REPORT | Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix

14-08-2020 11:05 | Updated: 14-08-2020 11:38
by Louis Shaw
Breaking News
REPORT | Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix

Mercedes topped the opening session of the Spanish Grand Prix with Valtteri Bottas finishing FP1 with the fastest time of 1.16.785 around the Circuit de Catalunya. Lewis Hamilton was only 0.039 behind with the German team showing that last weekend's race was just a blip on what has otherwise been a near-perfect season. 

Quiet start 

For the most part, it was a quiet session and things certainly started off that way. Many drivers went out with aero rakes and clocked up some good lap times but were not focused on single-lap speed. 

One of the first drivers to enter the track in Barcelona was Roy Nissany, who was the test driver for Williams, standing in for George Russell. He doesn't have a lot of experience driving a Formula 1 car and it was clear to see after he spun, leaving the track. Apart from that he had a solid session and put some good laps in for the team. 

Charles Leclerc had a series of rakes on the rear of his Ferrari and it seems that the Italian team has added more downforce compared to Silverstone last weekend. Vettel has a new chassis this weekend and it seems to have worked as the German was much closer to his teammate compared to what the gap has been since the start of the season. 

Sergio Perez made his return to Formula 1 after two weeks out due to a positive COVID test. He has now tested negative and was back in the car this morning for Racing Point. He put in some good laps and will be hoping he can kick on after his time away and fight for some good points come the race on Sunday. 

Haas went fast!

A striking moment in the session took place with just over half an hour on the clock. Both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen appeared in the top five in terms of times. Pretty fast too, but still more than a second and a half behind Bottas who had set a time of 1:16.785. Haas will have taken a photo of the timesheet but perhaps this shows how FP1 times aren't very representative of true speed. 

Mercedes at the top, again 

Bottas spent much of the session at the top of the timesheet after setting a 1.16.785. Hamilton was only 0.039 behind and it was clear to see that Mercedes are in a league of their own again with Max Verstappen being 0.939 behind Bottas' time. 

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