Categorized | Featured Stories, News

2017 British Grand Prix Free Practice Round Up

Free Practice 1

Valtteri Bottas kicked off his Friday morning by carrying the momentum from his win in Austria and finished fastest at the end of the first free practice session for the British Grand Prix.

Bottas’ time of 1:29.106 came courtesy of the yellow-marked soft compound tyres – which they ran for the entire session. Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was not that far off the pace in 2nd with a best time of 1:29.184, 0.078s slower than Bottas’ time. Mercedes looked quite strong throughout the session with very little drama coming from the drivers. With a green track and few drivers spinning off the Mercedes drivers were able to keep it on the black stuff.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished 3rd and 4th fastest respectively for Red Bull. Their times came courtesy of the super soft compound tyres. While on the faster tyre their times were still quite a way off the Mercedes. Verstappen’s best time was a 1:29.604, +0.498s off Bottas’ pace while Ricciardo’s best time was just shy of a second off the pace.

Ferrari finished 5th and 6th fastest with Kimi Raikkonen faster of the two drivers. His best time was a touch over a second off his fellow countryman’s time in the Mercedes. When the session started Sebastian Vettel ran Ferrari’s interpretation of the new aero-screen head protection for a lap. The two Ferrari drivers worked together with Kimi following and passing Vettel at various points around the circuit to asses the visibility. The test lasted all of one installation lap after Vettel decided he had enough. When asked about it after the session he said that the screen made him feel “dizzy” and that there was distortion from the curvature of the screen.

Daniil “Torpedo” Kvyat ended his session 7th fastest ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso in 8th. McLaren have brought a “spec 3” engine to Silverstone this weekend and expect to be higher up the order and the results are clear to see. Before the session McLaren changed Alonso’s Control Electronics which was his 5th for the season. This means that he will drop 5-places down the grid for Sunday’s race.

Splitting the McLarens was the Williams of Felipe Massa. Rounding out the top 10 was Stoffel Vandoorne in the second McLaren.

There were a few spins and off track excursions with Vettel spinning early on in the session. Lance Stroll took a trip over the grass at Becketts after getting out of shape on the exit.

Free Practice 2

Valtteri Bottas picked up right where he left off in FP1 for FP2. Bottas once again claimed the top spot of the time sheets with a 1:28.496 on the super soft tyres. Hamilton was just a whisker off with only 0.047s separating the two Mercedes drivers. Hamilton’s best time was a 1:28.543.

Ferrari were bound to take things a little conservatively during FP1 with their engine upgrade this weekend, but they turned up the engine a bit in FP2 and finished higher up the order. Kimi Raikkonen, again, finished ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel. Raikkonen’s 3rd fastest time of 1:28.828 was 0.332s off Bottas’ pace. Vettel was a little bit slower than Raikkonen with a best time of 1:28.956.

Essentially just swapping around with Ferrari from FP1, the Red Bull duo finished 5th and 6th with Max Verstappen faster than team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. There was a moment for Ricciardo as he got out of shape at the exit of Becketts. The rear of his Red Bull stepped out on him but he was able to catch the slide before it turned into a full blown spin.

Nico Hulkenberg finished a rather impressive 7th fastest for the Renault F1 Team. His best time of 1:29.936 came courtesy of the super softs.

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were back in the top 10 in 8th and 9th respectively with Force India’s Esteban Ocon rounding out the top 10.

Before practice it was expected that the new 2017 cars would be much faster around the Silverstone Circuit this year. The question was by how much. The speed the drivers were carrying into the corners baffled some and it was truly impressive to watch the cars take Copse at such an impressive speed. According to data collected by Pirelli, the drivers are doing in excess of 280km/h through Copse with a lateral load exceeding 5G.

The best thing about these stats is that the drivers are going to get quicker through FP3 and Qualifying.

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

Leave a Reply

twitter-2   facebook   rss 

Countdown to Next Race




%d bloggers like this: