Bottas on top, Stroll crashes in Spanish grand prix practice

The Finn clocked a best lap of one minute 17.951 seconds to finish ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel by 0.115 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas clocked a best lap of one minute 17.951 seconds to finish ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel by 0.115 seconds.   -  Getty Images

World championship leader Valtteri Bottas topped the times for Mercedes ahead of the two Ferraris in Friday opening free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Finn clocked a best lap of one minute 17.951 seconds to finish ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel by 0.115 seconds.

Charles Leclerc was third, adrift by 0.221 seconds with defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton, six-tenths further back, in the second Mercedes.

READ: Brazilian Grand Prix moving to Rio from 2020, says Bolsonaro

The session ended abruptly when Canadian Lance Stroll crashed at the long sweeping Turn Nine in his Racing Point car. He climbed out unhurt.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was fifth for Haas ahead of local hero Spaniard Carlos Sainz in his McLaren and Dane Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who was briefly fastest in the opening minutes, was eighth for Red Bull ahead of Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.