Valtteri Bottas was 0.078sec faster than his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the first free practice for the F1 British Grand prix. The Brackley team drivers achieved their best times in soft tyres. Closest of their rivals was Max Verstappen, but he was almost half a second behind Bottas, and his time was given with supersoft.
The air temperature at the beginning of the session was 15 degrees, that of the track – 22, relatively cool and cloudy. However, according to the meteorological forecast, the chance of rain during the day was only 10%.
Antonio Giovinazzi replaced Kevin Magnussen in the first session. Ferrari’s third driver will be driving in free practices for Haas until the end of this season and his first appearance in this role is Silverstone.
Sebastian Vettel was among the first drivers to go on the track – his car was with the new protective shield. The four-time world champion first tested the new device.
Many of the drivers made their installation laps with mediums – the hardest compound available for the weekend. Red Bull immediately began checking the various innovations the team has for its second home race (after the Austrian Grand prix).
After the first laps there was silence, and for almost ten minutes there were no cars on the track. The job was resumed twenty minutes after the start.
Valtteri Bottas was 0.078sec faster than his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the first free practice for the F1 British Grand prix
Kimi Raikkonen appeared with supersoft tyres and quickly topped the standings with 1:32.533 min. Verstappen was 0.106 seconds behind him, Felipe Massa – at 0.299sec. The best time in Silverstone last year’s first session was 1:31.654 minutes. With a next quick lap, Kimi quickly moved below this limit – 1:30.31.305. Meanwhile, his teammate Vettel started his normal Friday program, his car no longer with a “shield”.
Mass went out of Copse and damaged part of his floor. Verstappen receives a warning that there might be debris in the area, but that obviously did not stop him, as he gave fastest time of 1: 30.957. He was in turn replaced by Bottas, who improved his achievement by 0.169 seconds to 1:30.788.
Vettel went out of the circuit at Becketts. Meanwhile, Hamilton topped the classification with 1:30.442 (both Mercedes drivers were with softs).
Bottas returned to the top position, taking 0.146 seconds off the achievement of his teammate.
After 40 minutes of the 90 in FP1, there was silence again. The marshals tried to gather the debris from Massa’s earlier take-off. The pilot driver himself waited in the garage as the team repaired the car.
By the middle of the session, the track temperature was up to 25 degrees. Bottas improved his own best time to 1:29.106 min (with a new set of softs). The best achievement so far with supersoft belonged to Vettel – fourth, 1.827sec behind Valtteri.
Hamilton moved closer – 0.078 seconds – to his teammate. A quarter hour before the end of the session, Verstappen was closest to the Mercedes drivers (+0.498 seconds), who did not even try the supersofts. This did not change until the end of the session.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 14, 2017