Portuguese GP: Bottas tops Practice 1 at slippery Portimao

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Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes 1-2 as drivers got a first look at Portimao in Practice 1 at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The sweeping, undulating layout certainly provided a challenge on Friday morning with the newly laid tarmac offered very little grip.

This was evident by many drivers running wide or going off at various corners around the circuit, indeed, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc were among those to have a spin.

Further not helping the lack of grip, all teams only focused on the medium and hard compound tyres, with graining also becoming an issue as the session progressed.

As drivers gradually got dialled in, the lap times began to tumble with Bottas setting a 1m18.410s to lead teammate Lewis Hamilton by a third of a second.


Following his early spin, Verstappen appeared hindered by mechanical gremlins with smoke seen coming from his Red Bull on various occasions.

Still, it didn't stop the Dutchman from slotting in third, albeit almost eight-tenths off the pace set by Bottas.

Charles Leclerc again looked more competitive for Ferrari in fourth, nine-tenths faster than teammate Sebastian Vettel in 11th and ahead of Alex Albon in the second Red Bull.

In the battle for third in the Constructors' Championship between Racing Point, McLaren and Renault, Carlos Sainz led the way for McLaren in sixth, four-tenths clear of Carlos Sainz in seventh.

Nurburgring podium sitter Daniel Ricciardo was ninth, as Kimi Raikkonen's skill in low-grip conditions saw him P8 in the Alfa Romeo.

Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 for AlphaTauri.

A busy session with plenty of moments, including Esteban Ocon suffering an apparent engine problem just as the chequered flag dropped.

And Practice 2 will see plenty more as the soft tyres will be used for the first time.

Full results from FP1 can be seen below: