Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

French Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas was the quickest in the opening practice session as Mercedes return to the top of the timesheets.

Bottas’ fastest time was set half an hour into the session on the soft compound beating the 1:33.783 set a few seconds earlier by his teammate, Lewis Hamilton. It wasn’t all smooth running for the reigning champions however as there was some costly damage done to Bottas’ car when he went wide in T2 and bounced over the yellow kerbing.

Mercedes were heard on the team-to-FIA radio complaining to Race Director, Michael Masi, about the amount of damage done for going such a small distance outside the track limits.

Max Verstappen’s best effort saw him 0.432 off the pace of the Mercedes in third with Baku race winner, Sergio Perez, three tenths further back in the second Red Bull car. Esteban Ocon was the highest placed French driver in fifth and it’s a good weekend for him as, aside from this being his home race, Ocon has also just signed a three-year extension with Alpine.

Sixth was Daniel Ricciardo for McLaren with a 1:34.644 with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine in seventh. The other home-driver this weekend, Pierre Gasly, posted the eighth fastest time for AlphaTauri, a 1:34.699, with Lando Norris’ best only 0.008 slower.

The second AlphaTauri, driven by Yuki Tsunoda, was tenth 1.399 seconds off Bottas. After back-to-back pole positions, it wasn’t a great start for Ferrari with Leclerc and Sainz 1.5 and 1.9 seconds off the pace.There were a few tyre-destroying incidents during the session with Schumacher, Vettel and Sainz all spinning off track and over the brightly coloured, abrasive paint around the circuit. Vettel also lost running time as his spin ended with his Aston Martin rear-ending the barriers and that took time for the team to repair.


1Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m33.448s
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m33.783s
3Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1m33.880s
4Sergio PerezMEXRed Bull Racing1m34.193s
5Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1m34.329s
6Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m34.644s
7Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1m34.693s
8Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1m34.699s
9Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m34.707s
10Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1m34.847s
11Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1m34.950s
12Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1m35.116s
13Kimi RaikkonenFINAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1m35.135s
14Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1m35.275s
15Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1m35.289s
16Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1m35.342s
17Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1m35.612s
18Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1m36.651s
19Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1m37.329s
20Roy NissanyISRWilliams Racing1m37.881s

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