The first practice session of the 70th Anniversary GP taking place at Silverstone, UK, has ended with Valtteri Bottas setting the fastest time of the session, with 1.26.166. Close behind him we had Lewis Hamilton with 1.26.304 and Max Verstappen with 1.26.893 on 3rd. The rest who completed the top 10 of the session were: Nico Hulkenberg, Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon.
Before the session even began we were hit with the news of a penalty for Racing Point. The team has been given a $400K fine and lost 15 points from championship standings due to FIA upholding the protest launched by Renault over the legality of RP’s brake ducts. Another news regarding Racing Point was that once again, just as last week, we’ll see Nico Hulkenberg behind the wheel of Sergio Perez’s seat - who’s still remaining in quarantine due to a positive “re-test” for COVID-19, after it was communicated before the previous GP that unfortunately Perez caught the virus. During the FP1 session, Hulkenberg outperformed Stroll, finishing his stint on 4th with Stroll falling behind on 8th.
The first free practice took place in some interesting conditions: almost 26°C of air temperature and 33.5°C of the track temperature, which can have impact on the data the teams were able to get during that session.
For the first 15 - 20 minutes of the session we had no time scores on the board.
Hulkenberg in the car of Perez was not the only switch during the session - instead of Giovinazzi, we’ve seen Robert Kubica once again taking part in the FP1. Hulkenberg on the other hand will remain behind the wheel of Racing Point for the rest of the weekend.
With less than an hour remaining of the session - Max Verstappen, who was the first one on the track was the only driver with no set time. The mechanics were seen doing some work on his car. Eventually, with half an hour till the end of the session Verstappen was able to get out and set some times. It has been said the mechanics were changing the set up in Max’s car due to a new Power Unit this weekend, which has been also put in the car of Alex Albon.
The top of the standings during that session started with the Ferraris only to be pushed down by Mercedes - a standard sight since many seasons.
The session itself went without any disturbances - there were no crashes, and everything went smoothly. Let’s see what type of session we’ll have in just few hours, as FP2 is underway.