Mercedes Valtteri Bottas has topped the timed edging out his teammate Lewis Hamilton by .07 of a second in first practice for the British Grand Prix. The Mercedes duo traded times throughout the session, with the Fin setting his fastest time on the soft tyre.
The Mercedes appear as if the momentum is beginning to get behind them as their upgrades are seeing them pull away as they were a second ahead of the Red Bull’s in the cool Northamptonshire countryside. Bottas eventually got the upper hand going faster than Hamilton’s pole record last season.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was almost half a second behind Hamilton in third with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo fourth. Both setting there fastest laps on the supersoft tyres. Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest Ferrari, going three tenths faster than team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
During the early part of the session, the German was testing the latest version of the halo. But after Ferrari removed the cockpit protection device, his session went down the pan, as he was making mistakes.
His first run saw him have a big spin on the exit of Maggots and Becketts as the rear of his Ferrari. He then ran wide on the exit of Vale, bouncing over the kerbs.
McLaren’s up turn in performance continued thanks to a new spec of their Honda engine, with Fernando Alonso eighth. Thou by taking the new spec of engine, Alonso is set for at least a five-place grid penalty. Williams’s Felipe Massa was the only driver apart from the Mercedes, who set his fastest lap on the softs.
But it wasn’t trouble free for Massa or his team-mate Lance Stroll, they both damaged their floors at Copse. That forced the team to change the floors of both cars, mid session.
Stoffel Vandoorne made it two McLarens in the top 10, just half-a-tenth slower than team-mate Alonso. Haas’s reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi finished seventeenth, almost half-a-second off team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Jolyon Palmer missed much of the opening part of the session with his Renault up on stands in the garage, but the team eventually got him back out and he finished eighteenth fastest.
- Preview – British Grand Prix