Brand new-style 2017 Formula 1 cars had the favorite effect of reducing lap times, with Hamilton’s best effort of 1:24.220 being less than four-tenths of a second off his pole position time for last year’s race.
New Mercedes boy Valtteri Bottas showed an impressive performance in his first F1 weekend session in Mercedes machine, leading the bulk of the session before Hamilton jumped ahead on the ultra-soft tires with around 30 minutes outstanding.
Local hero Daniel Ricciardo finishing third ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, but Ferrari decided against showing its hand early and restricted its running, only pushing for fast laps in the final 15 minutes of the session.
Kimi Raikkonen made fifth fastest in the SF70H and his team-mate Sebastian Vettel was a further tenth back in P6.
Williams’ Felipe Massa, Haas rider Romain Grosjean, Renault’s Nico Hulkenburg and Sergio Perez of Force India rounded out the top 10.
McLaren’s problems unending from pre-season as Fernando Alonso reached the respectability of 14th in the timesheets and his new tema-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was limited to just 10 laps.