Mercedes dominated Friday Practice at 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton topping both sessions respectively.
Bottas emerged fastest in the first practice session whilst Hamilton topped second practice with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finishing second fastest across both sessions as the title battle continues to remain close.
Elsewhere, Callum Ilott made his F1 Practice debut for Alfa Romeo as we round up the best of both practice sessions in Portimao.
Bottas was the first driver to hit the track this weekend ahead of Sergio Perez and Ilott, with the latter making his F1 Practice bow for Alfa Romeo after seeing his original debut with Haas last October at the Nurburgring ruined by inclement weather.
It however would be Bottas who initially set the early pace with a 1m 23.778 as several drivers scrapped over second place in their opening runs, until Hamilton went top in the eighth minute with 1m 22.772.
Carlos Sainz displaced him a minute later only to be rapidly displaced by Bottas with a 1m 21.829, which lasted eight minutes until Daniel Ricciardo went top with 1m 21.821 in his McLaren.
Verstappen ran a slightly different programme to many drivers and quickly got up to speed with 1m 21.053 to go top in the 22nd minute, only for Bottas to displace him three minutes later with 1m 20.506 as Lewis Hamilton went second just minutes later.
Perez meanwhile was on a different programme as he lingered in the bottom half for much of the opening half hour, until the closing stages when he initially improved to fifth before his final lap saw him go third quickest overall.
Bottas meanwhile posted further improvements as he eventually topped the session with a 1m 19.648, just 0.025 seconds clear of Verstappen with Perez, Charles Leclerc and Hamilton rounding out the top five.
Ilott meanwhile finished his first F1 Practice session with the 18th quickest time, which was only 0.354s quicker than Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and 2.285s quicker than Haas rookie, Nikita Mazepin.
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1m 19.648|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.025|
|3||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.198|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.236|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.319|
|6||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.796|
|7||George Russell||Williams||+ 0.881|
|8||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.987|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 1.032|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.152|
|11||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 1.246|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 1.347|
|13||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.442|
|14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 1.655|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.733|
|16||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 1.757|
|17||Callum Ilott||Alfa Romeo||+ 2.158|
|18||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 2.291|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 2.645|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+ 4.576|
FP2 was delayed by ten minutes due to a drainage issue at Turn 12 which needed repair but once the session commenced, everyone quickly filed out for their opening runs with most on medium tyres.
Verstappen set the initial pace with 1m 20.937 but he then encountered a suspected brake-by-wire issue just as Bottas went top with 1m 20.805.
Red Bull quickly discovered that Verstappen’s issue was sensor related and soon had him back out on track to go quickest with a 1m 20.322 which was 0.101s quicker than Bottas who had improved to a 1m 20.423.
Soft tyre qualifying simulations quickly followed with Bottas the first driver to improve up front with a 1m 20.181, only for Hamilton to set the session topping lap time just two minutes later as he posted a 1m 19.837 which wasn’t beaten for rest of the session.
Verstappen eventually had to settle for second on 1m 19.980 as Bottas finished third quickest ahead of Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Stroll and Perez who rounded out the top ten.
Bottas however holds the fastest time of the day ahead of Verstappen with their best lap times coming in FP1, whilst Hamilton’s FP2 topping lap put him third fastest overall across both Friday Practice sessions.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1m 19.837|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.143|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 0.344|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.360|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 0.383|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 0.398|
|7||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.523|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 0.581|
|9||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.590|
|10||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.679|
|11||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.721|
|12||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.920|
|13||George Russell||Williams||+ 1.139|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.216|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 1.237|
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.388|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.401|
|18||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 1.700|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 2.018|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+ 2.801|