Bottas lays down gauntlet by leading British F1 GP practice ahead of Hamilton, but penalty looms
Posted By: Editor   |  14 Jul 2017   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  119 comments

Valtteri Bottas topped both British Grand Prix practice sessions on Friday to continue his assault on the summit of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship. However his challenge for this weekend has been dampened somewhat by needing to take a new gearbox, as team mate Lewis Hamilton did in Austria. This means that Bottas will move back five grid positions from wherever he qualifies.

Mercedes revealed on Friday evening that Bottas’ gearbox had shown similar damage to Hamilton’s but less severe and they had hoped to coax it to the end of the six race cycle. However that did not work out and so he’s taking the penalty at Silverstone.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari have new engines for their drivers here; scheduled updates. Mercedes’ Andy Cowell revealed that these are not a significant step forward and had already been run by customers taking a new engine in Canada.

Ferrari’s engine upgrade is believed to be a step of around 10-15hp, with also some modifications required to be made following a technical directive from the FIA on combustion. Raikkonen has a new turbo, while Vettel is already on his fourth turbo for the season and the next one will force a grid penalty.

On track, Bottas set the fastest time of 1m28.496s on super-soft tyres in FP2, beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.047s in the process; but his time was set on the slower soft tyres. Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest Ferrari driver with his time of 1m28.828s proving sufficient to keep Sebastian Vettel at bay by 0.128s.

Bottas started Friday’s FP2 on medium tyres, anticipating a long-run on the hard-wearing circuit on Sunday, but the rest of the grid emerged with softs then equipped super-softs for the second practice session of the day.

Becketts caught numerous drivers out on Friday as the cars carry a lot more speed through the preceding Maggots corner this year with the extra downforce. It wasn’t a case of the cars looking skittish; rather the 2017-spec cars shine, planted through these high-speed turns. Wth the new-found pace comes a new-found challenge.

Raikkonen was caught out mid-session as was Williams’ Felipe Massa at the same corner, the Brazilian having finished FP2 eighth.

Max Verstappen was the last driver to set a time within a second of Bottas finishing fifth, six-tenths off the top. His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo followed in sixth, 1.090s slower than Bottas.

Renault had contrasting performances from their pair of drivers. While Jolyon Palmer finished 18th, ahead of both Saubers, Nico Hulkenberg finished FP2 seventh with a tidy time of 1m29.936s – Massa followed by 0.070s.

Rounding out the top 10 was Fernando Alonso (ninth), producing another stunning short-run performance in his McLaren while Esteban Ocon finished 10th in his Force India VJM10 having completed the most laps (42) by the end of FP2.

The pair of Toro Rossos took 11th and 12th, with Carlos Sainz Jr leading having set a time of 1m30.555s. Sainz spun at Becketts early on in FP2 and a new floor was fitted to his car with less than half the session remaining, when he finally managed to set a time. He completed the fewest number of laps with 26.

Team-mate Daniil Kvyat was the only other driver apart from Bottas to equip medium compounds for FP2, finishing just 0.012s away from Sainz.

Sergio Perez was 0.241s slower than his tenth-place team-mate, finishing 13th and holding off Romain Grosjean, whose sixth-place finish in Austria will be hard to repeat here at Silverstone. The Haas did, however, complete a long and consistent run on super-softs and the Frenchman rarely finished over 1m35.500s over FP2.

Haas counterpart Kevin Magnussen was sluggish in 17th, behind rookies Lance Stroll (15th) and Stoffel Vandoorne in 17th. Marcus Ericsson, who complained of “understeer everywhere,” was the faster of the Sauber duo but the Swiss outfit’s returns on its 2016-spec Ferrari engine are evidently diminishing at this high-speed circuit.


Bottas edged Hamilton – both Mercedes on soft tyres – by 0.078s in FP1 earlier on Friday while rival Vettel was sixth fastest on super-softs, 1.411s off the summit having spun at Becketts. Vettel was testing the ‘shield’ device, a proposed measure to increase drivers’ safety.

The two Red Bulls, led by Verstappen, were third and fourth within half a second of Bottas and Raikkonen followed in fifth.

