British Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas finishes ahead Lewis Hamilton in first practice at Silverstone
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 14, 2017 Updated: 7:11 PM
SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom — Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas tops the timesheet as fastest in the first practice session for Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Bottas set a new lap record at the Silverstone circuit with a time of 1:29.081 just 0.078s from has teammate Lewis Hamilton who finished second.
“In the first session, the balance was not too far away, so a positive start. There is still work to do to get the car more driveable and to be able to trust it more in the high-speed corners. But overall I think it was a good start for the weekend,” said Bottas.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third fastest making full use of the upgrades on his car. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo was 0.338s behind Verstappen in fourth.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen ended the morning session in fifth followed by teammate Sebastian Vettel in sixth after losing his car and spinning at Becketts ending up in the gravel. Vettel also took a moment to test the FIA's head protection prototype named the “Shield."
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished seventh, however after completing the session the team discovered an issuse with his car. McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso took eighth and was 0.098 behind Kvyat, but Alonso will take a five spot grid penalty with the possibility of more ahead of Sunday’s race.
"We’ve got several options we need to look at now, to choose the best one for tomorrow, but we’ve mainly been concentrating on race pace because we know that we’ll start from the back [with a 5-place ESS penalty],” said Alonso.
Williams’ Felipe Massa took ninth. However, the floor of his car was damaged as he was exiting turn 9. Both Williams' suffered the same damage at the same corner during the session, forcing the team to change the floor on both cars during the session.
Alonso’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished tenth. Outside the top ten was Kyat’s teammate Carlos Sainz in 11th followed by Force India drivers Esteban Ocon in 12th and Sergio Perez in 13th.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean ended the morning session in 14th ahead of Lance Stroll in the second Williams. Ferrari’s reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi had an opportunity to get some time behind the wheel for Haas finishing 15th.
“We’re not as fast as we were in Austria at this time of the weekend,” Grosjean said. “We’re struggling a little bit with getting the tires in the window, possibly with the cooler temperatures, but I don’t know for sure. We changed brakes over lunch from Brembo to Carbon Industrie, which doesn’t make our life very easy. There’s a lot of mapping and all that had to be done behind the scenes. That was a big job. We’ve also been evaluating low fuel and high fuel."
Renault driver’s Nico Hulkenberg finished 16th with teammate Jolyon Palmer in 17th. Finishing out the bottom of the order were Marcus Ericsson in 18th finishing ahead of teammate Pascal Wehrlein in 19th for Sauber.