Lewis Hamilton headed up a one-two finish for Mercedes in opening practice for the French Grand Prix on Friday at Paul Ricard, pipping teammate Valtteri Bottas by less than one-tenth of a second.

After missing most of Thursday’s commitments at Paul Ricard to attend a memorial to Karl Lagerfeld in Paris, championship leader Hamilton hit the ground running in FP1 to lead the field.

Hamilton set a fastest lap time of 1m32.738s to edge out Mercedes teammate Bottas by 0.069 seconds at the top of the timesheets, giving the German marque a one-two finish to start the race weekend.

Charles Leclerc took third overall for Ferrari as the team played around with different parts on the SF90 car, leaving a 30-minute break in the middle of the session where neither of its cars went out on-track.

Sebastian Vettel was able to rise up to fifth place late in the standings, finishing one second off Hamilton’s time as he slotted in behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Both Verstappen and teammate Pierre Gasly had on-track spins as they struggled in the warm conditions, with Gasly narrowly keeping his Red Bull RB15 out of the wall. The Frenchman ended the session sixth-fastest.

McLaren made a strong start to the weekend as Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz ended FP1 seventh and eighth respectively, while Daniel Ricciardo took ninth for Renault ahead of Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon, who completed the top 10.

Williams development driver Nicholas Latifi took part in his second practice session of the year, outpacing teammate Robert Kubica, while Romain Grosjean completed only nine laps due to a water leak.



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