Hamilton leads opening British GP practice at Silverstone


Lewis Hamilton began his home race weekend in style by leading the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix on Friday morning.

Hamilton arrived at Silverstone with plenty of momentum after winning in Austria last weekend, cutting the points gap to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg down to just 11 points.

The two Silver Arrows duelled for top honors once again during FP1 on Friday morning, exchanging fastest laps back and forth in the early part of the session.

However, a fastest time of 1:31.654 was enough to give Hamilton P1 come the end of the running, edging out Rosberg by just 0.033 seconds.

Mercedes dominated proceedings throughout an incident-free first practice, running over two seconds clear of the rest of the pack at times.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg slotted into third place, going eight-tenths of a second slower than Hamilton, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished the session fourth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

Fresh from being confirmed as a Ferrari driver until the end of 2017, Kimi Raikkonen finished the session sixth, beating Red Bull youngster Max Verstappen in P7. Sergio Perez finished FP1 in eighth, ahead of the Spanish pair of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso.

Opening practice at Silverstone saw junior drivers Esteban Ocon and Charles Leclerc enjoy run-outs with Renault and Haas respectively. Ocon finished the session 19th, less than one-tenth of a second behind Leclerc, who ended his first F1 practice in P18.