Portuguese GP: Bottas tops eventful FP1

Valtteri Bottas was on top in both practice sessions at Portimao seemingly the only driver to get it together at the right time all day.

Max Verstappen was second in the afternoon session ahead of Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen was involved in a mid session crash when he attempted to pass Lance Stroll into turn 1 and Stroll, allegedly without seeing him, turned in for the apex and collided with Verstappen.

Stroll was damaged and beached in the gravel and Verstappen was able to return to the pits. An investigation was launched into the drivers and a result has yet to be determined with it being unclear as to what Stroll could actually see and his testimony being crucial before a grid penalty is issued.

Norris put it third at the death with a late qualifying sim for both the McLarens. Carlos Sainz had gone fifth just before Norris’s lap.

Both Ferraris were fourth and sixth with Leclerc ahead of Vettel.

Pierre Gasly finished the session in seventh but was unable to run for the final half an hour after his AlphaTauri caught fire on track.

Lewis Hamilton placed eighth unable to get a representative qualifying simulation because of the two red flags caused by Gasly and the Stroll/Verstappen incident.

Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon completed the top 10.

George Russell was in a very promising 11th whilst rumours continue to circulate about his seat with Interim CEO Simon Roberts not confirming nor denying anything in the midday press conferences.

Sergio Perez who is rumoured to replace Russell was 12th ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who was held up by traffic before being able to set a clean lap very late in the session.

Nicholas Latifi was 14th just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 15th and Kevin Magnussen in 16th.

Daniil Kvyat ended the session 17th with Romain Grosjean in 18th.

Stroll ended the session in 19th with Antonio Giovinazzi in 20th and last.

The first half an hour was a Pirelli mandated tyre test with experimental 2021 tyres being ran by all the teams meaning that representative running had to wait. With two red flags not much took place in the end meaning that the form is very open in the midfield particularly.