Formula 1 – Bottas Sets The Pace In First Practice For French Grand Prix

Formula 1 – Bottas Sets The Pace In First Practice For French Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas went quickest in the opening practice session for this weekend FIA Formula 1 French Grand Prix beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton by three tenths of a second, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third ahead of team-mate Sergio Pérez.

The opening phase of the one-hour session saw teams split between the C2 hard and C3 medium compound tyre with Verstappen medium-shod Carlos Sainz leading the way for Ferrari in the opening exchanges before Verstappen stamped some authority on proceedings with hard tyre time of 1:34.139.

As the session reached its mid-point Mercedes sent its drivers out on soft tyres and Hamilton immediately jumped to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:33.783. Verstappen them headed out on softs and his opener on the C4 compound was just under a tenth off the Briton.

Earlier in the session Valtteri Bottas had retreated to the Mercedes garage after running hard over the track limits-delineating kerbs in Turn 2 and shipping some damage to the front wing of his car.

He returned top the fray just before the switch to soft rubber and when he moved to the red-walled tyres he moved up to first place, setting a lap of 1:33.488 to go 0.335s clear of Hamilton and 0.432 ahead of Verstappen.

Verstappen might have gone quicker on his second run but after posting a purple middle sector he ran wide in Turn 11 and abandoned the lap.

Fourth place in the session went to Pérez, who ended up a more than secven tenths of a second adrift of Bottas. Esteban Ocon who this week signed a new three-year contract with Alpine, took fifth with a late flier on softs, while McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was eighth quickest in the morning session ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda in the second AlphaTauri.

Elsewhere, there were problems for Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel spinning off in Turn 11 and hitting the barriers with the rear if his car, and for Haas’ Mick Schumacher who went off at Turn 3 and touched the barriers with the right side of his car. Sainz, too, had a spin losing the rear of his Ferrari in Turn 2 and going off backwards into the run-off area.

2021 FIA Formula 1 French Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:33.448 24 225.057
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.783 0.335 21 224.253
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:33.880 0.432 23 224.022
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:34.193 0.745 25 223.277
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:34.329 0.881 25 222.955
6 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:34.644 1.196 24 222.213
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:34.693 1.245 21 222.098
8 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:34.699 1.251 20 222.084
9 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:34.707 1.259 21 222.065
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:34.847 1.399 22 221.738
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:34.950 1.502 24 221.497
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:35.116 1.668 23 221.111
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:35.135 1.687 20 221.066
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:35.275 1.827 23 220.742
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:35.289 1.841 16 220.709
16 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:35.342 1.894 24 220.586
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:35.612 2.164 22 219.964
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:36.651 3.203 24 217.599
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:37.329 3.881 14 216.083
20 Roy Nissany Williams/Mercedes 1:37.881 4.433 16 214.864

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