Spain, FP1: Bottas tops opening practice session in Barcelona

As Lance Stroll crashes


By Olivier Ferret

10 May 2019 - 12:34
Spain, FP1: Bottas tops opening (...)

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas set the pace in the opening practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles by a narrow margin before an oil leak ended the Finn’s session early.

After an early spell on medium tyres World Championship leader Bottas set his best lap of the 90 minutes on the C3 Pirelli compound nominated as this weekend’s soft tyre.

He opened his account on the softs with a lap of 1:17.990s, but then shaved a little under four hundredths of a second off that to set a benchmark of 1:17.951s.

In the end the Mercedes driver was the only man to break into the 1m17s bracket, though both Ferrari drivers pushed close to the marker. Leclerc posted a lap of 1:18.172 but then team-mate Vettel recovered from a messy opening flyer to log a time of 1:18.066s.

After outpacing the Ferraris, Bottas then retreated to the Mercedes garage where an oil leak keep ended his session with around half an hour left on the clock.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton had a low-key session, with the Briton complaining about tyre performance during his spell on the soft compound. He eventually finished six tenths of a second off the pace of team-mate Bottas.

Fifth place in the session went to Haas’ Romain Grosjean with the Frenchman finishing 0.368 behind Hamilton. He was separated from team-mate Kevin Magnussen by just over two tenths of a second and by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who kicked off his home race weekend with a best time of 1:19.155, 1.2s off Bottas.

It might have been expected that Red Bull Racing’s drivers would finish ahead of Grosjean, but Max Verstappen’s session was ended by a mechanical issue that saw him finish in P12.

That left Pierre Gasly to uphold team honour and the French driver was only able to take eighth place, a tenth behind Magnussen.

Ninth place on the timesheet went to Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. The Russian posted a best time of 1:19.364 and also the morning’s largest lap total of 34. Kvyat finished a little under a tenth of a second ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.

The session was red flagged a minute from the chequered flag due to a crash involving Racing Point’s Lance Stroll. The Canadian went straight on into the barriers at the quick Turn 9 causing significant damage to the front end of his car.

01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:17.951 19
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:18.172 20
03 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:18.066 20
04 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:18.575 22
05 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:18.943 25
06 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:19.155 31
07 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:19.180 27
08 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:19.285 30
09 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:19.364 34
10 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:19.450 25
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:19.511 24
12 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:19.844 14
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:19.855 28
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:20.021 28
15 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:20.030 25
16 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:20.066 33
17 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:20.459 26
18 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:20.591 22
19 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:20.889 27
20 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:20.990 23

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