Gasly fastest in incident-filled FP1 at Silverstone

Image by Dom Romney/LAT

Gasly fastest in incident-filled FP1 at Silverstone

Formula 1

Gasly fastest in incident-filled FP1 at Silverstone

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An incident-filled first practice session for the British Grand Prix was topped by Pierre Gasly as Red Bull started strongly off the back of its win in Austria.

Gasly hit the front right at the end of the session as track conditions improved, with light rain making for slippery conditions earlier on. The Frenchman — who has been struggling so far at Red Bull — posted a 1m27.173s with his final lap to lead Valtteri Bottas by nearly half a second.

Austrian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen was third quickest but over 0.8s slower than his teammate, with Lewis Hamilton the only other car within a second of Gasly in fourth, courtesy of a 1m28.122s set on medium tires compared to softs for the top three.

The Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were fifth and sixth respectively — also on the soft tire — with a little under 0.3s covering third to sixth.

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top eight for Renault, ahead of Alexander Albon in ninth — despite an off for the rookie at Brooklands — and Carlos Sainz in 10th. Sainz was the only other driver to set his best time on medium tires in the top ten and was only 0.008s ahead of teammate Lando Norris.

Although there was nothing massively unusual about the final order, the session was far from smooth for all involved as a number of incidents interrupted matters.

The session started in bizarre fashion as Romain Grosjean inexplicably lost control accelerating out of the pit lane. As the pit exit is a right-hander flanked by barriers, Grosjean broke off his front wing on the inside and left debris that required clearing.

Returning to the track in the second half of the session, Grosjean then spun at Brooklands as his tough morning continued.

The Haas driver was not alone in making a mistake, with the British contingent also getting involved. First, George Russell spun and slid across the grass at high speed exiting Brooklands, while Norris then also swapped ends on the exit of Club at the end of the lap.

The session was soon red-flagged, with Kimi Raikkonen suffering a mechanical issue at the end of the Wellington Straight. Raikkonen slowed but something appeared to then let go in the back of his Alfa Romeo as he coasted through Brooklands and he had to stop at Luffield, causing a seven-minute delay while the car was recovered.

In true Raikkonen fashion, the laid-back Finn helped the marshals push the car to safety by sitting side-saddle on the front — in order to avoid walking — and steering the car from his relaxed position.

There were also off-track moments for Hamilton at Chapel and Verstappen at Becketts in the tricky conditions, before the late improvements.

 

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