Rosberg quickest in first practice for Spanish GP

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MONTMELO – Nico Rosberg opened his Spanish Grand Prix weekend in fine style by finishing fastest in the first practice session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday.

The Mercedes driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:26.828 to finish just seven-hundredths of a second clear of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets as their intra-team battle looks set to continue this weekend.

However, Rosberg does remain under investigation with the stewards after entering the pit lane incorrectly, moving to the wrong side of the bollard.

First practice saw a number of teams try out their new upgrades ahead of the race on Sunday, with the parts being introduced in a bid to move up the field and cut the gap to Mercedes at the front.

Ferrari ran with a number of updates on its cars during the first session, but neither Sebastian Vettel nor Kimi Raikkonen could challenge the Mercedes drivers at the front. They were ultimately forced to settle for third and fourth place respectively, finishing almost one second off the pace.

Red Bull debuted its shorter nose design in the first session, running it on Daniil Kvyat’s car as he finished seventh. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was less fortunate, suffering an engine problem that limited him to just nine laps in the entirety of the session. He did manage to finish ninth in the final standings thanks to a late flying lap, though.

Despite only bringing minor updates to Spain, Toro Rosso ran very strongly in the first practice session as Carlos Sainz Jr. finished fifth ahead of Max Verstappen in sixth place ahead of Kvyat. Felipe Massa finished eighth for Williams ahead of Ricciardo in ninth and Felipe Nasr, who rounded out the top ten.

Susie Wolff enjoyed her third practice run-out on a grand prix weekend on Friday, and put in a respectable display to finish in 14th place. Although her fastest lap was 0.8 seconds slower than that of Massa in the sister Williams car, the Briton had no problems with the FW37 car and managed to complete 22 laps in total.

Raffaele Marciello also took part in practice for Sauber as part of his reserve driver commitments, coming home in 12th ahead of Lotus reserve Jolyon Palmer, who finished 13th. Valtteri Bottas, Marcus Ericsson and Grosjean will return for the second practice session later today.

You can watch FP2 live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Friday. For more information, click here.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.