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Nico Hulkenberg, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
Nico Hulkenberg, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Round 8 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship commenced with practice on Friday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as teams prepared for Sunday’s 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix.

Friday’s running consisted of two 60-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – around the 4.657-kilometer (2.894-mile), 14-turn circuit.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg opted for alternate run plans in FP1. Magnussen started by trialing the new specification Pirelli P Zero White hard tire, set to be introduced at the British Grand Prix, putting in a best time of 1:18.925. Two further stints on the new Red softs saw the Dane jump up the standings, clocking a time of 1:15.689, enough for P7. 

Hulkenberg opted for the Red soft tire for a baseline run and set his fastest time of the session on a second set of Red softs with a lap of 1:16.461. For a third and final stint, it was Hulkenberg’s turn to run the new White hard compound, racking up a further 11 laps to finish the session P18.

FP2 saw the sun continue to break through the clouds and both VF-23s eager to get back out on track. Yellow medium tires were bolted on for the opening stint, with Hulkenberg registering a time of 1:16.152, and teammate Magnussen banking a time of 1:16.533. The pair proceeded onto Red softs for quali sims, Hulkenberg setting a fastest time of 1:14.177, and Magnussen a best lap of 1:14.713.

The session ended with high-fuel runs, Hulkenberg remaining on softs before reusing a set of mediums to the checkered flag, the German finishing the day in an impressive P3. Magnussen returned to a set of used mediums to close out the session P15.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team ran a total of 105 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 59 by Hulkenberg and 46 by Magnussen.

Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen:

“Today was fun. The new layout is pretty full-on, it’s a good change. FP1 was very good for us, we tried something that didn’t work in FP2 but Nico was fast, so we know the speed is in the car and we’ll work tonight as we always do to try and get on that pace tomorrow. It’s super tight, I was P15 and seven tenths off P1 which is crazy, but it is what it is and means we have something to fight for.”

Nico Hulkenberg:

“It felt decent, especially that lap on new softs, it gives you a lot of grip over one lap. Particularly in FP2, I think we picked up some performance which wasn’t quite there earlier. I’m satisfied with how it’s gone and hope we can keep it up for the next two days. There’s always more to explore, there’s always more to do, but I had a good rhythm today and felt at home in the car. I felt like I was in the driving seat which is important – especially around here – it’s been a positive Friday.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:

“It was a good start to the weekend today. In FP1 we tested the new tire which will be used at Silverstone to get some experience and data but otherwise, pretty good running. Obviously with Nico reaching P3 in FP2 it’s good, but we all know that qualifying is tomorrow and the race is on Sunday.”

Today's Data

Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Spanish Grand Prix – Friday June 2
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain 
Layout: 4.657-kilometer (2.894-mile), 14-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Mostly Sunny
Drivers: Kevin Magnussen & Nico Hulkenberg 

Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:

Magnussen: 7th overall (1:15.689), 22 laps completed
Hulkenberg: 18th overall (1:16.461), 28 laps completed
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:14.606)

Free Practice 2 (FP2) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 3rd overall (1:14.177), 31 laps completed 
Magnussen: 15th overall (1:14.713), 24 laps completed
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:13.907)

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