Valtteri Bottas led the way for Mercedes in opening practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday despite being sidelined later in the session by an oil leak.

Formula 1 drivers’ championship leader Bottas laid down a benchmark of 1m17.951s on the Soft compound tyre for his rivals to try and beat, with the Finn ultimately ending the session fastest.

However, Bottas did not appear through the final 20 minutes of the session after an hydraulic problem emerged on his Mercedes W10 car, forcing the team to investigate the issue.

Mercedes later confirmed that Bottas had suffered an oil leak which caused a precautionary engine shutdown.

Bottas put in two laps good enough to finish fastest as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel could only finish one-tenth of a second behind in second place, narrowly ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc.

Lewis Hamilton took fourth for Mercedes, six-tenths of a second off his teammate’s best effort.

Mercedes wasn’t the only team to suffer a setback in FP1 as Red Bull was forced to work on Max Verstappen’s car – also due to an oil leak – which restricted the Dutchman to just 14 laps.

There was worse news for Racing Point as Lance Stroll crashed out at Turn 9 with just one minute remaining in the session, triggering a red flag.

The Canadian driver went straight on at the high-speed right-hander, with his car careering into the wall. Stroll quickly emerged from his car unharmed, although the team will be left with some repairs to complete ahead of FP2 later today.

Haas enjoyed a solid opening practice in Barcelona as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished fifth and seventh respectively, split by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

Pierre Gasly wound up eighth for Red Bull ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, while Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.

Second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix begins at 3pm local time (2pm BST).  

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