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Hamilton dominates Barcelona practice as Verstappen falters

Lewis Hamilton dominated second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona on Friday ahead of the Mercedes world champion’s quest to nail pole position for the 100th time.

Teammate Valtteri Bottas had topped the timesheets in the opening session but Hamilton ended the day chalking up a lap .139s quicker than the Finn.

“It has been a good start to the weekend and the track is awesome, it looks close, but it looks like we have got decent pace there.

“Once we have analysed these two sessions, we can hopefully have a better set-up for tomorrow,” said Hamilton, winner of two of this season’s three races.

He leads Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by eight points in the drivers’ standings with the Dutch contender way off the pace down in ninth after failing to register a decent post-lunch time.

Verstappen was close to matching Hamilton’s fastest lap time of 1min 18.170 midway through his last attempt only to lose momentum when running wide at Turn 10.

That left hum having to rely on his first practice effort.

Behind the Mercedes men came Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso fourth and fifth.

The Alpha Tauris of Pierre Gasly and Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda followed, ahead of the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, Verstappen and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Lando Norris’s bright start to the season for McLaren had continued with the fourth quickest time at the Montmelo circuit in the first session, but by the end of the day the British team were left struggling for pace with Norris 12th and Daniel Ricciardo 14th.

Hamilton has had a recent hold over the Spanish Grand Prix, with the seven-time world champion going for his fifth consecutive win in Catalonia.

Spanish Grand Prix combined first and second practice times

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