British GP | Ferrari run ‘Halo 2’ as Hamilton tops FP1

Formula One rolled out onto the Silverstone circuit, where Lewis Hamilton topped the opening practice session at the British Grand Prix.

Silverstone, the home of British motorsport, welcomed back Formula One – where Lewis Hamilton topped the first free practice session of the weekend. Hamilton, and Rosberg, showed remarkable early pace at the British Grand Prix – as the Silver Arrows lapped 1.8 seconds faster than their rivals on the medium tyres.

Across the opening 90-minutes of the British Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton and Rosberg went toe-to-toe for the fastest lap of the session. With Lewis coming out on top by just three hundredths of a second.

Initially it was Nico Rosberg with his name atop the leaderboard, as his early 1:33.484 promoted the German above the early-lapping Red Bull of Ricciardo. Ricciardo, however, had been lapping on the medium tyres as he posted his steadily increasing lap times.

Vettel too had been lapping early on with the hard compound tyres. As Ferrari brought out ‘Halo 2’ for its first official run in a race weekend. The revised cockpit protection device, which first appeared at a race meet last weekend, had been attached to the German’s car for his first runs but was later removed.

While attached, though, it did present Vettel difficulties exiting the car in the garage as he was forced to wiggle free of the cockpit before easing himself up via the Halo’s rim.

'Halo 2' as tested by Vettel in FP1 at the British Grand Prix. Copyright: Scuderia Ferrari F1

‘Halo 2’ as tested by Vettel in FP1 at the British Grand Prix. Copyright: Scuderia Ferrari

The end of the session also presented Vettel with a problem. As the Ferrari was forced to limp home after easing to a stop with a gearbox issue keeping him in fifth gear.

Throughout the session, while Mercedes lead on the medium tyres, their nearest rival varied. One rival to emerge in third place was the McLaren of Fernando Alonso – although the Spaniard ended the session in 10th place when soft tyres began to emerge.

Other high-flyers across FP1 were Hulkenberg and Vettel. With the pair going within eight tenths of Hamilton, although on the softest compound available.

First time point scorer last time out, Pascal Wehrlein, opened the 90-minute session as the first man out on track. While Esteban Ocon made his second FP1 appearance for Renault and Charles LeClerc made his Formula One session debut at the age of 18 for Haas. The young Monegasque driver had a reasonably calm debut, other than a small spin at Village while running in 16th place.

Other drivers to make a mistake in FP1 included Vettel and Rosberg, as the pair both locked up heavily at Vale.

Pos Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton 30 1’31.654
2 Nico Rosberg 33 1’31.687 0.033
3 Nico Hulkenberg 30 1’32.492 0.838
4 Sebastian Vettel 20 1’32.501 0.847
5 Daniel Ricciardo 30 1’32.773 1.119
6 Kimi Raikkonen 28 1’33.039 1.385
7 Max Verstappen 22 1’33.202 1.548
8 Sergio Perez 29 1’33.235 1.581
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. 18 1’33.446 1.792
10 Fernando Alonso 22 1’33.527 1.873
11 Daniil Kvyat 20 1’33.738 2.084
12 Jenson Button 24 1’34.132 2.478
13 Valtteri Bottas 38 1’34.263 2.609
14 Felipe Massa 34 1’34.456 2.802
15 Romain Grosjean 24 1’34.547 2.893
16 Jolyon Palmer 29 1’34.787 3.133
17 Felipe Nasr 21 1’34.805 3.151
18 Charles Leclerc 25 1’35.869 4.215
19 Esteban Ocon 31 1’35.980 4.326
20 Marcus Ericsson 19 1’36.003 4.349
21 Pascal Wehrlein 25 1’36.136 4.482
22 Rio Haryanto 29 1’36.647 4.993