Gasly Sets Early Pace While Grosjean Suffers Bizarre Pitlane Crash

by Craig Edwards
Pierre Gasly - British Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly was quickest in Free Practice 1 ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

The Frenchman, who is reportedly under pressure at Red Bull Racing, set his fastest lap at the end of the session to beat the Mercedes AMG Motorsport of Valtteri Bottas and team-mate Max Verstappen.

Home favourite Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest but set his time on the slower medium time with the two Scuderia Ferrari’s of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel fifth and sixth.

The Renault F1 Team were the best of the rest in seventh and eight with Nico Hülkenberg ahead of Daniel Ricciardo with Alexander Albon in ninth while Carlos Sainz Jr. pipped his McLaren F1 Team-mate Lando Norris to tenth fastest.

The session was not without incident as Romain Grosjean broke his front wing in the pitlane while Kimi Räikkönen was forced to stop on track with an engine issue.

A couple of days after announcing Sainz and Norris for next season, McLaren were the first cars out onto the Silverstone circuit for this years event but it was the Williams Racing of Robert Kubica to set the first flying lap as drivers waited to begin their runs due to the new track surface.

Grosjean had an early embarrassment as he crashed as he was trying to leave the pitlane. The Haas F1 team car spun on the pit exit hitting the wall and losing his front wing and was forced to go round the track without one. This caused a virtual safety car as the Haas left debris across the track. Grosjean’s session didn’t get much better as he spun a the exit of the wellington straight on his first timed lap after the incident.

The Frenchman was not the only driver struggling for grip in the session. George Russell spun in the same place as Grosjean. Albon and Bottas both had moments at the same corner while Leclerc ran wide and Norris made a mistake at the penultimate corner and spun.

The red flag was brought out around the 40 minute mark as the Alfa Romeo Racing of Räikkönen ground to a halt with puffs of smoke coming from the back of the car. The team confirmed it was an engine issue and will hope to get the Finn out in Free Practice 2.

Drops of rain were reported by some drivers with Hamilton and Verstappen both running wide and going off track but the rain failed to come to anything and drivers were able to set strong laps in the closing minutes with Gasly ending up on top.

Pos.No.DriverNat.TeamTime
110Pierre GaslyFRAAston Martin Red Bull Racing1.27.173
277Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport+0.456
333Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing+0.836
444Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport+0.949
516Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+1.080
65Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari+1.131
727Nico HülkenbergGERRenault F1 Team+1.630
83Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault F1 Team+1.858
923Alexander AlbonTHARed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+1.920
1055Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team+1.989
114Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+1.997
1211Sergio PérezMEXSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+2.280
1326Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+2.327
1418Lance StrollCANSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+2.484
1599Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing+2.926
1620Kevin MagnussenDENRich Energy Haas F1 Team+3.432
1763George RussellGBRROKiT Williams Racing+3.568
187Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing+3.574
198Romain GrosjeanFRARich Energy Haas F1 Team+3.638
2088Robert KubicaPOLROKiT Williams Racing+4.948

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