Spanish GP: Mercedes a second clear in Practice 1

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Mercedes look in dominant form once again after holding almost a second advantage in Practice 1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

With temperatures already pretty toasty in Barcelona on Friday morning, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a 1m16.785s, just 0.039s ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second.

Behind the Briton though was a nine-tenths gap back to Max Verstappen in third for Red Bull, all three using the soft compound tyre.

Offering hope to the Dutchman, however, was during the initial long runs at the end of the session, Mercedes was again struggling with the blistering that hurt them so much last weekend in Silverstone.

Ferrari enjoyed a solid start to the weekend in fourth and fifth, as a new chassis and a higher downforce setup appears to have boosted Sebastian Vettel's confidence, with the German just 0.01s behind teammate Charles Leclerc.

Vet FP1

Haas traditionally go well in Spain, and Romain Grosjean indicated points could be a possibility for the American squad in sixth.

Sergio Perez was back in the car after his two-week absence due to Covid-19 and was a decent seventh on the medium compound in the Racing Point, just 0.7s behind Verstappen.

Alex Albon was eighth in the second Red Bull, with Kevin Magnussen backing up Haas' performance in ninth and Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10 also on mediums.

Esteban Ocon was the meat in a McLaren sandwich from P11 to P13, while Daniel Ricciardo struggled on his second set of tyres down in 18th.

It was a tricky start at AlphaTauri as issues for both Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly limited their running in Practice 1.

Alfa Romeo appeared a little more competitive though, with Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen less than a tenth apart in P15 and P16.

At the bottom of the timesheets came the two Williams as development driver Roy Nissany completed his first F1 session in place of George Russel.

And despite a spin on what would have been his fastest lap, the Israeli made a decent impression only three-tenths behind Nicholas Latifi.

Full results from Practice 1 can be seen below: