Max third fastest after Silverstone FP1
Published on 12 July 2019 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen started his British Grand Prix weekend with the third quickest time during the first free practice session. His Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team mate, Pierre Gasly, was fastest around the fast Silverstone circuit. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas clocked the second best time of the morning.
The session is off to a slow start. Apart from the customary installation laps, the action does not get underway until twenty minutes into practice. When most drivers finally hit the track, it is Haas’ Romain Grosjean that steals all the attention. Upon exiting the pits, the Frenchman spins and hits the pit barrier, losing his front wing in the process.
After Grosjean’s incident, which causes a Virtual Safety Car until the Haas is back in the pits, most drivers take to the track to put their first timed laps on the board. In the process, it appears that the new track surface provides less than grip than expected with local heroes Lando Norris (McLaren) and George Russell (Williams) both spinning.
Moments later, the first and only red flag of the session is thrown. Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo is producing a lot of smoke and noise, before grinding to a halt at Luffield with what appears to be an engine or gear box problem.
On his second attempt, Grosjean manages to negotiate the pit lane exit safely but on his first timed lap, the Frenchman spins. Luckily for the Haas driver, there is no damage, but his start to the weekend is far from ideal.
With less than half an hour to go, several drivers are venturing off-track into the run-off areas. “I think it rains”, informs Max his pit-crew, after which his engineer warns him not to take any risks. Because of a brand new asphalt layer, the track is slippery despite only a few drops.
Mercedes send their drivers out on intermediates but both return to the pits after just one lap to switch back to slick tyres. The rain stays clear and the track is getting ever faster with the quickest laps clocked in the closing stages. In the end, it is Pierre Gasly who tops the leader boards, ahead of Bottas and Max.
|1||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:27.173||24|
|3||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:28.009||+0.836s||20|
|9||Alexander Albon||ALB||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:29.093||+1.920s||25|
|10||Carlos Sainz||SAI||McLaren Renault||1:29.162||+1.989s||30|
|11||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Renault||1:29.170||+1.997s||22|
|12||Sergio Perez||PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:29.453||+2.280s||26|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||KVY||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:29.500||+2.327s||26|
|14||Lance Stroll||STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:29.657||+2.484s||24|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.099||+2.926s||24|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:30.605||+3.432s||24|
|17||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:30.741||+3.568s||24|
|18||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.747||+3.574s||12|
|19||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||1:30.811||+3.638s||21|
|20||Robert Kubica||KUB||Williams Mercedes||1:32.121||+4.948s||26|