Max Verstappen starts the Spanish Grand Prix with a best practice time. © Hasan Bratic/dpa
Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen started the Spanish Grand Prix with a best practice time.
Barcelona - The 25-year-old Dutchman set the fastest lap on the circuit just outside Barcelona in 1:14.606 minutes in the first practice session. In his Red Bull, Verstappen relegated his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez to second place by 0.768 seconds. Frenchman Esteban Ocon was 0.812 seconds behind four-time season winner Verstappen in third place in the Alpine car.
The only remaining German in the field, Nico Hulkenberg, drove his Haas race car to 18th place. At a summery 25 degrees, several teams presented technical changes to their cars. However, the balance of power at the front did not change at first: Verstappen dominated at will, just as in previous months, and kept the competition at bay.
Verstappen favourite for world title
Verstappen leads the world championship standings by 15 points ahead of teammate Perez ahead of the seventh round of the season on Sunday (00.39 p.m. / Sky) in Catalonia. The two-time world champion, who also triumphed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last year, is once again considered a big favourite. Dpa