Hamilton comfortably clear of Bottas, Vettel in FP1
British Grand Prix - FP1

Hamilton comfortably clear of Bottas, Vettel in FP1

07/07/2018

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice for the British Grand Prix, holding a comfortable 0.367s margin over teammate Valtteri Bottas and 0.511s over title rival Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton arrives in Silverstone looking to regain momentum in his title campaign after Mercedes suffered a double retirement at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend. He got his home grand prix off to a strong start with a lap time of 1:27.487 -- over 1.5s faster than the quickest lap time in the same session last year.

He held the majority of his advantage over Bottas in the first sector, while Mercedes was significantly quicker than Ferrari in both sectors one and two. Daniel Ricciardo managed to split the two Ferraris in his Red bull with the fourth fastest time ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, while Austrian Grand Prix race winner Max Vertsappen was sixth fastest after opting against using just the medium compound tyre.

Verstappen's Red Bull ground to a halt in the closing moments of the session due to a gearbox issue but it is not expected to result in a penalty as he was not running his race gearbox

Outside the top six, Romain Grosjean was clearly the best of the rest, but ended his session in the wall after spinning off at Turn 1. Grosjean had just set a 1:29.352 to go 0.713s quicker than his teammate Kevin Magnussen, but spun on his next hot lap after he failed to close his DRS through Turn 1.

There is a new DRS zone at Silverstone this weekend, which runs from the start of the pit straight, through Turn 1 and all the way down to The Loop at Turn 3. Drivers are permitted to close their DRS on turn in for Turn 1 and reopen it on the exit of the corner, but Grosjean seemingly forgot or failed to press the button as he went over a bump. With the flap in the rear wing wide open, his Haas was stripped of rear downforce when it needed it most and the car pirouetted as he turned in at high speed.

The DRS flap reacted to him coming off the throttle, but by that point it was too late and the spin was already in motion. Grosjean skittered across the gravel at high speed before slamming into the barrier nose first, damaging the front left suspension and front wing of his car.

The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were eighth and ninth ahead of a solid lap from Lance Stroll in the fastest of the two Williams. Marcus Ericsson was 11th fastest for Sauber ahead of Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso, Charles Leclerc in the second Sauber and Magnussen's Haas.

Fernando Alonso was 15th overall as McLaren continues to use Friday practice to test new parts on its car and gather aero data. The McLarens were split with the Renaults from 15th to 18th before Brendon Hartley sat 19th in the Toro Rosso. Sergey Sirotkin was slowest of all for Williams after spinning at Club corner 20 minutes into the session and setting a fastest time 1.139s off teammate Stroll.

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