Bottas edges Mortara in Macau Grand Prix first practice Valtteri Bottas ended an incident-filled first practice session for the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets - but there was only 0.010 seconds separating him from his ...
Bottas edges Mortara in Macau Grand Prix first practice
Valtteri Bottas ended an incident-filled first practice session for the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets - but there was only 0.010 seconds separating him from his nearest rival and last year's winner Edoardo Mortara.
With track conditions very slippery for the opening action of the blue- riband event, Bottas took things steady as he got used to his new surroundings at Prema Powerteam, which he has joined for this event.
With lap times improving throughout the session, Bottas moved to the top of the timesheets with 10 minutes remaining - shortly before practice was brought to a premature halt when Signature's Daniel Abt crashed into the barriers at R Bend.
Bottas said: "I took things pretty easy as it was just a case of getting used to the car and rebuilding my confidence at the track. I'm happy with how we have started."
Mortara, who is hoping to become the first man to win the F3 Grand Prix for a second time, said track conditions were very tricky.
"The circuit was very dirty with very little grip, so there is no surprise that a few drivers hit trouble," said the Signature driver. "As the surface rubbers in, it is going to get a lot quicker, so we cannot read too much into the times just yet."
Behind Mortara, his team-mate Laurens Vanthoor was third fastest with Prema's Roberto Merhi fourth quickest, having topped the times midway through the session.
Abt was not the only driver to hit trouble during the practice session. Will Buller ran down an escape road at Moorish Hill, while Michael Ho had a spin at Police Bend before briefly running off track at Lisboa shortly afterwards. Felix Rosenqvist and Rio Haryanto hit the barriers at Lisboa too.
Kimiya Sato caused the first red flag of the session after 17 minutes when he crashed heavily into the barriers at R Bend, badly damaging the left- hand side of his car.