British GP, FP1: Verstappen tops first practice at Silverstone

As Hulkenberg returns

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By Olivier Ferret

31 July 2020 - 13:38
British GP, FP1: Verstappen tops (...)

Max Verstappen went quickest in the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg returned to Formula 1 action for Racing Point in place of Sergio Pérez who was yesterday ruled out of the race weekend after testing positive for COVID-19.

Verstappen topped the timesheet with a lap of 1:27.422s set on soft compound Pirelli tyres and he ended the 90 minutes 0.474 seconds ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who set his best lap on mediums in the leading Mercedes.

Lance Stroll finished in third place for Racing Point with a time of 1:28.004, 0.582 behind Verstappen and almost six tenths clear of Hulkenberg who was taking part in the grand prix session for the first time since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The German driver managed appeared on track with 15 minutes gone and despite an overnight seat fitting he encountered few problems during the session save for complaining of a small amount of seating discomfort that forced him to ask for a breather at one point. He ended the session in ninth place overall, 1.17s behind Verstappen.

Behind Stroll, Alex Albon was fourth for Red Bull Racing, seven tenths off team-mate Verstappen and just nine hundredths of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc’s was the only Ferrrari on track for the bulk of the session after team-mate Sebastian Vettel completed just two laps before heading back to the garage with an intercooler problem on his SF1000 car.

Valtteri Bottas was sixth in the second Mercedes with a time of 1:28.519, while Renault’s Esteban Ocon took seventh place just under two hundredths of a second ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. With Hulkenberg in ninth the top ten order was rounded out by AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat.

The session was largely incident-free, though Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi brought out a red flag in the first half hour following a spin at the exit of Becketts, which caused him to flat-spot all four tyres and damage the floor of his car. The incident left tyre debris on the Hangar Straight and the session was briefly halted to allow the track to be cleared.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:27.422 27
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 1:27.896 27
03 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:28.004 22
04 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:28.129 24
05 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:28.221 22
06 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:28.519 29
07 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:28.559 26
08 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:28.575 22
09 Nico Hulkenberg Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:28.592 23
10 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:28.868 21
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:28.909 24
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:29.988 24
13 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:28.990 22
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:29.532 23
15 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:29.576 25
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:29.746 24
17 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 1:29.899 23
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:29.925 17
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 1:30.703 20
20 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 -:—.--- 2

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