GP2 title contender Sam Bird got his home race weekend at Silverstone off to the best possible start by recording the fastest time in the free practice session.
The session started on a damp track, with most drivers opting to do an installation lap at the start of the session before returning to the pits. Of those that did set an early lap time it was Stefano Coletti who was quickest for Trident.
The session remained quiet for much of the first half as drivers waited for the moment to switch to slick tyres as the track dried. When they did emerge Luca Filippi was the first man to set a representative lap time, nine seconds quicker than Coletti's previous benchmark.
Championship leader Romain Grosjean hit the front with about ten minutes remaining, going a whole second quicker than Filippi. Bird moved up to second place, half a second away from Grosjean.
With three minutes remaining Bird when fastest, 0.173s quicker than Grosjean. That was good enough for the Brit to end the session on top, with iSport teammate Marcus Ericsson ending up third behind Grosjean.
Davide Valsecchi was fourth fastest for Caterham AirAsia, ahead of fellow Italian Filippi. Esteban Gutierrez was sixth, fresh from his maiden victory last time out at Valencia. Max Chilton was seventh, just ahead of Giedo van der Garde. The Dutchman crashed at the end of the session after running wide at Stowe.
Free practice session results:
|1.||Sam Bird||iSport International||1:41.763||10|
|3.||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||1:42.293||+0.530||8|
|4.||Davide Valsecchi||Caterham Team AirAsia||1:42.305||+0.542||11|
|5.||Luca Filippi||Super Nova Racing||1:42.577||+0.814||13|
|6.||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus ART||1:42.668||+0.905||11|
|8.||Giedo van der Garde||Barwa Addax Team||1:42.794||+1.031||8|
|9.||Luiz Razia||Caterham Team AirAsia||1:42.840||+1.077||12|
|10.||Jules Bianchi||Lotus ART||1:42.933||+1.170||12|
|11.||Charles Pic||Barwa Addax Team||1:42.949||+1.186||8|
|12.||Christian Vietoris||Racing Engineering||1:42.978||+1.215||9|
|13.||Michael Herck||Scuderia Coloni||1:43.093||+1.330||11|
|15.||Stefano Coletti||Trident Racing||1:43.250||+1.487||12|
|16.||Dani Clos||Racing Engineering||1:43.291||+1.528||9|
|19||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Trident Racing||1:43.614||+1.851||13|
|20.||Jolyon Palmer||Arden International||1:43.616||+1.853||11|
|21.||Josef Kral||Arden International||1:43.737||+1.974||12|
|22.||Kevin Ceccon||Scuderia Coloni||1:44.053||+2.290||14|
|23.||Johnny Cecotto||Ocean Racing Technology||1:44.188||+2.425||9|
|25.||Fairuz Fauzy||Super Nova Racing||1:44.389||+2.626||13|
|26.||Kevin Mirocha||Ocean Racing Technology||1:46.477||+4.714||7|