Following Friday Practice at the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time in Practice 2 was over six seconds faster than the fastest time set by him in 2015 Practice 2, as the F1 teams start to hit 2017’s mission statement in Barcelona with car upgrades.
The British driver set a 1.20.802, which put him at the top of the standings by 0.090s from his team-mate, who won last time out in Russia, and in third and fourth places were the two Ferrari’s, who had closed the gap. This time set him over six seconds clear of his fastest lap during Friday Practice 2 for the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix, which was a 1.26.852.
Mercedes brought large-scale upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix in response to the threat from Ferrari, as the team hope to defend their 1 points lead in the constructors championship, and aid Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas pip Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers championship.
Other teams also brought upgrades for the Barcelona race — with Red Bull rumored to be brining a B-Spec car — however, it was Mercedes who made all the headlines, with their radically revised W08 arriving in the pit-lane on Thursday.
In addition, the nature of the Barcelona track also allows the full delta of the new cars to be exposed. The circuit features long straights, slow speed, high speed, medium speed corners, as well as traction zones and hard braking application.
This circuit, which requires high levels of downforce, reflects the true F1 pecking order. For this reasons, teams come to Barcelona for pre-season testing, where they clock in thousands of miles.