Toro Rosso’s Kvyat was 1.1789s behind Bottas in seventh while Alonso came out swinging, eighth fastest. Williams’ Massa (ninth) and McLaren’s rookie Vandoorne rounded out the top 10 in an FP1 where only Hamilton, Verstappen and Ricciardo finished within a second off the top spot.

At the rear was the Renault pair led by Hulkenberg while Wehrlein was the fastest of the two back-marking Saubers.

Have your say on Bottas’ Free Practice performance in the comment section below.

Free Practice 2 Times, 2017 Formula 1 British Grand Prix: 








Valtteri Bottas





Lewis Hamilton






Kimi Raikkonen






Sebastian Vettel






Max Verstappen

Red Bull





Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull





Nico Hulkenberg






Felipe Massa






Fernando Alonso






Esteban Ocon

Force India





Carlos Sainz Jr

Toro Rosso





Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso





Sergio Perez

Force India





Romain Grosjean






Lance Stroll






Stoffel Vandoorne






Kevin Magnussen






Jolyon Palmer






Marcus Ericsson






Pascal Wehrlein





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I’m tired of these engine and gearbox penalties. I can’t see what they add to the event for the viewers. It’s very boring and frustrating. I couldn’t care less if they needed a gearbox change or not.
James, do you know if this is being reviewed by brawn?


Yes they are looking at it, consulting with teams and FIA, but it’s FIA business so they can only make suggestions, not changes

Only FIA can make changes


Dear gods of F1,
whoever of you is responsible for failures of parts, please, please, please, next time just make it that way that the failure is first at Bottas and the following race at Lewis. We small worms on earth who watch F1 are tired of that ‘Why is it always me of a certain person.’
Thanks in advance from a small worm


Things look a bit complicated for Ferrari after Friday. Lets see what today will bring.
Bottas 5 places penalty is not welcome but will surely help Vettel’s quest. I hope the new Ferrari engine will help him keep close to Hamilton. Marc


James so ferrari did lose a bit of speed because of the combustion change due to the oil burning issue?


That they make up in other ways; that is the way of F1..


“However his challenge for this weekend has been dampened somewhat by needing to take a new gearbox, as team mate Lewis Hamilton did in Austria.”
Wow Vettel hit Hamilton so hard at Baku it effected Bottas as well. Thats one hell of an energy transfer.


Great day today at Silverstone, looking forward to the next 2 days, but strangely I’m looking forward to seeing the F2 and GP2 cars more, they sound so much better! Even the Porsche’s sound better! And the 2 seater cars just rub salt in the wound with the old authentic F1 sound for the few laps they are on track. I really hope this hybrid fuel efficiency nonsense gets scrapped soon. One good point is these 2017 F1 cars look very fast through the corners and you can really hear them pounding the track surface in places like maggots and Stowe, but the engine sound sadly just doesn’t refect the speed they are carrying.


Take that windscreen off.

And leave it off.


It’s better than the thong, though which is what we’ll end up with if they don’t get the aero screen working. So they should persist with it I reckon.

James, do you think there is scope in the current regulations to allow the screen to be more integrated?


So this was my first experience of live formula 1 ever. I’ve followed this sport for 30+ years and never had the money/time to go. I admit as a nearly 40 year old man I cried a bit when I arrived at the track and the cars came whooshing past. Amazing. I watched from Luffieldisclosure and the copse and them maggots/beckets. I saw Lewis run wide, Kimi face backwards and Stroll (I think) pirouette. I heard the engines – the Honda sounds fundamentally different to the others. I didnt meet any drivers yet though! Formula 2 is ‘bust your eardrums’ loud – less technical, more visceral. Better sound than f1? Probably for the thrill factor. The whole experience of today has been awesome – be back again for more tomorrow!


How thrilling. Another week when one of the top four is taken out of contention due to the artifical mechanical penalties.


Off topic but anyway, Honda having troubble also in the road car department. Batteries have caught fire due to electronic issues. Souds familiar. Mercedes also now under investigation having used software activated under emmision test. Let’s see how that will pan out.


Cool English summer weather definitely playing to Merc’s strengths and not Ferrari’s. Think Merc have got this one, will be interesting to see which driver prevails though. If Bottas wins again that’ll really put a cat amongst the pigeons. I’m sure Ferrari haven’t properly turned up the new engine but Mercedes won’t have either.

Will Ferrari tell Kimi to pull over if he is leading Vettel in a comfortable 3rd and 4th?


Ferrari tell Kimi to pull over

Do bears $h1t in the woods? 🙂


“Will Ferrari tell Kimi to pull over if he is leading Vettel in a comfortable 3rd and 4th?”

I too would hate to see them pull a Mercedes.


Bottas has 5 grid penalty for gearbox


Will Ferrari tell Kimi to pull over

No😊 he’ll develop a little problem in the car or his strategy will be a little Monacoesque😄🍻

Remember your predictions aswell😊


Done them James!


“Will Ferrari tell Kimi to pull over if he is leading Vettel in a comfortable 3rd and 4th?”

No doubt in my mind, although they’d probably manipulate pitstops etc before that if they could.


BTW, James, thanks for the summary of Silverstone Practice sessions. NBC, unfortunately, has chosen to delay any broadcasting of practice or quali footage until 11 a.m. today and Saturday Pacific Coast Time. They have also limited practice to 60 minutes for both sessions. This approach is, apparently, in favor of bicycle racing somewhere in France.

Consequently, F-1 interests must depend on your reports and they do free up the rest of the day for other needs — no reason to record the air time as a result of this informed choice on NBC’s behalf. Sponsors loose exposure, NBC looses “ratings” and “fans” (and potential fans) both loose as a result. Then at times NBC also chooses to air different parts of an F-1 event on different channels — oh well, just live with it, eh?

Hopefully, Liberty will be able to find a network which is more responsive and knowledgeable in the not to distant future. Counting on their stated policy to open up markets and provide broader support for potential customers and dedicated F-1 interested parties. Thanks again for all you do.


..or do a deal with NBC where all the sessions not broadcast on TV are live streamed/OTT…


yes please ! NBC Sports Gold provides really good Tour de France coverage and the online version allows the viewer to access all stages for live streaming or repeat viewing, highlights of this years & last years event.

Surely the time has come for F1 to offer the same sort of package for long suffering F1 fans…..? US coverage is a real challenge.


I think it’ll be between the Mercs for the win on Sunday. Lewis is close to Bottas on slower tyres, FP3 should be interesting to see if Ferrari turn their new PU up and RBR similarly bolt the rest of their upgrades on overnight.

James, what happened to the timing “pips” comparing parts of sectors in qualifying? I quite enjoyed those going green/grey/purple! It added a bit of interest when the director was off showing the latest celebrity in the garage, or a different car to the one on the hot lap.


Wow would never of guessed that thanks


The gap to Lewis should have been huge — Lewis was on softs, not super-softs, as was Bottas. Yet the gap was only half of a tenth of a second…

Lewis clearly has a significant advantage.


The games are under way !


Well Hamilton set his fastest time on the soft tires. If Mercedes locks out the front row Bottas might get to turn 1 first even if he doesn’t get pole but we will see?

I think F1 might need a different tire supplier but then again Goodyear tires that NASCAR uses are pretty unpredictable with being too hard one race and blistering the next one.


It won’t be a Merc lockout. Bottas is getting a new gearbox like Lewis did last weekend. But if Bottas gets a start like last weekend, who knows where he will be in the first corner😊


into the side of Kimi of course!


It says in the first paragraph of this article that Bottas will take a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change. He’ll have to jump the start if he wants to lead into the first corner this week.


I’ve got a thousand euro that says Bottas will not be first into the first corner.
Read the first 2 paragraphs of the article above 😉


James, if you have a moment tell the TV director to broadcast the T-cam especially when it comes to Q3. Many great things has happened to F1 this year, but on board pole laps ain’t one of them. FOM used to use the shoulder cam but under much restraint. Ever since 2010, on board videos mostly came with telemetry. For some reason we don’t know, they decided to go backwards, using this shoulder cam as the main one, and now they even stopped showing telemetry.


This is like listening to a dark, rich language that I have no hope of really understanding (despite being a semi-professional photographer)! I was hooked at Rider’s comment at the top of the comments!!


That shield I’d just aghhh!!

Fulveo Ballabeo

Agreed. Windshields on open-cockpit race cars? Terrible.

Keep open cockpit. If want a windshield, there’s already an answer: go race sportscars/tintops.


I actually don’t think it looks as bad as the halo from last year, that was just plain stupid, but I’m as intrigued as everyone else about the elephant in the room. What about oil, bits of rubber, rain droplets and any other such crap that presently gets dealt with via a visor tear-off? Why is nobody in the FIA answering this question? In principle, fine (although SV was complaining today that it made him feel dizzy from distortion over 1 lap), but in practice, how is this going to end up? Someone getting killed because they’re too stubborn to admit that they can’t see a blasted thing? We’ll have lots of Schumacher into the back of Coulthard at Spa incidents. It seems to be a major design flaw that everyone in charge is choosing to ignore.


A rather strange boost coming from the new Ferrari engine


About as great upgrade Mercedes brought to Spain. You know, lighter, more powerful, more reliable that would leave everyone else in dust.


No mention that HAM set his time on softs while NOT set his on SS? Quite relevant , no?


Bottas edged Hamilton – both Mercedes on soft tyres – by 0.078s in FP1 earlier on Friday “
Wonder why for the FP2 report the tyre types were not given?

Stephen Taylor

The difference is no that big between Soft and Supersoft 0.2-0.4 and Bottas made a mistake on his qualy run in the S section despite going fastest . Bottas has more in the tank.


I think the difference is more than that.

Anyways, here are the new components both Mercedes and Ferrari drivers took, and what they’re at for the year.

New components taken:

Current component usage:
ICE / TC / MGU-H / MGU-K / ES / CE
VET – 3 / 4 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 3
RAI – 3 / 4 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 2
HAM – 3 / 3 / 3 / 3 / 2 / 2
BOT – 3 / 3 / 3 / 3 / 2 / 2


what do you make of the 4th TC for Vet? It seems a bit weird if it’s some sort of tactical thing (like Ferrari are claiming). It will preclude them from bringing any upgrades (without taking a penalty) won’t it?


Yeah, no upgrades allowed. They can do “reliability” updates to them, but there hasn’t been any reliability issues with them (or did Kimi have turbo issues earlier?).

Maybe we’ll hear the real story after the season.


“Bottas has more in the tank.”

Spot on mate! Lets see if he jumps the start again or if mechanics sabotage him with yet another pit stopa lot slower than LH’s.


When did he have a slower stop? Hope you’re not saying Austria … they were doing their best to turn him around to take the victory! A slow stop then would mean Vettel winning. Honestly …


I believe Hamilton did not complete a lap on super sofst as Bottas did, Hamilton’s fastest time was on softs


Yes, the article title is very misleading. Bottas did make a mistake in his lap but I feel, come Quali it will be a Merc 1-2 by a significant margin.


You are correct. He over drove his supersoft run and lost (Paul di Resta said close to 6/10ths) in sector 2 and sector 3. It will be an interesting FP3 and Q3 tomorrow for sure, since I think Ferrari have also kept their options close to the chest. Also I noticed Bottas supersoft long runs were truncated by time in the pits so that was also interesting. Lewis looked strong all around but he was untidy. Very hard to read right now. Also, new engine upgrades for Ferrari and Mercedes (Version 2.1) today so tomorrow we will see who has the better engine upgrades/engineers.


Pft Lew overdrive don’t think so


I heard Hamilton snubbed the supersoft so that he could spend the time instead preparing for Sunday’s race..


I wonder if Mercedes want both drivers to be Mercedes WDCS ASAP? Only if they are 100% sure Vettel isn’t coming over perhaps?

That windscreen? Just imagine it after a few laps of rubber and grease. Or with rain. Oh sure, they could put a wiper on it to spread out the smudged goo evenly for a perfect Vaseline on lens effect.

Yo, F1! Quit having LMP WRC envy. We loved you as you were. Quit trying to cover the driver, the wheels and hybridifyin’!


