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Bottas clocks fastest lap in testing

New signing Valtteri Bottas put champions Mercedes on top of the timesheets yesterday with the fastest lap in Formula 1's pre-season testing.

The Finn's best lap of one minute and 19.310 seconds came on supersoft tyres in the morning session, with Bottas then handing over to triple world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon.

Bottas' time was 0.395 faster than the best set last week, also by the Finn on ultrasoft tyres, and quicker than any Spanish Grand Prix pole position time since the Circuit de Catalunya layout was changed in 2007.

Bottas, who did 70 laps yesterday, joined from Williams in January as replacement for retired world champion Nico Rosberg.

Bottas' former teammate Felipe Massa, who was fastest on Tuesday when he did an eye-catching 168 laps equal to 2-1/2 race distances, was second-quickest and completed another 63 laps.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third with a time of 1:20.406 yesterday, but spent some time in the garage while the Italian team carried out a fluid systems check and completed just 39 laps before lunch.

Red Bull had to carry out an engine change over the lunch break with Max Verstappen managing only 34 laps - the second-lowest of any team in the morning session. - REUTERS

Formula 1