FP1: Verstappen starts British Grand Prix weekend on top
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen topped the first practice session for the 2020 British Grand Prix on the softest compound, followed by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who posted his best time on Pirelli's medium rubber.
When the lights went green, many drivers were in a rush to complete installation laps, using the nice and sunny conditions at Silverstone. Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren all intend to introduce or at least trial new parts at the British Grand Prix event following the first race-free weekend in the condensed 2020 season.
The arrival of new parts were evident from the first minutes of the session as Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull drivers were carrying flow-viz paint on different surfaces of their cars while the McLaren machines were equipped with huge pitot tube arrays to carry out measurements of the aerodynamic effects of the upgrades.
13 minutes into the action, the big sensation of the weekend, Nico Hülkenberg rolled out of the Racing Point team’s garage to have a first taste of the RP20.
Kimi Räikkönen became the first driver to set a time lap with a 1’32.661, but that was quickly beat by Lando Norris who put in a time of 1’30.035. Max Verstappen was complaining about his headrest and asked his team to make modifications for later runs.
Kimi Räikkönen made a short trip to the gravel trap at the Laffield corner after losing the control over his C39 Alfa Romeo car. Just a few minutes later, the Finn’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi mimicked Räikkönen’s adventurous move, spinning with his red-white liveried car at the high-speed turns, named Maggots and Becketts. The session had to be red-flagged due to debris on the track that had fallen off the Italian’s Alfa Romeo.
In the meantime, Sebastian Vettel had to climb out of his Ferrari SF1000 as the team detected technical issues. After a short investigation, the Scuderia found out that a problem with the intercooler was the cause for the problem which meant that Vettel was forced to sit out the first practice session.
The session continued with 50 minutes left on the clock with drivers keen on getting in some laps. After the first run, Mercedes led the field with Hamilton setting the best time with a 1’28.343, 0.176 seconds in front of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
For the second run, the Red Bull drivers received Pirelli’s softest compound available at this weekend and Verstappen made use of that by going quickest. Driving on the yellow-walled medium compound, Hamilton was unable to match the Dutchman’s time of 1’27.422.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:27.422||-||26|
|3||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:28.004||+0.582s||21|
|4||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:28.129||+0.707s||23|
|9||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:28.592||+1.170s||22|
|10||26||Daniil Kvyat||Alphatauri Honda||1:28.868||+1.446s||20|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:28.909||+1.487s||23|
|12||55||Carlos Sainz||Mclaren Renault||1:28.988||+1.566s||23|
|13||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Renault||1:28.990||+1.568s||21|
|14||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:29.532||+2.110s||22|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:29.576||+2.154s||24|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:29.746||+2.324s||23|
|17||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:29.899||+2.477s||22|
|18||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:29.925||+2.503s||16|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:30.703||+3.281s||19|