Bottas heads the first session of 2020 F1 pre-season testing
Valtteri Bottas finished quickest at the end of the morning session on the first day of testing ahead of the new Formula 1 season.
At the wheel of the Mercedes W11 at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, Bottas clocked a time of one minute 17.313secs, using the C3 medium compound of the five Pirelli have available to all teams in testing.
The Finn, who will give way to team-mate and reigning six-times champion Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon run, was 0.062s ahead of Sergio Perez in the Racing Point at the end of his 79 laps.
To add perspective, Bottas' lap was 1.1s slower than the best in testing at this track a year ago, and almost two seconds down on his own pole position lap for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen completed a morning high 91 laps, with the Dutch driver's best almost half-a-second down on Bottas, albeit set on the hard C2 compound.
McLaren's Carlos Sainz was also on the C2 in clocking 1:18.001s, followed by the return of Esteban Ocon, now with Renault for this season, with the Frenchman just three-thousandths of a second behind the Spaniard, albeit on the C3, in the team's RS20 sporting an all-black testing-only livery.
A year ago the Grove-based team was in disarray as it missed the first two days of testing due to delays in the development of its car.
Twelve months on, Russell was the first out of the pits in the FW43, although did not set a time until an hour and three quarters into the pre-lunch four-hour session.
The Briton finished his stint with a time of 1:18.168s, significantly 0.9s quicker than in qualifying last May, and covering 73 laps. However, Russell was also the only driverto set his time on the soft C4 compound tyre.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was seventh, with the Monegasque taking over from Sebastian Vettel in Ferrari's SF1000 due to the four-time champion being too ill to drive, and just under a second down on Bottas.
Pre-season Testing Results – Wednesday 19 February, morning session 1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas 79 Laps 1:17.313 C3
2 Sergio Perez BWT Racing Point 58 Laps +0.062 C3
3 Max Verstappen Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 91 Laps +0.474 C2
4 Carlos Sainz McLaren 64 Laps +0.688 C2
5 Esteban Ocon Renault 62 Laps +0.691 C3
6 George Russell ROKiT Williams 73 Laps +0.855 C4
7 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 64 Laps +0.976 C3
8 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN 59 Laps +1.073 C3
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas 55 Laps +1.153 C3
10 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia AlphaTauri 54 Laps +1.171 C3
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