Valtteri Bottas edged out Lewis Hamilton in opening practice for the British GP as Mercedes stole a march on their rivals at Silverstone.
Fresh from his impressive second career victory last Sunday in Austria, Bottas was fractionally the faster of the two Mercedes drivers in Practice One with the W08 immediately lapping at outright lap record pace around the famous old Northamptonshire circuit.
Bottas’s 1:29.106 was just 0.078s quicker than Hamilton on soft tyres, but championship rivals Ferrari were a full second adrift despite running the grippier supersoft tyres.
Championship leader Vettel completed the first public test of ‘The Shield’ cockpit protection device on his installation lap, before reverting to his car’s normal specification for the rest of the session. But that did not stop the German, who was sixth behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, spinning at Maggotts and then running wide over the Turn Three kerbs.
Red Bull, running more upgrades on their RB13, split Mercedes and Ferrari with Max Verstappen, desperate for a race finish this weekend after five DNFs in the last seven races, within half a second of the Mercedes’ in third.
Fernando Alonso was an encouraging eighth with both McLarens in the top 10, but the Spaniard take at least a five-place grid penalty on Sunday for again exceeding engine component limits.
British GP Practice One Timesheet
|1. Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Softs||1:29.106|
|2. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Softs||+0.078|
|3. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||Supersofts||+0.498|
|4. Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||Supersofts||+0.836|
|5. Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||Supersofts||+1.031|
|6. Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||Supersofts||+1.411|
|7. Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||Supersofts||+1.789|
|8. Fernando Alonso||McLaren||Supersofts||+1.887|
|9. Felipe Massa||Williams||Softs||+1.893|
|10. Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||Supersofts||+1.935|
|11. Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||Supersofts||+2.094|
|12. Esteban Ocon||Force India||Softs||+2.104|
|13. Sergio Perez||Force India||Softs||+2.191|
|14. Romain Grosjean||Haas||Softs||+2.504|
|15. Lance Stroll||Williams||Softs||+2.578|
|16. Antonio Giovinazzi||Haas||Softs||+2.925|
|17. Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||Supersofts||+3.065|
|18. Jolyon Palmer||Renault||Supersofts||+3.344|
|19. Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||Softs||+3.923|
|20. Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||Softs||+4.293|
Don’t miss the British GP live on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday – lights out for the race is at 1pm.