French GP: Bottas leads a Mercedes 1-2 in Practice 1

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Back on a normal track, Mercedes appears back on form as Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton in Practice 1 at the French Grand Prix.

The Brackley-based team has won both races so far at Paul Ricard and showed why Red Bull will have their work cut out to end that run this weekend.

Bottas' best time of 1m33.448s put him three-tenths clear of teammate Hamilton, who was a further tenth ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen in third.

It wasn't all plain-sailing for the Finn, who damaged his front wing running over the sausage kerbs at Turn 2 early on.

In fact, several drivers repeated the mistake during the session, with Valtteri's trip prompting a strong radio call from Mercedes to the FIA suggesting they should be changed.

Verstappen rued a lack of front grip from his Red Bull in third, something he highlighted with a bumpy ride over the exit kerb of Turn 11.

Teammate Sergio Perez was fourth on the hard tyres, only three-tenths behind the Dutchman's time on soft, suggesting there is a lot of room for improvement.

Fresh from signing a new three-year deal, Esteban Ocon led the midfield in fifth with Fernando Alonso seventh, as Alpine also appear much more comfortable on a more regular circuit.

Likewise, Daniel Ricciardo looked more at home in the McLaren in sixth, while Lando Norris was the meat in an AlphaTauri sandwich in ninth.

While some teams are rejuvenated at Paul Ricard, Ferrari has gone the other way with Charles Leclerc only 11th and Carlos Sainz 16th after ruining his soft tyres with a high-speed slide off the track at Turn 2.

Aston Martin equally made a slow start in 14th and 15th, as Sebastian Vettel hit the barrier at Turn 11 at the 15-minute mark but was able to recover to the pits and continue in the session.

Towards the back, Nicholas Latifi was over a second clear of the Haas cars in 17th.

Mick Schumacher was six-tenths behind Nikita Mazepin as his confidence was dented by a slide into the barrier on his first lap out of the pits.

Williams development driver Roy Nissany brought up the field, six-tenths slower than anyone else.

Full results from Practice 1 can be seen below: