Montmelo (Spain), August 14
Valtteri Bottas posted the quickest time within the first follow for the Spanish Grand Prix forward of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Friday.
The Finnish driver was .039 faster than championship chief Hamilton and about 1 second forward of Max Verstappen, who leapfrogged Bottas into second place within the standings after successful final Sunday’s race at Silverstone.
There was an encouraging enchancment for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who positioned fifth behind his teammate Charles Leclerc. Ferrari modified the chassis on Vettel’s automobile following a dismal run of type.
Sergio Pérez was seventh for Racing Point after recovering from the coronavirus and testing destructive. The virus compelled the Mexican to overlook the final two races at Silverstone in England after he contracted it final month. Following the Hungarian GP on July 19 he flew by personal aircraft to Mexico, the place he visited his mom in hospital after she had an accident.
Mexico has the world’s third-highest whole of deaths from COVID-19 — greater than 55,000 as of Friday — with solely Brazil and the United States recording extra.
Pérez defended his resolution to fly dwelling.
“I haven’t done anything different to the rest of the paddock. So I was just the unlucky one to get it,” Pérez mentioned.
“That’s one thing. But I’m not willing to take any blame for that because anyone can get it.”
Governing physique FIA cleared him on Thursday to return to the paddock.
“I’m very happy to be back, to finally be rid of the virus and be back with my team. It’s been tough,” Pérez mentioned.
“I couldn’t leave the room, so I was basically on lockdown for 10 days.”
Pérez, who was briefly changed by veteran German driver Nico Hulkenberg, felt properly sufficient to maintain exercising.
“I was actually training in the apartment where I was,” Perez mentioned.
“I was extremely lucky not to have any big symptoms other than a little bit of headache, and one or two days I felt very tired.”
No different F1 drivers have examined optimistic after the primary 5 races of the season.
There is a second follow session later Friday, the place situations are anticipated to be even hotter on the circuit positioned simply exterior Barcelona.
High monitor temperatures labored in opposition to Mercedes final Sunday, with each drivers experiencing tire troubles. AP