FP1: Bottas leads Hamilton in rain-affected first practice at Silverstone as Stroll ends session in gravel
Valtteri Bottas set the pace in opening practice for the British Grand Prix as persistent rain meant only 10 drivers opted to set a lap time around Silverstone.
The Alfa Romeo driver clocked a 1m 42.249s on the intermediate tyres to end the one-hour session 0.470s quicker than Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Mick Schumacher, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda and Sebastian Vettel the only other drivers to complete a timed lap.
READ MORE: Can Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrades turn the British Grand Prix into a proper three-way fight?
FORMULA 1 LENOVO BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2022
Great Britain 2022
Practice 1 results
|1 Valtteri Bottas BOT Alfa Romeo||1:42.249|
|2 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.532s|
|3 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.718s|
|4 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||+1.552s|
|5 Mick Schumacher MSC Haas F1 Team||+1.646s|
Conditions were so tricky, it was impossible to draw any conclusions from the track action, with teams like Red Bull deciding not to head out at all to save tyres for anticipated wet conditions on Saturday.
It was frustrating for teams like Mercedes, Alpine, Williams and Aston Martin, who brought significant updates and would have liked 60 minutes of dry running to evaluate the improvements.
READ MORE: ‘It’s a sizeable difference’ – Williams drivers Albon and Latifi assess hefty British GP upgrade package for FW44
When the rain finally eased, making the call to switch to slick weather tyres was tricky. as while a dry line formed in some parts of the circuit at Maggots and Becketts, it was wet in other parts.
Hamilton was among the first to brave the soft tyres and improved to the second quickest time in the Mercedes.
However, Lance Stroll was caught out by the conditions at Copse when on the softs, spinning off into the gravel and beaching his Aston Martin.
That brought out the red flag – and with less than a minute to go, the Race Director opted not to restart the session.
Second practice takes place at 1600 local time on Friday, with forecasts suggesting more rain is possible.