The British GP weekend got underway at Silverstone with the two Friday practice sessions. The battle between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is back in full swing again.
Ferrari and Mercedes Battle Again In Friday Free Practice
The Briton led the way in the first practice session with a 1:27.487s lap time. Then, Vettel was on top of the timesheets in the second practice session (1:27.552s).
Red Bull Racing driver, Max Verstappen, had an eventful Friday. He stopped out on track after a gearbox issue in FP1. Then, the Dutch driver crashed in the early stages of FP2, after he spun off the track and broke his car’s right-rear suspension.
The main takeaways from both sessions were:
- Hamilton was the fastest driver of the day, but Vettel’s pace in FP2, both in qualifying simulations and long runs, was excellent.
- Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo, was fourth fastest in FP1, a couple of tenths in front of his Dutch teammate. In FP2, the Australian was fifth, but in both sessions was more than half a second behind the leader.
- The ice-blue striped Pirelli hard tires made its appearance on track for the first time this season.
- Hass F1 driver Romain Grosjean had a strong outing in the early stages of FP1. He positioned his car seventh, behind the top-three teams. But his day ended with a crash. The Frenchman spun off the track at turn 1, after failing to deactivate his DRS due to the “bumpy track,” according to him. The French driver could not take part in FP2.
- Many drivers were trying to deploy the DRS through turn 1 and carrying it into corner 2. With the new third DRS Zone, most drivers elected to deactivate the system in the first turn entry manually.
- McLaren did not look good in FP1, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in 15th and 17th place. In the hotter FP2 session, Alonso managed to perform a great lap and finished sixth. Also, the Spaniard had an unfriendly encounter with Haas’ driver Kevin Magnussen on the track, after the first session, both drivers had to talk to the stewards.
Mercedes and Ferrari have the upper hand over the rest of the field. Red Bull seems to be a step behind the Silver Arrows and the Italian squad. Especially in the power sectors of the track.
Results of FP2:
|5||3||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:28.408||+0.856s||31|
|8||31||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:29.467||+1.915s||33|
|9||11||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:29.522||+1.970s||32|
|13||10||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:29.831||+2.279s||16|
|18||28||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:30.404||+2.852s||36|
|19||33||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||2|
Results of FP1:
|4||3||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:28.144||+0.657s||30|
|6||33||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:28.325||+0.838s||24|
|8||11||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:29.812||+2.325s||23|
|9||31||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:29.815||+2.328s||24|
|12||10||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:30.004||+2.517s||31|
|19||28||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:30.749||+3.262s||31|