Reporting from the 2016 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished fastest this morning in the first free practice of the 2016 British Grand Prix, backed by plenty of home support. Teammate Nico Rosberg was a close second, with a mere 0.033s seperating the two drivers.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished the session fourth fastest, behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, after fitting the soft tyre. Vettel also trialled the halo, a possible concept for the 2017 season, however ended the session on a low note, with gearbox issues.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, their cars fitted with a new upgrade, were unable to find their second wind today in the first practice, and finished tenth and twelfth at the end of the session.
Notably, there were two new drivers in the session this morning, upcoming talent Charles Leclerc driving in place of Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez for the session, who finished eighteenth in the session depsite a spin, and Esteban Ocon, driving in place of Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, finishing in nineteenth.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets yet again today in the second free practice, with the two Red Bull’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen coming in second and third. Ricciardo’s session ended on a different note, however, as the Australian was instructed to slow and avoid changing gear as the chequered flag fell.
Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg suffered from problems with his car, meaning that he did not get a chance to go out at all in the ninety-minute session this afternoon. The German driver complained of problems with the car following FP1, and an investigation by Mercedes revealed a water leak that was unable to be resolved by the end of FP2, leaving him sitting in the pits.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished the session fourth and fifth, as Vettel’s gearbox problems at the end of FP1 were rectified and the two prancing horses seemed unable to catch the Red Bulls.
McLaren Honda’s upgraded engine has shown its benefits this afternoon, with Fernando Alonso completing a sixth-fastest lap behind the two Ferrari’s. Teammate Jenson Button was ninth, despite suffering from some techincial troubles during the session.