EIFEL GP – Valtteri Bottas sets fastest time by a tenth in practice

Testing & Race Reports

Valtteri Bottas was a tenth faster than his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in practice for the Eifel Grand Prix. The Finn topped the times in the only practice session after Friday was abandoned following heavy rain at the Nurburgring.

The lack of running led to a lot of running, Max Verstappen set the early pace ahead of teammate Alex Albon, that was until the Mercedes set there fastest times. Bottas went a tenth faster than the dutchman on his first run, before Verstappen responded.

The Finn then moved seven tenths faster, Verstappen and teammate Lewis Hamilton were unable to respond after the Williams of Nicolas Latifi spun at Coke-Cola bringing out the yellow flags. The session proved busy but uneventful as drivers got their only running in before qualifying.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc proved unhappy early on, but set up changes allowed him to go ahead of Verstappen and within half a second of Bottas. The Dutchman ended the session fourth, after complaining about front grip, ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

The German appearing to struggle early on but recovered from a spin, Ferrari looking slightly stronger than expected. Vettel was a tenth quicker than the McLaren of Lando Norris. Sergio Perez  was the only Racing Point in the session going seventh, teammate Lance Stroll was “not feeling 100%” and would sit out final practice.

Nico Hulkenberg arrived at the circuit mid-way through the session, there has been no confirmation that he will replace Stroll this weekend. Daniel Ricciardo was eighth, with Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top ten for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri.

Esteban Ocon finished the session eleventh ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing fourteenth for Alfa Romeo. The Finn will become the most experienced driver tomorrow when he starts his 322nd Grand Prix.

Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen wound up fifteenth and sixteenth respectively. Grosjean took a moment during the session to tell his engineer that it was a “beautiful track”, returning to the site of his 2013 podium for Lotus.

George Russell was seventeenth, that was despite a spin which sent him sliding across the grass, albeit falling short of the wall and thus avoiding damage. Antonio Giovinazzi followed in eighteenth ahead of Latifi, who was the last driver to set a time in nineteenth

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