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Vettel leads Ferrari & Mercedes duel as Verstappen crashes in British F1 GP practice
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Posted By: Editor   |  06 Jul 2018   |  4:49 pm GMT  |  48 comments

Sebastian Vettel headed a close-fought practice session between the top two teams in constructors’ championship, Mercedes and Ferrari.

With prancing horse making a habit of sandbagging on Fridays in 2018, Vettel finished at the front of an FP2 session for the first time this season, leading Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by less than two tenths of a second.

Track temperatures were over 50 degrees Celsius at Silverstone, and with Ferrari seemingly handling the higher temperatures better in Austria, this could be the factor that helps them challenge Mercedes this weekend.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen – who had a spin at Luffield in FP1 – completed the all-red-and-silver top four, whilst Red Bull appear unable to provide an answer to their pace, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing in fifth.

The second Red Bull of Max Verstappen missed the majority of FP2 after crashing out in the first twenty minutes, leaving Red Bull one car short for the important data-gathering.

On the longer runs, both Mercedes and Ferrari were frequently setting times in the 1:33s, whilst the sole Red Bull of Ricciardo rarely went quicker than a 1:34.

McLaren, looking for a strong weekend to move on from a turbulent midweek, were a surprise sixth fastest with Fernando Alonso, narrowly edging ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg in a close midfield contest.

The two Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were eighth and ninth, whilst Sauber’s Charles Leclerc completed the top ten.

Drivers tested by third DRS zone

One of the main talking points in the build-up to this weekend was the inclusion of a third DRS zone or, more specifically, the location of the third DRS zone.

Added to the two zones already situated between turns five and six and between turns fourteen and fifteen, the third zone has been added on the start-finish straight and runs through turns one and two.

This prompted debate about which cars would be able to negotiate the fast right-handed turn one. Many of the laps completed involved drivers temporarily closing the DRS through turn one, then reopening it for the remainder of the zone.

Romain Grosjean was the first driver to make a big error at turn one; the Haas driver failed to close the DRS on his car, and he lost control of the rear of his car through turn one and crashed into the barrier.

He blamed the bumpy relaid track surface for missing the button, but the crash meant he required a chassis change, which ruled him out of free practice two.

Naturally, Verstappen was the first to attempt turn one with the DRS wide open, but his FP2 crash occurred at a different point on the circuit.

Following an FP1 session which ended with the Dutchman pulling over with technical troubles, Verstappen’s second free practice session ended after 20 minutes when he crashed his Red Bull on the exit of Luffield.

Running slightly wide on the exit, the rear of the car stepped out and an over-correction sent him into the barrier on the outside of the corner, damaging the right-hand side of the car, particularly on the rear. The red flags were deployed to allow the Red Bull to be recovered.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Free Practice
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m27.552s – 36
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.739s 0.187s 32
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m27.909s 0.357s 30
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m28.045s 0.493s 34
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m28.408s 0.856s 31
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m29.306s 1.754s 31
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m29.354s 1.802s 35
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m29.467s 1.915s 33
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m29.522s 1.970s 32
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.557s 2.005s 30
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m29.563s 2.011s 36
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m29.617s 2.065s 33
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m29.831s 2.279s 16
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m30.046s 2.494s 32
15 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m30.069s 2.517s 34
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m30.103s 2.551s 36
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m30.121s 2.569s 31
18 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m30.404s 2.852s 36
19 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault No time
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari No time

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

Who do you think is the favourite at Silverstone so far? Leave your comments in the section below.

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1

Will the orange crowd keep coming when the hype is gone, and they keep watching him crash more than anything else?

2

Will all other stop moaning when he grabs his first WDC ?

3

I just re-watched FP1 highlights on Youtube, & re Grosjean’s comment on the bumps making him miss the button, I call BS on that.

The in car footage shows his thumbs never left their position to hit the DRS button.

Romain, be honest. You plain ol’ dropped it………….without Ericsson’s help!

4

Pretty sure it is activated by using the index finger at the top left rear of the wheel, but still call BS as well, unless of course ERI hit him again.

5

Off the subject here, but does anyone else think it would be good to have the position number on the online live timing leader board coloured in the tyre colour on which the time was set?

6

Definitely.

