Lewis Hamilton was quickest in FP1, debuting the new black Mercedes livery, Credit: Merecedes F1
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes topped the first free practice session of the season that left as many questions as answers with no clear running order established.
Mercedes cemented their status as the team to beat, recording a one-two as Hamilton ran quickest, and was the driver who completed the most laps, three tenths ahead of Valterri Bottas.
Max Verstappen was Mercedes’ closest challenger but was half a second behind Hamilton, and spun late on in the session – a problem seemingly continuing from the Barcelona tests.
McLaren also had a strong session, completing the most laps, and ended the session fourth and sixth in a very tight midfield pack.
Sergio Perez was fifth in his Racing Point, and half a second separated the next four drivers – to Kevin Magnussen in ninth – with all four from different teams.