British Grand Prix: Friday Practice Recap

Event:  Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 (FP1 and FP2) 

Date:  Friday, July 14

Location:  Silverstone Circuit

Layout:  5.891-kilometer (3.660-mile), 18-turn track

FP1 Weather:  Mostly cloudy

FP1 Air Temps:  14.7-17.1 degrees Celsius (58.5-62.8 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP1 Track Temps:  20.9-31.8 degrees Celsius (69.6-89.2 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP2 Weather:  Mostly cloudy

FP2 Air Temps:  16.9-18.4 degrees Celsius (62.4-65.1 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP2 Track Temps:  29.7-33.9 degrees Celsius (85.5-93 degrees Fahrenheit)

Drivers:  Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovinazzi

Grosjean:  14th quick (1:31.610), 24 laps completed

Giovinazzi:  16th quick (1:32.031), 24 laps completed

Fastest Driver:  Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:29.106)

Most Laps:  Sergio Perez of Force India (34 laps)

Grosjean:  14th quick (1:30.661), 33 laps completed

Magnussen:  17th quick (1:30.835), 33 laps completed

Fastest Driver:  Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:28.496)

Most Laps:  Sergio Perez of Force India (43 laps)

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.

“It’s been a working day. We’re not as fast as we were in Austria at this time of the weekend. We’re struggling a little bit with getting the tires in the window, possibly with the cooler temperatures, but I don’t know for sure. We changed brakes over lunch from Brembo to Carbon Industrie, which doesn’t make our life very easy. There’s a lot of mapping and all that had to be done behind the scenes. That was a big job. We’ve also been evaluating low fuel and high fuel. I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent happy with the car, but we’ve got some idea of what to do for tomorrow.”

“Initially, it was just about getting used to the car and the track as quickly as possible after sitting out FP1. I got into it fairly quickly. The wind wasn’t too bad today, but even then it still has an effect – that’s always the case here at Silverstone where it’s very flat and open. I don’t know what it’s going to do tomorrow, but if there is wind it will have an effect. Regardless, it was amazing driving these cars here and it lived up to expectations. It was amazing just how fast we go through the corners, especially the high-speed bits. We have a few things we need to dial in for tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”

“First of all, I want to say thank you to Scuderia Ferrari for this opportunity. It was a really good session. My last test was Bahrain with Ferrari a long time ago, so to be back in a car was really nice. It was a session to just get as many laps as we could. We didn’t make any mistakes, we tried quite a few things, and I was confident in the car. I was really happy with our performance. It’s nice to see how different teams work. I’m looking forward to my remaining six FP1 performances with Haas F1 Team. It’s a fantastic team, so I’m really happy to join them and I’ll do my best. I started this FP1 session at one of the hardest tracks with a lot of downforce and a lot of fast corners. I think to be four-tenths from Romain is strong. He, of course, has a lot of experience and laps to start. I can’t wait to jump in the car again in Hungary. It will also be hard as it’s a difficult track, but I’ve already got some confidence from the car so it’ll be a little easier.”

“A very workmanlike day. Antonio drove one of the cars in FP1 and he did a good job. We had some issues on the first outings with both cars – some electronic issues – which we sorted and were okay with on the second set of tires. The whole day was relatively uneventful. The drivers still need to adjust to the new brakes, which they used in FP2. We now need to analyze our long run – which was a solid one. We need to look at the data and see where we are, get ready for FP3, and get a good qualifying setup together and qualify well.”

Drivers have one more practice session on Saturday (10:00-11:00) before qualifying starts at 13:00. Qualifying consists of three rounds, with the 15 fastest drivers from Q1 moving on to Q2. Then, the 10 fastest drivers from Q2 advance to Q3 where they’ll battle for the pole.