Valtteri Bottas tops FP1 in Britain as Vettel tests new shield concept

Following FP1 for the British Grand Prix, Chris Soulsby looks at the session which saw Valtteri Bottas set the early pace.

Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 14, 2017 in Northampton, England.

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:

  1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:29.106
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:29.184
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:29.604
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:29.942
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:30.137
  6. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:30.517
  7. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:30.895
  8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:30.993
  9. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:30.999
  10. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:31.041
  11. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:31.200
  12. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:31.210
  13. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:31.297
  14. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:31.610
  15. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:31.684
  16. Antonio Giovinazzi, Haas F1, 1:32.031
  17. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:32.171
  18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:32.450
  19. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:33.029
  20. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:33.399


Main Photo

Previous articleLondon open to holding a grand prix
Next articleValtteri Bottas fastest at Silverstone in FP2
Studying Media and Communications at Oxford Brookes University, Chris began writing for Last Word On Sports in March 2016. In the May of the same year, he was appointed as Associate Editor for the Motorsport department. Chris has since been appointed as the Department Head for Motorsport, being appointed in July 2016. Chris has a passion for Formula 1 and is a keen follower of Formula 2. It is his dream to become a Journalist or a Press Officer in the sport that he loves after graduating from university.