Formula 1

Formula 1: Verstappen leads Hamilton and Stroll in FP1, Hulkenberg impresses in 9th

Verstappen sets the pace, but Mercedes are still the clear favourites.

Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the first session of the British Grand Prix. While Mercedes are still the clear favourites, Racing Point and Red Bull appear to be starting an intense battle for best of the rest.

Drama occurred before the first session of the British double header even took place. All eyes were focused on the Racing Point garage as 5 minutes before the session, Nico Hulkenberg was given the all clear to participate. The German driver was filmed sprinting through the paddock, towards the garage where the number 27 was being applied to his new car. During this time, Lewis Hamilton was having his second allocated MGU-K fitted to his car, further cementing him as the favourite for this weekend. The British driver will be looking to improve his record total of 6 poles and 6 wins at Silverstone.

Report

The weather conditions were perfect at the old airfield with high temperatures predicted for the entire weekend. Many cars attempted installation laps, but it took almost half an hour before a time was put on the board. During this time, Max Verstappen has having issues with his headrest, making his discomfort known via radio.

Ferrari’s season took another downward turn as Sebastian Vettel was not able to participate in FP1. His team discovered an issue with his intercooler system. Both Alfa Romeos had a spin, Kimi Raikkonen through Luffield and Antonio Giovinazzi through Becketts. Giovinazzi spread debris across hanger straight when returning to the pits. As a result, the red flag was brought out. As the session resumed, Mercedes swapped positions at the front, with Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll not too far behind. Verstappen bolted on a set of soft tyres and managed to put himself in 1st. However, the Mercedes’ fastest times were set on the Medium compound tyre.

Nico Hulkenberg had a solid session, showing good pace. However, he had to take a break after an amusing radio message revealed that part of his posterior was starting to ache. He returned to the track 20 minutes later and managed 9th place, 6 tenths off his team-mate. A very impressive return, but there are many sessions ahead.

Max Verstappen ended the session 1st, almost half a second clear of Hamilton. However, it was clear that the Mercedes were performing their long run simulations. Charles Leclerc managed an encouraging 5th, while the Renaults both managed a comfortable top 10 finish. But in first practice, these times are never truly representative.

FP1 Results:

  1. Verstappen
  2. Hamilton +0.487
  3. Stroll +0.582
  4. Albon +0.707
  5. Leclerc +0.799
  6. Bottas +1.097
  7. Ocon + 1.137
  8. Ricciardo +1.151
  9. Hulkenberg +1.170
  10. Kvyat +1.446
  11. Gasly +1.487
  12. Sainz +1.566
  13. Norris +1.568
  14. Magnussen +2.110
  15. Grosjean +2.154
  16. Raikkonen +2.324
  17. Russell +2.477
  18. Giovinazzi +2.503
  19. Latifi +3.281
  20. Vettel N/A

Featured Image Credit: Skysportsf1.com

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