Bottas starts Spanish GP weekend on top of the timesheets

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Formula One F1 - 70th Anniversary Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - August 8, 2020 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action during practice

Valtteri Bottas led team mate and Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.

The Finn, who dropped to third overall in the standings after last Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, clocked a best time of one minute 16.785 seconds on a hot morning at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Finn also reported hitting a flying bird during the session.

Six times world champion Hamilton was 0.039 slower with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen — now second overall after winning at Silverstone to end Mercedes’ opening run of success — third fastest but 0.939 off the Finn’s pace.

Hamilton, who has a 30-point lead over Verstappen, has won the last three Spanish Grands Prix and is going for his fourth win in six races this season on Sunday.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest, 1.185 slower than Bottas, with German team mate Sebastian Vettel fifth and only 0.011 off the Monegasque’s pace.

Vettel has a new chassis for the race after Ferrari found a crack in the one he had used last weekend.

Haas’s Romain Grosjean, whose car also has a Ferrari engine, was a surprise sixth quickest ahead of Racing Point’s returning Mexican Sergio Perez, who missed two races due to testing positive for COVID-19.

Perez was using the slower medium tyres rather than the quicker softs used by those ahead of him, however.

Briton George Russell sat out the session, handing his car to Israeli development driver Roy Nissany who was the slowest driver on track.

Nissany lapped 3.879 seconds slower than Bottas but only 0.3 adrift of Williams’ Canadian Nicholas Latifi.

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Arushi Sana
Arushi Sana is the Co-Founder of Santerra Living, a bio-pellet factory that makes a renewable form of eco-coal and Co-Founder of NYK Daily, a global news platform. She was awarded the Times Power Women of the Year 2022, Times Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2023, Silicon India's Top 10 Women Owned Startups of Hyderabad 2023 and IHW Council Climate Health Influencer 2024. Arushi is also a speaker for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship at various forms like the World Bank, UN International Solar Alliance and Universities, and was also invited to the UN COP28 UAE Climate Conference. She is a Sustainability Consultant for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also works with brands on social media to help them carve a presence in that niche. She holds a Degree in Computer Science Engineering from VIT University and a Diploma in Marketing Analytics from IIM Nagpur. She has previously worked in Ernst & Young and Deloitte as a Forensic Data Analyst. Arushi is a writer, political researcher, a social worker, a farmer and a singer with an interest in languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her, and she aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform.

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