British GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

It's going to be fun

Valtteri Bottas, British GP 2017

Valtteri Bottas, British GP 2017 

 © RV Press


By Dan Knutson in Silverstone

The drivers were relishing getting out on the 18-turn 3.660-mile (5.891 km) Silverstone track with the with the new generation of faster cars.

"It's going to be fun," enthused Daniel Ricciardo. "I love high-speed corners. From Turn 9 to 15, Copse to Stowe, it's some of the coolest sequences…probably the best mile of race track we go on all year. We got a taste of it in Austria. The second, third sector we were carrying some serious speed, so it's a sign of what this weekend is going to be like I think."

"I think Copse is going to be flat this year," Lewis Hamilton said. "I would imagine quite easy. I would imagine probably you should get to eighth by then. It's going to be rapid. I don't think any of us are prepared for how quick Silverstone is going to be compared to previous years. It was awesome in the last race (in Austria).

"Maggots and Becketts, again, are going to be the same. It's going to be a physical race for us, being that it is mostly medium and high-speed corners. The G that we are going to be pulling is definitely going to be one up, maybe two, who knows, but it's going to be a lot of fun."

The speediest in Free Practice 1 for the British Grand Prix was who clocked a time of 1:29.106 in his Mercedes.

The lineup for the weekend was: Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Red Bull TAG Heuer – Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Force India Mercedes – Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes – Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll; McLaren Honda – Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault – Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer; Toro Rosso Renault – Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz; Haas Ferrari – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari – Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Antonio Giovinazzi drove Magnussen's Haas in FP1.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Centigrade).

Vettel was the first out, his Ferrari fitted with the experimental aero shield cockpit protection device. He did one lap and pitted.

Nobody was keen to do any flying laps after their install laps, so the track went quiet until Raikkonen went out 18 minutes into the session.

Pirelli's dry compound tires for the weekend were the medium, soft and super soft.

Hamilton had been fastest in FP1 last year with a time of 1:31.654 in his Mercedes. This year, Raikkonen was soon down to a 1:31.305. using the super soft tires.

But that didn't stand for long as Bottas posted a 1:30.788 on the softs. Hamilton, on the same compound, beat that with a 1:30.442. Bottas responded with a 1:29.876. Hamilton did a 1:29.797. Bottas was back with a 1:29.651.

Bottas was also fastest at the speed trap at 323.5 kph/201 mph.

At the 40-minute break, the order was: Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Alonso, Perez, Kvyat and Vettel.

When things got going again, so did Bottas as he lowered this best to 1:29.106 using a new set of soft tires. Hamilton got down to a 1:29.184 on the softs.

Next were Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Vettel, who had all used the super softs but could not get close to the Mercedes times.

Kvyat, Alonso, Massa and Vandoorne rounded out the top 10.

The fastest time in 2016 was in FP2 – a 1: 29.243. With FP1 now in the books this year, the fun would continue in FP2 in the afternoon.

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