Valtteri Bottas would take the top sport for Mercedes in Portugal, following a poor showing last time out at Imola, in a weekend where he hopes to bounce back and kick start his title charge. He would be closely joined by both of the Red Bulls, with Max Verstappen in second and Sergio Perez sitting in third.
It would be a difficult session for Lewis Hamilton, who would end the session in the fifth position after being unable to put in a strong lap, as the circuit was severely congested.
Ten cars were out on track early on, with Perez using the aero rake on the side of the Red Bull to gain some more data early in the session. There would be an obstruction in the pit lane in the opening stages, a step was left attached to Carlos Sainz's Ferrari, which shed itself on the exit of the pitlane.
Callum Ilott was taking the session for Alfa Romeo, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi for FP1, this was after the news of the F2 runner-up being announced as the team's second test driver for the 2021 season. Within five minutes of the session beginning, Illot was joined by 14 other drivers.
Turn 4 would be the main point of viewing for the FIA, as it is one of the first turn that the drivers need to watch out for when it comes to track limits. The large majority of the drivers chose the hard compound tires, with the lower temperatures near the Algarve this morning, allowing them all to gain some more information about the track and the cars.
Towards the halfway point in the session, it would be Bottas who would hold the top spot, followed by Verstappen, who, despite putting in some fast times, looked to be struggling with the balance of the car through the slower speed corners. The two Aston Martins would also occupy the top ten, showing a good amount of pace to keep the cars 7th and 8th respectively.
30 Minutes to go
With the session at its mid-point, some drivers began to venture onto other tires, with Fernando Alonso in the Alpine and Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren opting for the soft tires, whilst George Russell tried out the medium compound in the Williams. Riccardo would see an instant improvement to his times, with him jumping to fourth place, behind Hamilton.
Moments later, Verstappen would take the top spot, putting in a quicker time than Bottas, despite the Dutchman being on the hard tire. This would light the touchpaper for a battle between the two of them, which would see both drivers set alternating fastest laps of the session.
Towards the bottom of the grid, Haas seemed to be struggling across the board, both drivers being caught out by the track limits across the circuit wasn't the start to the weekend that the American team would have wanted. To add to this, there was a lack of communication in the team, with Nikita Mazepin showing his frustration with his team after Mick Schumacher disrupted the start to a flying lap.
With ten minutes to go in the first session of the weekend, the times began to drop. Russell would find a great deal of pace in the Williams to go fourth, with Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri pipping the brit to third place.
All the drivers were out on track bar the two Alfa Romeos and Verstappen in the Red Bull, meaning that space was at a premium as the drivers reached the business end of the session. It would end up being a disappointing session for Aston Martin, despite early levels of promise, with Sebastian Vettel sitting in P16 being the standout that many fans will look at.