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2022 F1 Spanish GP FP2: What did we learn?Β 

Ferrari looks like the car to beat in Barcelona
Ferrari looks like the car to beat in Barcelona

The first day of running at the Spanish GP is now done and dusted. We have the familiar site of Charles Leclerc sitting at the top of the standings in FP2. In what were rather challenging conditions, the session went relatively smoothly as most teams were able to get on with their schedules without too much interruption.

Here's what we learned after today's practice sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Here's how Friday finished πŸ‘€Final FP2 standings #SpanishGP #F1 https://t.co/z5oRBmF9Jc

Spanish GP FP2: What did we learn?

#1 Ferrari have an edge over Red Bull

Ferrari's new upgrades appear to be doing their job. Although the track looks challenging, it seems that both Ferrari and Red Bull are still clear of the pack. The Maranello-based team seems to have the edge in the second sector and is marginally better in the third sector. The Austrian team, however, has been quicker in the fast sections of the first sector.

In qualifying, it appears as though Charles Leclerc will, once again, be in a different league compared to the others, while Max Verstappen will be desperate to secure a front row start at the very least.

#2 Mercedes is back! Or is it?

That's a wrap for Friday in Barcelona πŸ’ͺ Heads down and full focus on tomorrow! https://t.co/JE6m03VYXG

Mercedes looked fantastic on track today. If you look at the timings of FP2, you will find George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in P2 and P3. Now, that surely means Mercedes is back in contention for the title, doesn't it?

Well, it's hard to say yes because it appears as though both Red Bull and Ferrari had turned their engines down for the first day of the Spanish GP weekend. Regardless, what will be encouraging for Mercedes is how its car seems to handle around the track. The porpoising effect is no longer hampering the car and if Mercedes can manage to keep it this way, it will have the foundation to build future upgrades on.

All in all, it was a positive day for Mercedes. However, does it mean that the German team will be able to fight for the win in the Spanish GP? Only time will tell.

#3 Aston Martin is going to court controversy all year

The Aston Martin B-Spec car is another episode of the Silverstone-based squad making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The car has characteristics similar to the Red Bull RB18. Furthermore, if the long-run pace is indicative of anything, then the British team has certainly made progress with its new upgrades.

How much progress, you ask. We'll have to wait and see, but one thing is certain: the Spanish GP is not the only race where Aston Martin is going to court controversy this year.

#4 Fernando Alonso is the standout driver in the midfield

🏁 #FP2 🏁 A wrap on Friday practice in sunny Spain. P6 Fernando: 1:20.203P9 Esteban: 1:20.745#SpanishGP https://t.co/4tV8W5Ggmd

Fernando Alonso is enjoying his return to the Spanish GP. The Alpine driver seemed to be driving at a completely different level than his teammate Esteban Ocon today. The gap between the two drivers in FP1 was approximately a second. In FP2 of the Spanish GP, Alonso's fastest lap was half a second quicker than Ocon's and his long-run speed was the best in the midfield.

Watch out for the 40-year-old at the Spanish GP. He's going to pull out some magic for his home race.

#5 McLaren's hyped upgrade yet to show its teeth

McLaren had one of their worst Fridays of the season today. The team had supposedly brought in an upgrade package that would make the car significantly better. However, despite having a decent running in FP1, the team's drivers had to sit out of the second practice session due to reliability issues.

The team will be looking to hit the ground running tomorrow as it appears that teams like Alpine and Aston Martin have made significant progress on their machinery.

Catch all the action in tomorrow's FP3 and qualifying.

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Edited by Anmol Gandhi
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