Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton to top first practice in Barcelona as Mercedes star bids to deliver a strong performance amid growing pressure ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas has topped first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton after the session was brought to an abrupt halt. At the time of the suspension, Finnish driver Bottas was fastest in his Mercedes, lapping at 1:18.504, just 0.033 seconds quicker than Red Bull’s Verstappen. Seven-time world champion and championship leader Hamilton ended the session on third, 0.123 seconds slower than his Mercedes team-mate. The 31-year-old failed to convert pole position into a win in Portugal last week, with Hamilton and Verstappen both passing the Mercedes man in Portimao. ‘There is some unrest at the factory about Valtteri,’ a Mercedes engineer anonymously told Sportsmail.

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