7

@ Cometef1

Bonjour Mr Marc

Wishing all the best for the French team however, the French team that I will always remember is the one with Thierry and Zidane

8

The two stars of Austria both bin it the next time they get in the car? Apparently Romain hit a bump which meant he couldn’t get the drs disabled, the big book of racing drivers excuses just got another addition……

9

Crashtappen rides again 🙂

10

Sure, sure. But brace yourself, you’re about to see loads of Dashtappen and Flashtappen this year yet.

11

See what I mean about Grojoan… When is he going to stop this crashing? There should be a website “hasgrocradhedyet.com”… It was promising when he first joined Haas. Now it’s so common place for him to crash it’s getting annoying. Put Wehrlein in a Haas, giver him a drive. See what he does.

12

Max might have crashed at the 20 minute mark, but it was on his out lap.

He hadn’t even started a timed lap.

His fourth season in F1, almost 70 races. …..Just sayin’

13

Of course he has. He’s also stil a kid.

“.. The preponderance of young men engaging in these deadly, evil, and stupid acts of violence may be a result of brains that have yet to fully developed,” Howard Forman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told….”

The human brain hasn’t fully matured before his 25th birthday. Max is stil incredibly impulsive, and he’ll crash many times… And eventually win even more.

14

So LEC has a twenty five year old brain?

15

Baca use of all his crashes?

16

So Lewis has been complaining that the track is too bumpy. and that the drs zone is too dangerous. Maybe he should try sim racing.

Also, regarding Roman’s hiccup…..why the hell is the DRS button a button, and not a Deadman switch???? A tried and true solution, used across an array of industries to prevent all kinds of accidents. Too much for F1 minds to wrap their heads around though I guess.

17

Twitch, Lewis not the only driver to complain about the bumps, pretty much all of them did apart from Fernando who thought it was less bumpy!

18

The DRS does have a dead man switch. It’s called the brake peddle.

Keep the right foot buried, tap the brake, turn in, hit the DRS button again to re-open the flap.

Simple.

19

Just to promote some positivity. No matter what, this season is at the most promising, at least for the last decade or so, when it comes to teams being close and so on. I just started to feel the temptation to start writing about dirty air and many other serious matters, but I resisted the temptation:) Better stop here

20

2010 was not that long ago.

21

Once again another example of Max “over driving” the car, he need s to learn to build up speed / momentum particularly in free practice instead of trying to smash it all the time. No need to push it to the limits of adhesion especially on cold hard tyres. I am slowly losing patience waiting for him to drive consistently with a touch of maturity instead of his “all in” style of driving which seems to end in tears more often than not recently.

22

CAB,

Waiting for a touch of maturity from Max? You’ll be waiting a few years.

You do know he’s only 20, don’t you?

23

So what happened to LEC, or is he just pretending to be young?

24

“Romain Grosjean was the first driver to make a big error at turn one”

Nothing new under the sun!

25

Memory lane anyone?

It’s 11 years to the day that Ferrari won a commanding victory at a sunny very warm silverstone.

At Ferrari Kimi had worked very hard with Dyer and the engineers and eventually had tamed the 2007 beast to his liking. He was also lucky that Todt had placed a protective cordon around him to offset the political shenanigans within the team.

Hammy took pole in a Merc McLaren that was the class of the field on paper, but it was Alonso who led the charge after passing Hammy and Kimi in the first pitstops. But Kimi had superior pace and after the second pitstops was untouchable at the front. Hammy finished 3rd, 40 secs off the lead.

DC and Webber were team mates loitering about the back of the grid. Some things never change!

26

Grosjean ans Max, just can’t help writing it. Or the Romax. Let’s just hope Silverstone delivers a great race. Lewis should still be the favorite, or most probable to win:)

27

We could see something similar to last weekend with the hot track temps.

Mark Webber was saying post race in Austria that Mercedes like the thinner tyres because they don’t keep as much heat in them, whilst Ferrari like the thicker tyres for the opposite reason.

28

Is it a psychological game between two big guns, when they try to declare their rivals favorite of certain venues, whereas in the maind they believe to their victory. Specially Toto is a Master of this kind of poker.

29

Close encounter of the irritating kind: Alonso-KMag in FP1. Alonso cried “he tried to hit me!” Alonso had himself to blame, he wasn’t fast enough to stay ahead of Magnussen and started to accelerate after the Dane passed him. I guess on an F1 track that’s just as annoying as it is on the highway (UK motorway). Next KMag tried to intimidate Alonso with an agressive swerve, yessir he definitely did that. But stewards already rather more interested in their luncheon. Carry on, chaps.