What I don’t understand is why the screen has to be so high. Surely it only needs to be tall enough to cover the top of the driver’s visor – therefore deflecting any incoming objects up past the vulnerable visor section of the helmet and then onwards up over the top of the helmet? Or am I talking crap? 🙂


Also ,this one is probably the coolest Visually STUNNING contribution REDBULL provides to the world

– why cant they just take a canopy from there and place it on their F1 car?

Once Fernando gets used to the Shield Canopy.. perhaps a seat at a REDBULL air race is what he will crave next 😀


Yes, but if the FIA insist they will have a halo or Shield for sure, then I would rather prefer the shield.

Vettel may have felt weird due to the curvature of the screen he says, but let’s not forget that fighter jets also have it. If they made a crappy mock up for the Ferrari today, that is not a fair way to judge it.

Agreed modern Fighter jets rely more on instruments, but they still cannot and possibly do not have “curvature” related distortions?

And what about single seater stunt planes that have canopies? They do close visual manoeuvres. REDBULL organizes so many of these stunt plane races. Perhaps they should borrow from that technology rapidly instead of fence sitting.

Watch these moves from behind a canopy!?


As much as I miss the old Bridge corner – Rubens overtake of Kimi in 2003 was the overtake from the Gods – but the new Abbey corner (Turn 1) is a very worthy replacement, and a truly fantastic corner. Very similar to Turn 2 at Estoril, a very quick right hand flick that even on full tanks is taken well over 150 MPH. And Becketts/Maggots is still the most daunting series of ess bends in the world.

Silverstone used to be a smooth as silk…………….but these days it’s as rough and abrasive as sandpaper rubbed on Cornish granite. The amount of “porpoising” and “bobbing” over the bumps and kerbs by just about every car is very surprising – almost like the ground effects days of the early 80s. And if those Dark Satanic Clouds (above) open up, then even if it dries out a “green” track will just chew up the compounds no problem………………


The bobbing that happens just before turn 1 can’t help driver confidence at all!


I’m saddened to hear that the track is apparently as rough as a badger’s posterior. However, the drivers should be thankful for small mercies as the average British road is scattered with potholes and not all of them get repaired so Silverstone is merely par for the course. Anyway the impoverished BRDC clearly can’t afford to resurface the track so the drivers will just have to drive to the contitions!


… average British road is scattered with potholes and not all of them get repaired …

I’ve driven throughout the U.K. I live in Canada. You have nothing to complain about. I win. lol


Great picture😄 but in all honesty, Canadian winters are a little bit harsher than they are in England. But get your point😂


Nice pic, point taken!


Constant freeze-thaw = huge road craters. Saw a small family living in one pothole this past winter. 😃

When off-roading provides a smoother ride.

____  _____🚗====


Yeah but a rough track makes it even better especially in the rain.


Strong performance from the silver arrows at Silverstone, the team looks good on both the long runs and short runs and with Lewis having recharged the batteries in Greece, he maybe the best placed driver heading into the weekend

Ferrari disappointed with P3 and P4 because the new engine was supposed to bridge the gap to Mercedes but this hasn’t been the case which is a concern considering both Kimi & Vettel have won the race only once.

Red Bull are still not quite on the pace with P5 and P6 as the team await their upgrade in Hungary meaning, the team’s mission is just to get both cars finish the race.

Good day’s work by Renault in P7 but as usual, Renault is faster over one lap than in race mode hence are likely to lose out in the fight for points.

Williams in P8 would indicate the team has solved the one lap issues they encountered in Austria

Whereas Mclaren in P9 was a decent showing however, not good enough as Mclaren had to be in the top 7 to have confidence of making it to Q3

Last but not least, fair play by Force India in the top 10 meaning guaranteed points in the bag for the constructor’s


It’s possible Ferrari have more power at hand. I want to see the long run pace. Tomorrow we will know.


@ jdr

Aah if Ferrari have more power then they did a pretty solid job of sandbagging

But as always we shall know more in quali


Lewis definitely chilled at home 👍
Bottas can have the practice time but tomorrow it’s Lewis all the way.
Just a slight slide or Lewis would be topping the time sheets.
Ferrari look rather dumbed down 😄

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