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F1 - Silverstone, FP1: Hamilton quickest as Verstappen hits trouble

Suspected gearbox problem halts Verstappen


6 July 2018 - 12h35, by Olivier Ferret 

Lewis Hamilton went quickest in first practice for his home grand prix, the British Grand Prix, with the defending champion beating tam-mate Valtteri Bottas by almost four tenths of a second.

There was trouble for Max Verstappen, with the Red Bull Racing driver stopping on track at the end of the session with a suspected gearbox issue.

Verstappen had a good opening to the session, setting the early pace on medium tyres before he was dislodged by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and then by Hamilton, who set a medium tyre benchmark that last ended until just after the halfway point.

Following a switch to soft tyres, Bottas jumped to the top of the order with a lap of 1:27.854s, with Hamilton just behind but the VSC was deployed soon after when Romain Grosjean crashed heavily at Turn 1. “The car is destroyed,” reported the Frenchman and his team later confirmed that he would require a new chassis and would not take part in FP2.

Once the green flags were shown again, Hamilton put in the quickest time of the session with a lap of 1:27.487s. That put him 0.367 ahead of Bottas who did not improve in the final 20 minutes. Vettel, though, managed to close in with a lap of 1:27.998 that left him just over half a second off the pace.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished the session in fourth place, just under eight hundredths of a second clear of the second Ferrari if Kimi Räikkönen.

Ricciardo’s team-mate Verstappen took sixth place in the session with a time of 1:28.325 but there was an unhappy end to the session for the Dutchman when he slowed to a halt in the final minutes of running. Verstappen told his pit wall that he thought the stoppage was gearbox related before climbing out of the car.

With Verstappen’s car up against the pit wall, the VSC was deployed again, and then the session was briefly green-flagged once more Force India’s Sergio Perez improved to a time of 1:29.812. That was good enough for P8 behind the unfortunate Grosjean.

Perez’s team-mate Esteban Ocon took ninth place, while Lance Stroll was 10th for Williams, almost 2.4s off the pace.

Pos.DriverTeamTimeLaps
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:27.487 24
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:27.854 27
03 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:27.998 22
04 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:28.144 30
05 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:28.218 24
06 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:28.325 24
07 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:29.352 12
08 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:29.812 23
09 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:29.815 24
10 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:29.878 25
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:29.942 25
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:30.004 31
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:30.027 27
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:30.065 20
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:30.322 19
16 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:30.358 22
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:30.416 25
18 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:30.701 18
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:30.749 31
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:31.017 22

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