The 10th round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Silverstone Circuit as teams prepared for the British Grand Prix Sunday. Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 5.891-kilometer (3.660-mile), 18-turn track were run under cool and mostly cloudy conditions, with Antonio Giovinazzi joining Haas F1 Team’s regular drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Giovinazzi, the third driver for Scuderia Ferrari, took the wheel of the Haas VF-17 in FP1 as Magnussen graciously relinquished his seat for Giovinazzi to gain some additional Formula One experience. The 23-year-old from Martina Franca, Italy, drove a Formula One car earlier this year when he subbed for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber during the first week of winter testing at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya and again during the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix. This was the first of seven FP1 sessions where Giovinazzi will drive for Haas F1 Team.
Giovinazzi ran a total of 24 laps, the best being a 1:32.031 on his 22nd lap that put him 16th overall. It was a relatively straightforward session for Giovinazzi, who ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire.
Grosjean also ran 24 laps in FP1 with a quick time of 1:31.610 on his 14th lap to place him 14th among the 20 drivers. Grosjean began FP1 on the White medium tire and switched to the Yellow soft after seven laps.
Leading the way in FP1 was Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, whose fast lap of 1:29.106 was .078 of a second better than the next quickest driver, teammate Lewis Hamilton. Both Bottas and Hamilton were faster than the previous track record – a 1:29.243 set by Hamilton during the second round of qualifying for last year’s British Grand Prix.
Magnussen returned to his Haas VF-17 in FP2 and quickly got up to speed. He ran 33 laps with a best time of 1:30.835 earned on his 10th lap to place him 17th overall. Grosjean bettered his FP1 mark by .949 of a second with a time of 1:30.661 on his 14th lap to set the 14th-fastest time. Both drivers tallied 33 laps and earned their quick times using the Red supersoft tire after beginning the session on Yellow softs.
Grosjean and Magnussen utilized Carbon Industrie (CI) brakes on their respective Haas VF-17s in FP2 after Grosjean and Giovinazzi ran Brembo brakes in FP1. The team initially ran a CI brake package while testing April 18-19 at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir and then during FP1 and FP2 on April 28 of the Russian Grand Prix race weekend. Friday’s FP2 session at Silverstone marked Haas F1 Team’s first use of CI brakes since Russia. Brembo has been used all other times this season.
The Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton topped FP2, with Bottas nipping his teammate by .047 of a second with a lap of 1:28.496. The top-five drivers in FP2 were under Hamilton’s 2016 track record.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 114 laps – 57 by Grosjean, 33 by Magnussen and 24 by Giovinazzi.