Lewis Hamilton finishes quickest in first Spanish Grand Prix practice as Mercedes storm back from Sochi problems

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hamilton fastest in Barcelona

Hamilton ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Barcelona with Ferrari pair Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel trailing ahead of Sunday’s race

LEWIS HAMILTON has laid down an early marker with the fastest time in the first practice session, ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton clocked 1:21.51 on medium tyres, just 0.0029 seconds ahead of Mercedes team-mate and Russian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas in Barcelona on Friday.

AP:Associated Press

Lewis Hamilton fastest in first practice session in Barcelona ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the nearest challenger to the Mercedes duo, and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso had a nightmare, breaking down after three corners.



The two time champion, spun out of a turn and into the gravel, right at the start of the morning session at the Catalunya track.

Hamilton clocked  1:21.51 on medium tyres in first session at Catalunya

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Hamilton clocked  1:21.51 on medium tyres in first session at Catalunya

Valterri Bottas was second behind Hamilton in first practice session

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Valterri Bottas was second behind Hamilton in first practice session

Fernando Alonso broke down without completing a lap

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Fernando Alonso broke down without completing a lap

McLaren’s team radio told the Spanish driver to “stop the car, stop the car, engine problem” as a pool of liquid dripped from the underside of the vehicle.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was fourth, about a second slower than Hamilton, but had problems early on when a gearbox issue stopped his pit lane exit.

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Track marshals rolled him back to his garage, and team mechanics quickly fixed the problem before the German headed back out.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who won the race last year, and Daniel Ricciardo were next, within 1.6 seconds of Hamilton.
Practice will resume after lunch and again on Saturday before qualifying for Sunday’s race.

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