2024 Spanish Grand Prix: Full Weekend Report & Highlights

Round ten of the 2024 F1 season headed back to Europe to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the officially titled Formula 1 Aramco Gran Premio de Espana 2024.

Ben

By Ben Bush
Updated on July 3, 2024

Reviewed and checked by Lee Parker

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 2024 Spanish Grand Prix
Lando Norris (2nd) and Max Verstappen (1st) shared the podium for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix.

After an exciting showdown in Montreal, the 2024 season returned to Europe. Five races would be held over the following six weekends, leading up to the summer break. The fast pace of the calendar would start with a triple-header in Barcelona, where the competitive landscape on the grid would shift once again.

Race Guide

Date: 21 June 2024 – 23 June 2024
Race start time: 15:00 local time
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Laps: 66
Circuit length: 4.675km
2023 winner: Max Verstappen

The 2024 race marked the 54th edition of the Spanish Grand Prix, with the race being hosted for the 34th time at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The event first made its calendar debut in 1951, and a regular fixture since 1986. The Montmelo circuit was the fifth venue to host the Grand Prix, following previous editions in the Catalunya capital at two street circuits, twice at Pedralbes and four times at Montjuic. Additionally, the race has been held at Jarama near Madrid nine times and five times at Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia. Spain has also hosted seven additional world championship rounds under the name of the European Grand Prix, including 1994 and 1997 at Jerez and from 2008 to 2012 at the Valencia street circuit.

Going into the 2024 race weekend, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton were tied as the most successful drivers at the Spanish Grand Prix, each with six victories. Schumacher also held the record for the most successful driver in F1 races held on Spanish soil, thanks to his additional win at the 1994 European Grand Prix. The German legend led in pole positions (7), fastest laps (7), and podium finishes (12). Among the constructors, ahead of the 2024 race, Ferrari held 12 victories, 14 pole positions, and 38 podium finishes.

Weekend schedule
DateSessionLocal Time
21 June 2024Free Practice 1 (FP1)1:30 pm – 2:30 pm local time
21 June 2024Free Practice 2 (FP2)5:00 pm – 6:00 pm local time
22 June 2024Free Practice 3 (FP3)12:30 am – 1:30 pm local time
22 June 2024Qualifying4:00 pm – 5:00 pm local time
23 June 2024Race3:00 pm local time

In Saturday afternoon qualifying, Lando Norris delivered an outstanding final lap to outpace Max Verstappen and claim his second Formula 1 pole position during an intensely competitive qualifying session. This session highlighted McLaren’s rising strength and the growing competitiveness at the front of the grid, following two years dominated by Verstappen and Red Bull. Norris excelled under pressure, completing what he called a “perfect” final lap in 1:11.383.

On Sunday, Max Verstappen successfully fended off a strong challenge from a determined but frustrated Lando Norris to secure the win, extending his lead in the F1 world championship. Starting from pole but dropping to third after a sluggish start—a dramatic opening that saw George Russell in the Mercedes unexpectedly leap from fourth to first—Norris sought to reclaim the lead through strategic plays when McLaren opted to delay his pit stops compared to Verstappen’s at Red Bull. However, despite quickly closing the gap to Verstappen in the race’s final stages, Norris ultimately fell short, finishing 2.2 seconds behind. This allowed Verstappen to clinch his seventh win of a fiercely competitive 2024 season.

Championship background

Following a series of thrilling races with four different teams vying for the win, the characteristics of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya were expected to clarify the team standings as the season progressed onto some of the sport’s more traditional tracks.

Max Verstappen, the defending champion and current championship leader, managed to outperform faster McLaren and Mercedes cars to secure a dramatic victory in Canada. However, a key highlight from Montreal was the resurgence of Mercedes, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton showing strong competitiveness.

Lando Norris in the McLaren clinched a victory in Miami early May, and at the end of the month, Charles Leclerc and Ferrari celebrated his first win at his home race in Monaco, leaving the competition wide open for the upcoming races.

While Red Bull might prefer the layout at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, their recent close challenges by Mercedes and McLaren in Canada, and losses to Ferrari, added a layer of intrigue regarding their potential dominance.

If the teams trailing Red Bull could mount a challenge again, it would be a promising indicator of a highly competitive season ahead.

Off track, the pace wasn’t slowing down, as the Austrian and British Grands Prix were up next, back-to-back. This was followed by a short break before continuing to Hungary and Belgium, leading up to the summer break.

Race entries

Haas revealed that their reserve driver, Oliver Bearman, would feature in FP1 for the opening free practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday, adding to a recent runout in Imola.

Bearman would also be scheduled for four additional FP1 sessions with Haas throughout the 2024 season and would take over Nico Hulkenberg‘s spot for the initial 60-minute session.

