Bottas finishes P1, nearly matches stonking pole lap

Jamie Woodhouse

Valtteri Bottas continued the Mercedes dominance in Barcelona by finishing P1 after the first day of testing 

The Silver Arrows topped every session at the Spanish Grand Prix, and the Finn held P1 at the lunch break to continue that run.

The W10 would emerge for the afternoon on a mission, as Bottas pumped in a 1:15.511 on the softest C5 tyres – just a tenth shy of his Q3 time at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Charles Leclerc had to settle for a distant P2 in the SF90, improving slightly with a 1:16.933 – but that was set on the C2  tyres. A C4 run from Toro Rosso man Daniil Kvyat netted him P3 with a 1:17.679.

Nico Hulkenberg improved in the afternoon to put his Renault in P4 with a 1:18.051.

Pierre Gasly was the first man to surpass 100 laps, but his afternoon ended prematurely as his R.B.15 pulled up on the main straight – he would finish P6 behind Carlos Sainz.

Haas youngster Pietro Fittipaldi enjoyed a fine afternoon, setting a 1:18.326 on the C5s to take P7, followed by Racing Point simulator driver Nick Yelloly who rose to P8 in the afternoon.

Sebastian Vettel ended the day P9, clocking up 87 laps on Pirelli duties.

Lando Norris eventually emerged from the pits after taking over running of the MCL34 from Sainz, a 1:18:567 earning P10 for the McLaren man, while Sergio Perez, also on Pirelli duty with Vettel, claimed P11.

Callum Ilott brought out the red flags after crashing at Turn 3 with just under an hour gone in the afternoon session. The Ferrari Academy driver was unhurt but his day was over, leaving him P12.

Nicholas Latifi, tipped to replace Robert Kubica at Williams, improved in the afternoon to a 1:20.670 but couldn’t avoid bringing up the rear.

The second day of testing begins at 0900 local time on Wednesday.

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