Formula 1

Bottas leads a Mercedes 1-2 in first practice at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

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Credit: Daimler AG Archive/LAT Images

The 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship resumed with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix race at Silverstone today. The first practice session (FP1) of the fifth race of the season was headed by Valtteri Bottas with Lewis Hamilton just 0.138 seconds behind him.

The ninety-minute long free practice session started under clear skies with the air temperature at 29 degrees C and the track temperature at 43 degrees C.

The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4).

Nico Hulkenberg was driving for the BWT Racing Point Formula 1 team in place of Sergio Pérez as the Mexican’s latest Covid-19 test was also positive. There was also additional off-track news for the Silverstone-team as the FIA upheld the Renault DP World F1 team’s protest and fined Racing Point and docked fifteen world championship points.

Robert Kubica took the place of Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo Racing team for this practice session.

The teams used this session to collect data on the performance of the Pirelli tyres due to the tyre issues in the final laps of the British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. The temperatures are hotter this weekend and the Pirelli tyres are a step softer for this race.

Most of the session was spent by the drivers collecting data on the soft compound tytes (C4) which was not used last weekend. The tyre wear was high on these tyres.

The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari cars had a skinnier rear-wing and were in a low downforce configuration in a bid to match the faster Merecedes W11.

Both the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers were at the top of the time charts for the whole session with Bottas leading another Mercedes 1-2.

Max Verstappen sat in the garage for the first hour before coming out and setting the third fastest time, 0.727 seconds behind Bottas. Team-mate Alexander Albon continued to struggle and finished in sixth position.

Hulkenberg continued to impress as he finished in fourth position ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll in eighth position.

Charles Leclerc was the leading Ferrari driver in fifth position ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel in seventh position.

Danill Kvyat and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 positions. Kvyat’s team-mate Pierre Gasly was in eleventh position as he reported high tyre wear.

The McLaren F1 team drivers, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, had a quiet session and finished in twelfth and fourteenth positions respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo finished in seventeenth position as he languished at the bottom of the time charts with the Williams Racing, Alfa Romeo Racing and Haas F1 team drivers.

70th Anniversary Grand Prix First Free Practice Results:

PosNoDriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes01:26.16621
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes01:26.304+0.138s23
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda01:26.893+0.727s24
427Nico HulkenbergRacing Point BWT Mercedes01:26.942+0.776s25
516Charles LeclercFerrari01:27.062+0.896s20
623Alexander AlbonRed Bull Racing Honda01:27.280+1.114s22
75Sebastian VettelFerrari01:27.498+1.332s21
818Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes01:27.539+1.373s26
926Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri Honda01:27.653+1.487s27
1031Esteban OconRenault01:27.701+1.535s23
1110Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri Honda01:27.707+1.541s23
124Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault01:27.846+1.680s26
138Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari01:27.908+1.742s26
1455Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault01:28.138+1.972s28
1563George RussellWilliams Mercedes01:28.170+2.004s24
166Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes01:28.226+2.060s24
173Daniel RicciardoRenault01:28.511+2.345s23
187Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari01:28.655+2.489s24
1988Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari01:28.960+2.794s22
2020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari01:29.319+3.153s17
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