Aside from FP1, which featured Bearman, all the drivers from the start of the season took to the track during FP2, FP3, Qualifying and the Grand Prix.

Tyre choices

The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit is known as one of the most challenging tracks on the F1 calendar, both for the cars and the tyres. Therefore, it was unsurprising that Pirelli opted for its three hardest dry tyre compounds for the 2024 weekend: C1 as Hard (White), C2 as Medium (Yellow), and C3 as Soft (Red). These were the same selections made for the 2024 opening race in Bahrain.

The 2024 race was scheduled three weeks later than it was in 2023, which resulted in hotter conditions and introduced additional challenges in tyre management. This increase in temperature would particularly affect the C3 compound, which was highly competitive in last year’s race, chosen by 16 of the 20 drivers for their initial stint.

From a strategic standpoint, a two-stop strategy was to be the fastest, with all tyre compounds used. A three-stop strategy was also viable, especially considering that in 2023’s race it improved overtaking possibilities compared to previous years.

FIND OUT MORE

Free Practice

In Friday’s first practice session, FP1, Lando Norris led, outpacing Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. The teams were met with sunny conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, following a mixed weather weekend in Canada. Norris finished just 0.024s clear of Verstappen after a best lap of 1:14.228.

During FP2, Lewis Hamilton finished top of the leaderboard to round off the first day of the Spanish Grand Prix, closely followed by Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

On Saturday during FP3, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz led the pack in the third and final practice session, closely followed by McLaren’s Lando Norris and his teammate Charles Leclerc. Sainz claimed the top time with a 1m 13.013s, narrowly beating Norris by just 0.03 seconds and Leclerc by 0.037 seconds.

Full Free Practice Reports

Free Practice 1 Classification

FP1 was held on 21 June 2024, at 1:30 pm local time.

PosNoDriverCarTimeGapLaps
14Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:14.22827
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:14.252+0.024s27
355Carlos SainzFerrari1:14.572+0.344s31
463George RussellMercedes1:14.614+0.386s31
511Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:14.692+0.464s28
681Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:14.867+0.639s29
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:14.911+0.683s28
831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:15.086+0.858s30
914Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:15.222+0.994s26
1023Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:15.417+1.189s25
1116Charles LeclercFerrari1:15.434+1.206s26
1277Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:15.472+1.244s24
1310Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:15.484+1.256s21
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:15.512+1.284s28
153Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:15.580+1.352s30
1624Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:15.616+1.388s24
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:15.644+1.416s30
182Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:15.752+1.524s25
1950Oliver Bearman1Haas Ferrari1:15.865+1.637s29
2022Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:15.916+1.688s21
1Oliver Bearman, reserve driver for Haas, replaced Nico Hulkenberg in FP1.
Free Practice 2 Classification

FP2 was held on 21 June 2024, at 5:00 pm local time.

PosNoDriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:13.26428
255Carlos SainzFerrari1:13.286+0.022s30
34Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:13.319+0.055s31
410Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:13.443+0.179s27
51Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:13.504+0.240s29
616Charles LeclercFerrari1:13.597+0.333s22
781Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:13.622+0.358s28
863George RussellMercedes1:13.722+0.458s28
931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:13.766+0.502s30
1077Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.924+0.660s30
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:14.021+0.757s32
1227Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:14.053+0.789s29
1311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:14.081+0.817s23
1414Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.091+0.827s28
1522Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:14.211+0.947s31
163Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:14.257+0.993s29
1724Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:14.345+1.081s21
1818Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.402+1.138s28
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:14.807+1.543s34
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:15.070+1.806s33
Free Practice 3 Classification

FP3 was held on 22 June 2024, at 12:30 pm local time.

PosNoDriverCarTimeGapLaps
155Carlos SainzFerrari1:13.01319
24Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:13.043+0.030s14
316Charles LeclercFerrari1:13.050+0.037s18
41Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:13.087+0.074s24
563George RussellMercedes1:13.164+0.151s20
644Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:13.359+0.346s26
711Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:13.723+0.710s19
823Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:13.753+0.740s14
914Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:13.786+0.773s21
1081Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:13.907+0.894s14
1131Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:13.950+0.937s18
1210Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:13.964+0.951s14
1327Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:13.975+0.962s20
1477Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:14.024+1.011s19
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:14.074+1.061s27
163Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:14.161+1.148s17
1718Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.254+1.241s16
1822Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:14.420+1.407s22
1924Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:14.572+1.559s17
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:14.729+1.716s12

Qualifying

McLaren’s Lando Norris clinched his second career Formula 1 pole position, outpacing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a thrilling qualifying session for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix. Norris, whose previous pole was at Sochi in 2021, initially trailed Verstappen after their first runs in Q3. However, he delivered a brilliant final lap of 1m 11.383s, edging out Verstappen by a mere two-hundredths of a second.

