Bottas tops first practice at Barcelona
Valtteri Bottas topped the times as Formula One returned to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix. Even though the first practice session was dominated by data verification of new car components across the field, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton started the weekend well, putting Mercedes ahead. Sebastian Vettel was the closest competitor.
Bottas had set his fastest lap on the soft tyres, contrary to Hamilton and Vettel who both used the super soft tyres for their fast laps. Max Verstappen ended the session fourth fastest, a second down on the pace setter.
Kimi Raikkonen was 5th. The Finn had to sit out the middle part of the session as Ferrari opted to change floor of his SF71-H halfway into the session.
Fernando Alonso ended the session in 6th position, backed up by Vandoorne's 9th, hinting at improvements that McLaren claim to have made thanks to their updates. Daniel Ricciardo was 7th fastest, just ahead of Grosjean. Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly completed the top 10.
While most drivers appeared to have a productive, yet tricky session, Daniel Ricciardo was caught out by a tailwind and ended up mildly touching the barriers at Turn 4. The Australian struggled for grip where Grosjean and Hartley struggled moments earlier as well, but the Red Bull driver was unlucky as he was unable to avoid the barriers. Despite the soft touch, the car was damaged, and Daniel had to leave his car behind after just 11 laps. Quote unfortunate for him, as Red Bull are bringing a reasonably substantial upgrade as well.
Bottas and Vettel were also seen spinning due to getting caught out by tail wind. This proved especially notable through Turns 3, 9 and 13. At Williams, Robert Kubica spun for the same reason while Lance Stroll found himself stuck in the gravel at Turn 5.
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:19.187||+1.039s||26|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:19.858||+1.710s||26|
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:19.871||+1.723s||11|
|8||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:19.906||+1.758s||24|
|9||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:20.083||+1.935s||28|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:20.508||+2.360s||29|
|11||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:20.637||+2.489s||28|
|12||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:20.665||+2.517s||23|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:20.924||+2.776s||36|
|14||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:20.984||+2.836s||18|
|16||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:21.144||+2.996s||27|
|18||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:21.373||+3.225s||28|
|19||40||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:21.510||+3.362s||24|
|20||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:22.756||+4.608s||15|