Current leader in the F1 World Drivers Championship, Valtteri Bottas recorded the fastest time of the first free practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Finnish pilot succeeded in putting his Mercedes on top of the timing charts despite the fact that the car was losing oil, which forced it to miss a good part of the session towards the end. His time was 1m17.951s on Soft composition tires and his rivals failed to challenge him.
However, Bottas has not appeared on the circuit for the last 20 minutes of the session due to a problem with the hydraulic system on his Mercedes W10, his team being forced to investigate the problem. Mercedes confirmed later that Bottas’s car was losing oil, which caused the engine to stop.
Bottas had two laps that turned out to be fast enough for the first position, while both Ferrari drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, finished two and three respectively, both at about a tenth adrift of the time set by Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton on the other hand did not have a brilliant session. The Englishman finished FP1 in fourth place, but more than six tenths of a second down from his colleague’s time, a worrying thing for the pilot with the most titles on the grid?
Red Bull also had their problems in FP1, and the Milton Keynes team was forced to work intensively on Max Verstappen’s car, which also suffered a loss of oil, and this saw the Dutch pilot completing only 14 laps during this session.
The session also saw a red flag situation, Racing Point pilot, Lance Stroll, having a crash in turn 9 with just one minute left on the clock. The Canadian pilot had missed the right turn which is normally taken at a very high speed, his car severely hitting the barriers. Stroll left the car shortly after the impact, fortunately unhurt. However, his team will have a lot of work to repair the car in time for the second session today.
The two Haas drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished in fifth and seventh respectively with McLaren driver Carlos Sainz between them in sixth. Pierre Gasly took eighth place for Red Bull followed by Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.
- Photocredit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1
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