Mercedes translated their strong practice performance into a solid qualifying result, with Lewis Hamilton securing third on the grid for Sunday’s race with teammate George Russell lining up on the grid with him in P4.

Sergio Perez came home in 8th but with a three grid place drop for failing to leave the track with serious mechanical difficulties at the previous round, would eventually line up in 11th, promoting Esteban Ocon to 8th (from 9th), Oscar Piatri to 9th (from 10th) and Fernando Alonso to 10th (from 11th).

Full Qualifying Report

Qualifying Classification

Qualifying was held on 22 June 2024, at 4:00 pm local time.

PosNoDriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
14Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:12.3861:11.8721:11.38312
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:12.3061:11.6531:11.40312
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.1431:11.7921:11.70118
463George RussellMercedes1:12.4561:11.8121:11.70316
516Charles LeclercFerrari1:12.2571:12.0381:11.73112
655Carlos SainzFerrari1:12.4031:11.8741:11.73612
710Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:12.6511:12.0791:11.85718
811Sergio Perez1Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:12.4771:12.0541:12.06118
931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:12.6911:12.1091:12.12518
1081Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:12.4601:12.011DNF16
1114Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.5051:12.12812
1277Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:12.7581:12.22712
1327Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:12.7081:12.31012
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.8811:12.37215
1524Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:12.8801:12.73815
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:12.9376
1722Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:12.9859
183Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:13.0759
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:13.1536
202Logan Sargeant2Williams Mercedes1:13.5099
1 Perez penalised 3 grid places for failing to leave the track with serious mechanical difficulties at the previous round.
2Sargeant penalised 3 grid places for impeding another driver during qualifying.

What happened in the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix?

The Spanish Grand Prix weekend was anticipated as a showdown among the top teams—Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, and Mercedes—with the race for victory intensifying during qualifying. Lando Norris of McLaren captured an impressive pole position for Sunday’s race, marking his second career pole since Sochi in 2021, narrowly beating Max Verstappen by just two-hundredths of a second. Mercedes also demonstrated promising performance with Lewis Hamilton securing third and George Russell fourth, while the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, trailing slightly in fifth and sixth, looked to improve in the race.

Sunday brought excitement as the teams regrouped after a thrilling qualifying session. The weather was a concern, with rain forecasted but conditions cleared well before the race start at 3 PM local time. A last-minute change saw Williams’ Alex Albon starting from the pit lane due to a power unit change after qualifying nineteenth.

As the race started, all drivers except Albon chose the red-marked soft tyres. Verstappen started on used softs, while Norris and the Ferraris opted for fresh ones. Russell made an immediate impact at the start, overtaking Norris who tried to fend off Verstappen. Despite Verstappen’s complaint of being forced off the track, the race stewards did not penalise Norris.

Hamilton initially lost a position to Leclerc but quickly recovered, securing fourth place. Fernando Alonso, starting eleventh, was forced to an escape route after contact and fell to fourteenth.

Russell’s lead was short-lived as Verstappen took advantage on lap three using DRS and a slipstream to pass him at Turn 1. Sainz, in a bold move on Leclerc at the same turn, managed to advance to fifth despite a brief off-track moment, with stewards deciding against further investigation.

At the start of lap 13, Race Control flagged Kevin Magnussen’s Haas for a potential false start, resulting in a five-second penalty while Verstappen nearly lost control at Turn 7 but recovered without incident.

Pit stops began on lap 13, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez trying to recover from a grid penalty. A problematic stop for Alpine’s Pierre Gasly cost him valuable time. Russell pitted on lap 15, maintaining his lead over Sainz despite a slow pit stop. Verstappen’s stop on lap 17 was quick at just 1.9 seconds.

By lap 18, Hamilton was engaged in a fierce battle with Sainz for sixth. A dramatic battle at Turn 1 on the following lap saw them make contact, with Sainz protesting over the radio that Hamilton should concede the position. No further action was taken regarding their clash.

After Norris pitted from the lead on Lap 24, switching to medium tyres like most of the field, the race neared its midpoint with Verstappen leading, followed by Russell, Norris, Hamilton, and Sainz. On Lap 32, Norris overtook Hamilton, moving up in the field.

Leclerc, running sixth, voiced his frustrations about the team’s strategy, querying why they stuck with Plan A as his race engineer sought to calm the unsettled Ferrari driver.

As the race progressed to Lap 34, Verstappen confidently extended his lead to over eight seconds ahead of Russell. Norris, determined to push for the lead, engaged in an intense battle on Lap 35 with Russell from Turn 3 to Turn 7. Norris’s persistence paid off, securing him second place, while Hamilton gained on Russell. Soon after, Russell made his second pit stop, opting for hard tyres for his Mercedes W15.

