Silverstone FP1: Bottas leads Mercedes early charge

Valtteri Bottas

Austrian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas kept his momentum going to claim top spot on the time sheets in the first free practice session of the British Grand Prix, ending the session fractionally faster than home hero Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes dominated proceedings in the morning at Silverstone.

Bottas’ best lap time of 1:29.106 was a mere 0.078 of a second faster than teammate Hamilton, as they swapped top spot on the timing screens throughout the 90 minutes session. Neither driver used the faster Pirelli super soft tyre.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo had the supersofts bolted on to their Red Bulls – and the pair finished third and fourth respectively, notably Verstappen was half a second down on Bottas.

Ferrari duo, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, were next up, the latter having spent the first part of the session testing ‘The Shield’ cockpit safety device. One would imagine the Reds are keeping their powder dry as they tend to do in the first session of a grand prix weekend.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was seventh, while both McLaren drivers enjoyed a good session with Fernando Alonso eighth and Stoffel Vandoorne in tenth, the pair sandwiching the Williams of Felipe Massa who ended ninth.

Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi was on duty for Haas, in place of Kevin Magnussen, and ended the session 16th quickest, with Romain Grosjean in the sister car 14th four tenths up on the Italian.

A few incidents pock marked the session, which was run under a cloudy sky, with Williams’ Lance Stroll going off-track at Becketts, Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber suffered gearbox temperature problems and Grosjean complaining of no power.

British Grand Prix, Silverstone – Free Practice 1, Best Lap Times

1 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:29.106   29
2 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:29.184 +0.078s 29
3 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:29.604 +0.498s 26
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:29.942 +0.836s 19
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:30.137 +1.031s 19
6 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:30.517 +1.411s 19
7 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:30.895 +1.789s 21
8 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:30.993 +1.887s 20
9 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:30.999 +1.893s 26
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:31.041 +1.935s 27
11 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:31.200 +2.094s 24
12 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:31.210 +2.104s 32
13 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:31.297 +2.191s 34
14 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:31.610 +2.504s 24
15 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:31.684 +2.578s 24
16 50 Antonio Giovinazzi HAAS FERRARI 1:32.031 +2.925s 24
17 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:32.171 +3.065s 19
18 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:32.450 +3.344s 16
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 1:33.029 +3.923s 23
20 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:33.399 +4.293s 26