A new layout of the circuit, a new type of tyre, new parts on the cars, aero racks, flow-vis and a lot of activity on the track. All ingredients are present during the first free practice session for the GP of Spain 2023 for a test session. And then we also drive on the circuit that is used a lot for the test days.
Let’s highlight some of those ingredients. You may know the new layout by now. The final chicane has been changed to two fast right turns for this weekend. This training shows that that last corner is just, just not full throttle. Determining factors are the type of tire and the amount of fuel on board. In addition, it is quite bumpy in the last corner. That ensures that Ocon comes out just too wide in a fast lap and goes over the kerbstones. As a result, some parts of his Alpine fall off.
New tire and new parts
Then the new type of tire. From the Great Britain GP onwards, F1 has the choice to choose a new tire called the C0 tyre. Before that, the drivers test the new tire during the first and second practice sessions in Spain. Most drivers do a few laps on this tire and then start their own program as soon as possible. So see the use of the prototype belt in this training as a must.
Several teams are also bringing upgrades to the GP of Spain. That’s why there are many cars driving around with the green paint on the car. Those large washing racks are also screwed against the car to measure the aerodynamics. The clearest update is the one at Ferrari. The sidepods reminiscent of bathtubs have been exchanged for ones inspired by those of Red Bull.
In the end, the Red Bulls clocked the fastest times in the first training session in Spain. De Vries is also doing well with a fourth fastest time, although we suspect that this is not a harbinger of the speed of the AlphaTauri driver. In the next training we will see the first real qualifying runs. Then the first conclusions can depend on speeds over one lap.
Results first free practice Spain 2023
Verstappen Pérez Ocon De Vries Gasly Alonso Magnussen Leclerc Sainz Russell Norris Hamilton Zhou Tsunoda Stroll Bottas Piastri Hülkenberg Sargeant Albon
Timetable GP of Spain 2023
2nd free practice: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
3rd free practice: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m
Qualification: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Race: 3:00 PM