By Lap 41, Verstappen’s lead had decreased to 5.9 seconds as Norris began to close the gap, with Red Bull yet to bring Verstappen in for his second stop. Holding new softs in reserve, Red Bull was cautious not to pit too soon.

Meanwhile, Russell, on the hard tyres, voiced his struggles over the radio, stating that his tyres “did not feel good.” Hamilton then made a pit stop to switch to softs shortly after.

Verstappen pitted straight after, fitting his car with the new soft tyres that had been saved for this later stage of the race. With Verstappen in the pit, Norris took over the lead and was immediately encouraged by his race engineer, Will Joseph, to seize the opportunity for a potential win at the Spanish Grand Prix.

With 20 laps left, Hamilton engaged fiercely with Sainz for sixth place, making his move at Turn 1. Norris was then called in for his stop on the next lap. Unfortunately, a 3.6-second pit stop cost him crucial time, allowing Verstappen to regain the lead. Norris narrowly managed to remain ahead of Russell, securing second place.

Further back in the field, Hulkenberg, who was in 11th place, saw his chances of scoring points diminish when he received a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane. Meanwhile, the Alpines of Gasly and Ocon were in ninth and tenth places, respectively, boosting the team’s prospects for another double-points finish.

Tsunoda, languishing in last place, also incurred a five-second penalty for the same infraction as Hulkenberg.

As the race neared its conclusion, Verstappen found himself under increasing pressure to maintain his lead. Norris, determined and aggressive, continued to erode Verstappen’s lead, which had reduced to 6.6 seconds by Lap 51 out of 66.

Despite Norris closing in, time was running out for him to clinch his second Grand Prix victory. By Lap 65, he had narrowed the gap to just 2.3 seconds, but with only one lap remaining, the challenge was steep.

The gap remained as Verstappen successfully fended off Norris’s push, claiming his third consecutive victory at the Barcelona track—an echo of his breakthrough win at the track in 2016.

Further back in the pack, Red Bull found Perez, who had pitted three times, executing a late overtake on Gasly at Turn 1, securing eighth place.

Despite being voted Driver of the Day, Norris was clearly disappointed as he finished the race, revealing over his radio that a poor start had deprived him of a potential victory.

The day, however, was dominated by Verstappen, who celebrated his 106th podium finish, matching the records of racing legends Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso for fourth on the all-time list.

2024 Spanish Grand Prix race results

The 2024 Spanish Grand Prix Race was held on 23 June 2024, at 2:00 pm local time.

PosNoDriverCarLapsTime/RetiredPTS
11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT661:28:20.22725
24Lando Norris1McLaren Mercedes66+2.219s19
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes66+17.790s15
463George RussellMercedes66+22.320s12
516Charles LeclercFerrari66+22.709s10
655Carlos SainzFerrari66+31.028s8
781Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes66+33.760s6
811Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT66+59.524s4
910Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault66+62.025s2
1031Esteban OconAlpine Renault66+71.889s1
1127Nico Hulkenberg2Haas Ferrari66+79.215s0
1214Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes65+1 lap0
1324Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari65+1 lap0
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes65+1 lap0
153Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT65+1 lap0
1677Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari65+1 lap0
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari65+1 lap0
1823Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes65+1 lap0
1922Yuki Tsunoda2RB Honda RBPT65+1 lap0
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes64+2 laps0
1Fastest lap: Lando Norris (McLaren) – 1:17.115 (lap 51)
2Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda each received a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

2024 Post-Race F1 Championship Standings

Championship standings for Drivers’ and Teams after the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix.

2024 Post-Race F1 Drivers’ Championship Standings

PosDriverNationalityCarPTS
1Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT219
2Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren150
3Charles LeclercMONFerrari148
4Carlos SainzESPFerrari116
5Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT111
6Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren87
7George RussellGBRMercedes81
8Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes70
9Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Mercedes41
10Yuki TsunodaJPNRB-Honda RBPT19
11Lance StrollCANAston Martin Mercedes17
12Daniel RicciardoAUSRB-Honda RBPT9
13Oliver BearmanGBRFerrari6
14Nico HulkenbergGERHaas Ferrari6
15Pierre GaslyFRAAlpine Renault5
16Esteban OconFRAAlpine Renault3
17Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Mercedes2
18Kevin MagnussenDENHaas Ferrari1
19Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team0
20Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team0
21Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Mercedes0

2024 Post-Race F1 Constructors’ Championship Standings

PosTeamPTS
1Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT330
2Ferrari270
3McLaren Mercedes237
4Mercedes151
5Aston Martin Mercedes58
6RB-Honda RBPT28
7Alpine Renault8
8Haas Ferrari7
9Williams Mercedes2
10Stake F1 Team0

Source: formula1.com

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush
Ben

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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