and were left behind.
For the first time this season, Pirelli offered the teams the softest rosters - C3, C4 and C5 tires were used in the roles of Hard, Medium and Soft. The difference in speed between them, even on a short lap in Monaco, turned out to be large - the Soft tires outperformed the Medium by about seven-tenths.
Mick Schumacher crashed a car twice over the weekend. The second accident occurred at the end of Saturday's training, the car was seriously damaged, it was not quickly restored - and the German driver did not participate in the qualification.
In the first session, everyone went to Soft. Many were hampered by traffic on a fast lap, but coping with it is one of the tasks in Monaco.
The drivers worked in a series of laps, gradually bringing the tires into working mode - and ensuring that they were able to drive the lap without interference.
There were no incidents. Raikkonen blocked the tires during braking, drove into the safety pocket of the first turn - and continued driving.
Valtteri Bottas headed the protocol with a lap in 1:10.938.
From the further struggle dropped out: Tsunoda, Alonso, Latifi and Mazepin.
In the second session, the scenario was repeated - again only Soft and work in a series of circles with alternating fast - slow - fast.
Lance Stroll hit the barrier at the exit of the 7th turn, the mechanics in the pits examined the car, and he left again.
In the first attempt, Max Verstappen showed the best time with a lap in 1:10.650.
In the second attempt, Leclerc outstripped Verstappen, leading the protocol with 1:10.597. The top ten fit in 0.8 seconds. Ocon, Riccardo, Stroll, Raikkonen and Russell did not make it to the final.
In the final, Verstappen, Bottas, Giovinazzi and Gasly began the series with a fast lap - Max immediately set a new benchmark - 1: 10.576, the rest first went through the warm-up, and then Charles Leclerc headed the protocol on the fast one, having won two tenths of the Dutchman at once - 1: 10.346.
For the decisive attempt, the riders had a fresh set of Soft, everyone changed their tires and left again, choosing different combinations of fast and slow laps.
In the second attempt, the riders raised the pace, but at the decisive moment, 18 seconds before the end, the session was stopped with red flags after Leclerc's accident at the exit from the "Pool", fixing the result.
Charles Leclerc won the qualification in Monaco, taking the first pole of the season, ninth in his career - and becoming the first Monegasque to win pole at home.
A little over tenths of pole position were lost by four at once - Verstappen, Bottas, Sainz and Norris, and Hamilton for the first time since Germany’18 did not make it into the top six in qualifying.
p.s Ferrari restored Charles Leclerc's car after an accident at the end of yesterday's qualification and confirmed that the gearbox did not need to be changed. Leclerc avoided penalties and starts at home Grand Prix from pole.
In the last ten Monaco Grand Prix, pole winners have won the race six times.
Before the start of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Pirelli press service published information about the remaining drivers' sets of tires ...