Lewis Hamilton takes first British Grand Prix practice at Silverstone
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 6, 2018 Updated: 10:07 AM PT
SILVERSTONE, U.K. — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton kicks off race three of F1’s first triple-header finishing on top in the first free practice session of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“It’s going to be very, very close this weekend, the Ferraris are really fast. We’re in for a serious fight which is great for the fans and I hope that we can pull through,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton is looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend at last week’s Austrian Grand Prix that saw him as well as his teammate Valtteri Bottas retire from the race. The retirement caused Hamilton to lose championship lead to title rival Sebastian Vettel.
The reigning world champion finished 0.367s ahead of Bottas in second with Hamilton’s strongest performance occurring in the first sector. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who now leads the driver’s championship by one point, finished third and was 0.511s off from Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is also looking for a bit of redemption after having to retire from last week’s race, finished 0.657s off Hamilton in fourth. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen took fifth ahead of Max Verstappen in sixth. The young Dutchman’s morning was cut short after running into a gearbox issue in the closing minutes of the session.
“Of course it’s not ideal to lose a session but I felt confident already in FP,” said Verstappen.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean took a ride though the gravel and made heavy contact with the barriers at Turn 1 after leaving his DRS open a little to long which caused the rear of his car step out. Grosjean walked away ending the session in seventh.
Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished eighth and ninth followed by Williams’ Lance Stroll who finished tenth. Outside the top ten, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson took 11th with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly in 12th.
Ericsson’s Sauber teammate Charles Leclerc finished 13th with Kevin Magnussen finishing 14th in the second Haas.
McLaren brought new parts to their home race this weekend with Fernando Alonso taking them out for a spin. The Spaniard finished 15th with teammate Stoffel Vandoorne in 17th.
Carlos Sainz finished sandwiched in between the two McLaren’s in 16th with teammate Nico Hulkenberg in 18th. Brendon Hartley finished 19th in the second Toro Rosso with Sergey Sirotkin ending the morning with a spin to finish 20th.