Formula One is back at the Algarve International Circuit this morning for FP1 ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday – with some fine and dry weather.
First out on the tarmac this morning was the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – both looking to make strides of improvement at this roller coaster circuit following disappointing results at Imola.
Quickly following them out of the garage was Alfa Romeo’s most-recently announced Reserve Driver, Callum Ilot, for his P1 debut – in for Antonio Giovinazzi this morning.
As the battle resumes between Red Bull and Mercedes, the former has arrived in Portugal with upgrades – more complex bargeboards – and so will be teasing out any changes today, ahead of tomorrow’s all-important qualifying session.
With 49 minutes to go in the first practice session, Valtteri Bottas, who is most definitely pushing for a leading weekend here, clocked a lap in 1:21.8s placing him out front.
Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz was second quickest in the Ferrari at this point ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc.
At the 40 minutes mark, Max Verstappen arrived on track and immediately set a decent lap time as he launched himself straight into third, just 0.033s off the fastest pace so far.
Daniel Ricciardo now led with a 1:21.821s, eight thousandths ahead of Mercedes’ Bottas – marking a great start to the weekend for McLaren.
At the halfway mark this morning, Bottas was in the lead, while Verstappen was up into second followed by Hamilton .447s off the pace.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was in fourth followed by his ex-teammate Esteban Ocon of Alpine in 5th.
Verstappen moved back out front this morning for a moment, but with 15 minutes left on the clock, Bottas lowered the benchmark once again on the soft Pirellis, bringing the lap time down to a 1:19.648s – marking a 0.6s advantage over Verstappen at this point.
At the end of this morning’s run, Valtteri Bottas remained as the lead Mercedes with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen just 0.025s off the pace, followed by his teammate Sergio Perez in third.