Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first practice session going .03 faster in cool conditions than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for this weekend’s British Grand Prix. The Mercedes drivers fought between themselves to lead the session ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
The top two set there fastest laps on the medium tyre after doing the same thing on the soft tyres. Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest using the supersofts with the German trying out the latest design of the halo device but it wasn’t a straight forward session as he ran into gearbox issues.
There was also concern after Vettel also reported a lack of power and stopped before limping back to the pits, with Ferrari possibly facing another weekend dogged by reliability concerns.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was fourth .009 of a second slower than Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest using the supersoft to go faster than Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen was .5 seconds slower than Vettel. Through-out the session the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg looked very evenly matched on track.
They trade times from the start with them getting bellow Hamilton’s pole time last year. Rosberg and Hamilton also looked good on the long runs with them also having good one lap pace. The rest of the field from fifth downwards were more than a second off the pace.
The halo device is the preferred head protection device by the FIA with the device contiuning to split the drivers while Williams’ Pat Symonds hoped it would simply be an “interim solution”
Both McLarens of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso had new ICEs from engine supplier Honda but it couldn’t deliver the performance they were expecting. Button was twelfth with Alonso tenth. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was faster than the teams reserve driver Esteban Ocon.
Carlos Sainz put in a good time for ninth ahead of Alonso with his team-mate eleventh ahead of Button. Ocon wasn’t the only reserve driver making a appearance in Practice One as the Monaco Charles Leclerc made his debut for Haas.
Leclerc only managed eighteenth but the gap to his team-mate Romain Grosjean was .011 of a second.
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- Data Profile – British Grand Prix