British Grand Prix: Verstappen takes first place in FP1
By Robert McGillivray 31 July 2020 | 13:53
Off we go for the British Grand Prix at the historic Silverstone track with the first of three free practices. With the surprise result of Sergio Perez’ corona test and the return of Nico Hülkenberg as the replacement at Racing Point, the race weekend is off to a flying start.
After all the excitement of the last 24 hours, the first free practice was off to a slow start with most drivers doing some extra testing. The first excitement came when, after 13 minutes into FP1, Nico Hülkenberg made his entry on the track for the first time since he left Renault. On his return to F1, Hülkenberg managed to set the 9th time. Lance Stroll, however, showed that the Pink Mercedes is definitely on the right track with a blistering 3rd place time of 1.28,004.
Red bull upgrades look promising
It looks like there have been positive developments at Red Bull Racing. With Verstappen setting the fastest lap time of 1.27,442 ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 0.474 of a second, it certainly looks promising. Alexander Albon looked a lot more comfortable in his car than last week at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where issues abounded for the Thai-Brit driver. Albon managed to set the 4th time
More problems for Ferrari?
Ferrari's problems continue with Sebastian Vettel's car not being able to continue in FP1 due to an intercooler problem. Charles Leclerc didn't do bad with the 5th time of 1.28,221, but with a gap of 0.799 behind leader Verstappen there is work to be done. With Silverstone being a power circuit, an area where Ferrari has been lagging lately, this might just be something additional to worry about for the Scuderia.
Heat problems for Mercedes
With a second and sixth place, Mercedes will be slightly disappointed. However more importantly, towards the end of the session, Lewis Hamilton's car did show some warning lights. Potentially this could be the same heat issues we saw previously with the Mercedes not being able to handle hot days. Luckily for Mercedes, both Saturday and Sunday are forecasted to be a lot cooler then the 30 degrees Celcius we saw today.
Spin and damage for Giovinazzi
- 11:22 Steiner puts focus on Mercedes: "They gave data to Racing Point while that is not allowed"
- 11:13 Verstappen explains tire strategy: "That's why I wanted to go for the hardest option"
- 08/08 Update | Bottas disagrees with Wolff about Verstappen's strategy: "Good tire for the race"
- 08/08 Update | Verstappen after different strategy: "It will certainly not be bad tomorrow"
- 08/08 Hülkenberg describes feelings after a great P3 in qualifying as: "Madhouse!"