Lewis Hamilton led team-mate Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes one-two in first practice at the French Grand Prix.
The world champion was 0.140 seconds quicker than Bottas on Formula 1’s return to the country where the sport started for the first time in 10 years.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest, 0.296secs off the pace and ahead of Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel and the Haas of Romain Grosjean.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had a heavy crash at the end of the session. The Swede lost the car at the fast Beausset corner after the flat-out Signes corner at the end of the Mistral straight, spinning under braking for the double right-hander and smashing into the barriers. He was unhurt but the car was burnt after catching fire at the rear. A number of drivers had spins, particularly at Turn Six, the beginning of an acceleration zone towards the famous Mistral straight – Raikkonen, Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley all narrowly missed the barriers during spins there.
Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, who is being linked to a Ferrari drive in 2019, had spins at Turns One and Turn Eight, the chicane on the Mistral.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, fresh from his win for Toyota in the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend, was sixth after the first 40 minutes but ended the session down in 16th having failed to improve following a switch from super-soft to the theoretically faster ultra-soft tyres.