The Mercedes cars might have looked well clear of the field in second practice but Max Verstappen was on top of them in the earlier session.
Both Red Bull cars followed the Mercedes as third and fourth fastest in the more representative dusk running of second practice, followed by Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez.
The tight midfield battle looks set to carry on, with sixth to ninth fastest drivers separated by less than a hundredth after the low-fuel runs in second practice. Renault looked slightly further ahead than their rivals for third place in the constructors’ title but with very little in it to decide the qualifying order.
Bottas was ahead of Hamilton in both Friday sessions but a brake issue for Hamilton lost him a lot of running in first practice, before closing the gap to two tenths in the second session.
We have a copy of F1 2020: Michael Schumacher edition to be won every grand prix weekend this year. The RaceFans F1 Predictions Championship is free to enter. You will need an RaceFans account to place so sign up here if you haven’t got one.
Enter your predictions for each race using the form below, and scroll down for more information on the prizes and the rules.
Make your predictions
F1 2020: The official game
Supplied by Codemasters
At every round of the championship the top-scoring player will win F1 2020, the new edition of the official Formula 1 game published by Codemasters, for their choice of platform.
F1 2020 features the full roster of tracks, drivers and cars which were originally due to appear in the 2020 F1 season – including the new street circuit at Hanoi in Vietnam and the updated Zandvoort track in the Netherlands.
Codemasters have also introduced a new ‘My Team’ mode, which allows you for the first time to create, design and run your own 11th team within the game.
Rules and how to enter
You have until the scheduled start time for qualifying on Saturday to make your predictions for each round. Reminders will be posted during the weekend on RaceFans, the RaceFans Twitter account and RaceFans Facebook page.
To enter, predict the pole sitter and the top five finishers in the race. You can also enter a prediction for the pole position lap time which this will be used in the event of a points tie between prize-winners.
Enter your pole position lap time prediction in the following format: MM:SS.ccc For example, for a lap of one minute, 23.450 seconds you would enter 01:23.450
You must log in using a RaceFans account to make a prediction. Registration is free and quick:
After submitting your prediction you will receive an email confirming your entry. If this does not happen, or you are concerned your prediction has not been received, please get in touch using the contact form.
Competition terms and conditions
1. Maximum one entry per household.
2. The competition is not open to employees, friends or family of RaceFans or Codemasters.
3. In each round players are invited to predict (a) who will be on pole position and (b) what the top five finishers will be (five different drivers) and will accumulate points in each round as follows up to a maximum score of 50:
a. Correctly naming the pole sitter: 2 points
b. Correctly naming one/two/three/four/five driver/s who finish in the top five: 1/2/3/5/8 points
c. Correctly predicting where one/two/three/four/five driver/s finish: 2/6/14/24/40 points
4. Whoever scores the most points in every race counting towards the championship will win the grand prize, if one is offered.
5. In the event of a tie on points the winner will be determined by who is closest to predicting the pole position time correctly. If that fails to produce a winner the editor will choose a means of deciding who has won.
6. Predictions must be entered using the form above. If you have trouble submitting your entry via the predictions form please prediction using the contact form. Predictions will not be accepted via any other means of communication.
7. In the event of a dispute the editor’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
8. No cash alternative is offered for any of the prizes.
9. Players who have won prizes will be notified by email within 14 days of the winners being announced, so they can select their prize options and supply a postal address. Once this has been done prize delivery may take up to 28 days.
10. For further information see the disclaimer