Mercedes driverValtteri Bottas topped the timing screens at the end of the first free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix, edging both Ferrari’s in the 90-minutes session which ended when Lance Stroll crashed his Racing Point in Turn 9.
Bottas set a best lap time of 1:17.951 which was good enough for the top time of the morning session, a tenth faster than the next best and six tenths up on his teammate Lewis Hamilton in fourth.
Ferrari were the meat in the Silver Arrows sandwich with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc ending second and third respectively. The gap between them about a tenth of a second.
Romain Grosjean made good use of a “nearly all new car” to clock the fifth best time, a tad under a second shy of the top time suggesting impressive progress by Haas with their second spec car.
In the sister car, Kevin Magnussen ran the older-spec chassis as a deliberate back-to-back test. He ended the session in seventh albeit three tenths down on his teammate. The American team is sure to bolt the new bits onto the Dane’s car for the afternoon session.
Local hero Carlos Sainz was sixth in the McLaren, fastest of the Renault quartet but 1.2 seconds down on the benchmark pace.
Report in progress…