30

Magnussen is a real viking. No accessive thoughts just constantly at war. Love the Magnussen move. Spanish narciccist can’t find a peace even on track.

31

O.K. As some of you may have guessed…I am not a Hamilton fan. But this is Silverstone in front of the adhoring Hamiltosi ( well I could say fanboys but it does not do justice to the Tifosi equivalent) Fully expect better on Saturday.

32

Jon – grow up?

33

2nd learning point today for Max V: if after a crash you’re asked “Are you OK?” don’t answer “No, mate, the rear is damaged”. Instead answer: “Yes, I’m OK. But the rear is damaged”.

34

Maybe his bottom was hurt.

35

Maybe he was thinking his rear was about to be damaged when he gets back to the pits?

36

Marko-style spanking you mean?? Nah, can’t see that. However – now that you mention it, he did appear to be practicing something with his hands watching the replay.

37

If you consider that this is very much a track to Hamilton’s liking and less so for Vettel, that the harder tyres were selected and in their slimmer versions as well and that Silverstones is considered a Mercedes track, one of them not winning would be beyond surprising if it is a straight forward race. The only thing that might go against them is the possibility of very high track temperature.

Hopefully Ferrari can surprise us but l would not bet too much on that. That said, if Ferrari was to win this race on their own merrit, l would be tempted to say that this season’s championships are very much theirs to grab.

We are more likely to see yet another change at the top of the standings of the WDC though. What a season it is turning out to be. Love it. Marc

38

@Cemetef1,Ferrari to win easy, paddock gossip & quote by no other then Horner saying Ferrari PU way ahead with power output over Mercedes & Dr Marko seems to agree, while Hamilton saying Ferrari have best engine. Put it in the nutshell Vettel for sure , don’t know about Kimi though he takes the siesta often these days.

39

I said after Canada that if Ferrari won here I’d give up hope that Mercedes can beat them over a season, I see no reason to change that assessment.

40

It was close last year, but Hamilton pulled a scorcher out on Saturday, hopefully he can do it again.

Come down for the crash happy pair of Verstappen and Grosjean after their Austria highs…just when it looked like they’d both turned a corner. Probably not as costly as it could have been, still good chances for both in qualifying.

41

Just wondering.

If Max & Romain crash into each other, will it still be Ericsson’s fault?

42

Elementary mistake by Verstappen, not even fast when he lost the rear but that is bound to happen with cold hard tyres if you’re not careful. Reward: a sightseeing trip to the British Roma(i)n Wall.

On the up-side, Max’ time on mediums in FP1 was quite promising. On the yellow tyre he should be able to get closer to Vettel’s time than RIC’s 0.9s.

43

…So should Ric!

44

So he should perhaps, but not even close: Max +0.7s, Ric +1.2s, so Yes better than +0.9s and No not better than +0.9s respectively. Ric hardly deserves to be on the same row as Max.

45

finally, long run info..no many websites mention that… thanks james 🙂

46

Meanwhile, the fans will keep an eye out to see how the Three Lions are fairing after qualy, due to the fact that no country has ever won the world cup (or the Euro championship) plus the drivers championship in the same year

I mean, this is what happened to Alonso in 2010/2012 and also what happened to Rosberg in 2014

47

Since you bring football, l will continue on that vein. I am a very happy french man just now. I willbe going to sleep soon and find out who our opponent will be in the next round when l wake up. l am hoping for the who to be Belgium, not because l think they might be easier for us but because they are my second favorite. Marc

48

Corker day by Ferrari having topped FP2 which is encouraging as the team are assessing their new upgrades

Having said that, it would appear Ferrari have fallen behind Mercedes in one lap pace because of the times the team has grabbed pole, Kimi usually finished Friday practice in P2 or P1

Good day’s work by the silver arrows at Silverstone and seeing as the mediums will be used, the team are likely to go well on those as Lewis has always preferred the harder compound tyres as they do not easily blister

As confirmed by Horner, Red Bull are looking at the 3rd row in qualy because most Silverstone corners are now flat therefore the team isn’t benefiting from it’s good aerodynamics

Well done to Mclaren in P6, however, after the recent management changes, the team are possibly doing some glory runs to raise morale in the team

As for Renault, this time around they’re possibly the best of the rest displacing Haas hence making the fight 4th in the constructor’s fascinating

Good effort by Force India for hanging in there in the top 10 and last but not least impressive performance by Sauber in P10 meaning the fans can look forward to another great fight between Alonso and Charlie

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