Valtteri Bottas dominates the first practice session for this weekend's Spanish GP

Valtteri Bottas (Albert Gea / Getty Images)
Valtteri Bottas (Albert Gea / Getty Images)
Albert Gea

• Bottas went fastest in the opening practice session for the 2020 Spanish GP.

• The Mercedes driver set a time of 1:16.785.

• He was followed by team mate, Lewis Hamilton

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Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets for the opening practice session for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

The driver set a time of 1:16.785, 0.039sec faster than team mate and championship leader, Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen went third fastest, but couldn't bring his Red Bull closer to the Mercedes duo. His time was 0.939sec off Bottas'.

The Mercedes team seem to be in a class of their own again this weekend and could be first in line for top honours come Sunday.

Although Ferrari is dreadfully slow in 2020, the team managed to go fourth and fifth fastest in the session. Charles Leclerc managed to pip team mate Sebastian Vettel, but the drivers were still almost 1.2sec off Bottas' pace. Ferrari gave Vettel's car a new chassis, following an issue on the previous one.

It would seem that the chassis is doing its job, given that Vettel ended the session on virtually the same time as Leclerc.

Comeback kid

After being diagnosed with contracting Covid-19, Sergio Perez returned to the track for his Racing Point team. Perez was on the button from the off and managed to secure the seventh-fastest time, albeit it 1.686sec slower than Bottas.

For Perez, it would be essential to show his team that he has made a full recovery, and beating team mate Lance Stroll would be the first step towards that. Stroll ended the session in tenth place, 0.2sec slower than Perez.

Down at Williams, the team opted to give F2 driver Roy Nissany a go in their car. Nissany stood in for George Russell, who will resume duties in Free Practice 2 in a couple of hours. Nissany was the slowest driver in the session.

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo had a bit of a tough session, only managing the 18th fastest time after a challenging session.

Free Practice 2 will begin at 15:00.

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