The 10th round of the 2018 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 (3.66-mile), 18-turn track were run under sunny and warm conditions.
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen endured a difficult FP1, Grosjean more so than Magnussen.
With approximately 30 minutes remaining in the opening session, Grosjean spun off the incredibly quick Abbey Curve in turn one, shooting across the gravel trap before nosing hard into the barrier. Grosjean emerged unscathed, but the same could not be said for his Haas VF-18. There was structural damage to his chassis, which meant the team was forced to build a backup chassis, which kept Grosjean out of FP2. Despite the crash, Grosjean proved quick, even with only 12 laps of on-track running. Riding on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires, he notched the seventh-fastest time with a lap of 1:29.352 on his penultimate tour, a best-of-the-rest mark behind the big three of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull.
Magnussen ran 20 laps in FP1 and ended the session as the 14th-fastest driver with a 1:30.065 secured on his 13th lap. With two virtual safety car periods – one for Grosjean’s spin and another in the final 10 minutes for when Max Verstappen had to park his Red Bull on the frontstraight – Magnussen was unable to get the high-fuel run he and the team wanted while running on a used set of Yellow softs.
Leading the way in FP1 was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, whose fast lap of 1:27.487 was .367 of a second better than the next quickest driver Valtteri Bottas, his teammate at Mercedes.
With Magnussen carrying the flag for Haas F1 Team in FP2, he set the 12th-quickest time with a lap of 1:29.617, which was .448 of a second better than his best lap in FP1. His quick time came on the 12th of his 33 laps with Yellow softs bolted onto his Haas VF-18.
Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel pipped Hamilton for the top spot in FP2. His fast lap of 1:27.552 was .187 of a second better than Hamilton. The two are locked in a tight championship battle, with Vettel leading Hamilton by a single point.
The Silverstone track record of 1:26.600, set last year by Hamilton in the final round of qualifying, remained intact.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 65 laps – 53 by Magnussen 12 by Grosjean.