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

07-05-2021 11:52
F1 News
REPORT: Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas showed his speed in practice once more as he was quickest in FP1 at the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. The soft tyre was the way to go, and it was Bottas, not Lewis Hamilton, who put his Mercedes car in P1. Nikita Mazepin caused an early yellow flag for a spin at turn 8, before Robert Kubica beached his Alfa Romeo at turn 10 and brought out the red flag. The session was stopped for a little while, before resuming with less than 10 minutes to go.

Hamilton led for the first half of the session, before the soft tyre went on, and then Bottas reigned supreme. The Finn set a time of 1:18.504 to go quickest, with Max Verstappen only 0.033 seconds behind him in P2. That was despite Verstappen suffering a few mishaps on his lap, and only running six laps on the soft tyre, in comparison to Bottas' 14 and Hamilton's 13, so it's clear that the Dutchman has speed; could he go quickest in FP2?

With Hamilton in P3, Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez would've been expected to take P4, but he was down in a disappointing P9. However, he also only ran six laps on the soft tyre and his best lap, right at the end of the session, was hampered by the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo doing a slow lap.

Promising signs for Aston Martin

It's been an extremely difficult start to the 2021 season for Aston Martin, but the early signs in Spain are that they could challenge the midfield.

On the soft tyre, Sebastian Vettel put his car into P1 for a brief moment, and was only slightly down on the times of both Mercedes cars. He ended the session in P8, with Lance Stroll in P10. The German set a time of 1:19.234 compared to the Canadian's 1:19.429.

They have failed to get both cars into Q3 so far this season, but they could well manage the feat this weekend.

Ferrari quick again

They were the only team who didn't put the soft tyre on, but still managed to end the session in P5 and P6. Charles Leclerc was quickest of the two drivers with a time of 1:18.996, with Carlos Sainz only slightly behind with his time of 1:19.020.

Those times were set on the medium tyre, and the McLaren of Lando Norris in P4 set his 1:18.944 time on the soft tyre. The initial signs are that Ferrari look better than McLaren; can they translate that into the race?

How did the reserve drivers go?

Robert Kubica at Alfa Romeo, and Roy Nissany at Williams both got a run out in FP1, with Kimi Raikkonen and George Russell sitting the session out. Kubica ended the session in P19, with Nissany in P17. Kubica was 2.193 seconds behind Antonio Giovinazzi, but Nissany was only 0.43 seconds behind Nicholas Latifi; the Israeli driver looked good.

FINAL STANDINGS:

P1 - Valtteri Bottas

P2 - Max Verstappen

P3 - Lewis Hamilton

P4 - Lando Norris

P5 - Charles Leclerc

P6 - Carlos Sainz

P7 - Pierre Gasly

P8 - Sebastian Vettel

P9 - Sergio Perez

P10 - Lance Stroll

P11 - Yuki Tsunoda

P12 - Esteban Ocon

P13 - Antonio Giovinazzi

P14 - Daniel Ricciardo

P15 - Fernando Alonso

P16 - Nicholas Latifi

P17 - Roy Nissany

P18 - Mick Schumacher

P19 - Robert Kubica

P20 - Nikita Mazepin

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