Valterri Bottas can blast of blocks fast in Barcelona
Finn will be keen to impress after heartbreak in Baku
Spanish Grand Prix practice one 10am Friday
The F1 field will have to go some to outdo the drama of the last race in Azerbaijan as the traditional European campaign begins at Barcelona this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas has not had long to get over his Baku heartbreak, when a Nigel Mansell-style tyre blowout cost him victory just four laps from home, but he could get it out of his system by going fastest in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Finn has been a fast starter this season, coming second, second, third and first in the four P1 sessions and looks a sound each-way bet as third favourite behind teammate and Azerbaijan winner Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes went well in pre-season testing at Barcelona but they have been challenged by Ferrari and Red Bull in the opening races.
The Ferraris of second favourite Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen look a bigger threat than the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who spectacularly collided in Baku.
The session should be busier than most opening stanzas with most teams keen to test updates they were not able to introduce at the early long-haul events and the cream should rise to the top.
Vettel is favourite for pole but bookmakers are struggling to separate him and Hamilton in the race market.
V Bottas fastest in practice one
1pt e-w 11-2 Hills
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