Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes 1-2 in the opening practice session for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix, narrowly edging out teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Incredibly, both drivers managed to lap faster than Hamilton’s pole position time posted in 2016 – on Pirelli’s Soft compound rubber to boot – while their rivals from Red Bull Racing and Ferrari posted their quickest times on the grippier Super Soft tyres.
The Silver Arrows drivers traded fastest lap times, with Bottas emerging on top with a 1:29.106 effort, just 0.078 seconds quicker than Hamilton’s best lap of the session.
Despite its horsepower disadvantage, Red Bull Racing beat Ferrari into ‘best of the rest’ status, with Max Verstappen lapping third quickest and half a second off Bottas’ pace, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo was a further half-second down on the Dutch driver.
Ferrari occupied fifth and sixth on the timesheets, with Kimi Räikkönen narrowly outpacing teammate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who had a spin at Becketts thirty minutes into the session.
The German was also the first driver to trial the FIA’s new ‘Shield’ cockpit protection concept, briefly running the device before his car was returned to its more traditional configuration.
A late surge saw Daniil Kvyat haul his Toro Rosso into seventh place ahead of the McLaren Hondas of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who sandwiched Williams’ Felipe Massa on the timesheets.
Massa was another driver to run off-track, suffering a clumsy wobble over the kerbs at the exit of Copse which damaged the Brazilian’s floor.
Kvyat’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr found himself – or at least his car – in hot water with the FIA Stewards, who momentarily contemplated sanctioning the team for presenting his car for scrutineering in an allegedly “unsafe condition”. The Spaniard’s STR12 was submitted with a damaged wheel tether for Thursday’s inspection, and was subsequently resubmitted for scrutineering on Friday once the offending part – which the team blamed on a manufacturing error – had been replaced.
Behind the two heavily-upgraded Force India Mercedes’ of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Pérez, Haas’ Romain Grosjean tried new Carbone Industrie brake material and finished the session fourteenth-fastest ahead of the second Williams of Lance Stroll. Like his teammate Massa, Stroll also had an off-track moment during the session.
Strapped into the second Haas was Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi, making the first of a number of planned FP1 outings for the American team over the remainder of the season. Driving in place of regular driver Kevin Magnussen, the Italian finished 16th-fastest and four-tenths of a second slower than Grosjean.
The two Renaults and Saubers brought up the rear of the field, with Nico Hülkenberg outpacing teammate Jolyon Palmer for the former. The two Saubers lapped almost a second slower, with Pascal Wehrlein finishing ahead of Marcus Ericsson.
Friday’s second practice session at Silverstone will begin at 13:00 local time (GMT +1).
|2017 FORMULA 1 ROLEX BRITISH GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE 1 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Tyre||Laps|
|1.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:29.106||29|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:29.184||29|
|3.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:29.604||26|
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:29.942||19|
|5.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:30.137||19|
|6.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:30.517||19|
|7.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:30.895||21|
|8.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:30.993||20|
|9.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:30.999||26|
|10.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:31.041||27|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:31.200||24|
|12.||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:31.210||32|
|13.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:31.297||33|
|14.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:31.610||24|
|15.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:31.684||24|
|16.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:32.031||24|
|17.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:32.171||19|
|18.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:32.450||16|
|19.||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:33.029||23|
|20.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:33.399||26|
Images via Sutton Images
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