Formula 1 headed to Silverstone this weekend for the tenth round of the 2017 Season – the British Grand Prix. First practice was an important session, with a number of teams running new parts in the session in order to improve performance.
Valtteri Bottas tops FP1 in Britain as Vettel tests new shield concept
For FP1, there was only one driver change for the session, and that was Antonio Giovinazzi, who drove for Haas F1 instead of Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen will return in FP2 however.
In the early stages of the session, many teams were running new parts and testing them, and two such teams were Red Bull Racing and Renault with both fitting aero rakes to their cars in order to measure tyre wake, and map the airflow towards the rear end of the car. Also in the early stages, Sebastian Vettel tested Formula 1’s new shield concept that will be implemented for 2018. When driving, reflections could be seen on the shield, which could distract a driver. Also, Vettel looked to be struggling when getting in and out of the car, which may prevent the head protection device from being implemented.
FP1 was drama free, and did not emulate the first practice sessions of Austria and Azerbaijan with relatively few drivers having off track moments. Sebastian Vettel did however, have a spin in the maggots and becketts complex for Ferrari in the early sessions, and apart from flatspotted tyres, escaped without any major cost. Felipe Massa also had a hairy moment early on, running over a kerb and damaging the floor of his Williams extensively with a number of parts flying off the car.
It took a long time for drivers to get up to speed at Silverstone in FP1, with many drivers only doing installation laps in the early stages of the session. When the flag waved after 90 minutes, Valtteri Bottas emerged as the pacesetter for Mercedes, setting a 1:29.106, 0.078 seconds ahead of his team mate and home favourite, Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes pair put in their best times on the soft tyre while Red Bull Racing, who were the closest team to the reigning champions in the session, put in their best times on the faster supersofts, and were over half a second behind. Ferrari were the next best team, however, were over one second behind Mercedes in fifth and sixth.
Results from Practice 1 of the British Grand Prix:
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:29.106
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:29.184
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:29.604
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:29.942
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:30.137
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:30.517
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:30.895
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:30.993
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:30.999
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:31.041
- Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:31.200
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:31.210
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:31.297
- Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:31.610
- Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:31.684
- Antonio Giovinazzi, Haas F1, 1:32.031
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:32.171
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:32.450
- Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:33.029
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:33.399