FP1: Verstappen leads Perez and Albon as British GP weekend begins
Max Verstappen set the pace during first practice for the British Grand Prix, topping the timesheets from Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez and the high-flying Williams of Alex Albon as Friday’s track action kicked off.
After a rain-hit weekend in Austria, it was a glorious start to proceedings at the historic Silverstone Circuit, with clear blue skies covering a track lined with grandstands and grass banks full of passionate fans.
It was a particularly busy hour of running for the drivers and teams as they not only got back up to speed with the fast, flowing layout after a year away, but also sampled Pirelli’s new tyre construction for all dry compounds which is aimed at increasing the products’ strength.
As the various runs played out on the hard, medium and soft tyres, it was reigning double world champion Verstappen who came out on top, working his way down to a time of 1m 28.600s on the red-marked rubber.
FORMULA 1 ARAMCO BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2023
Great Britain 2023
Practice 1 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing
|2 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing
|3 Alexander Albon ALB Williams
|4 Fernando Alonso ALO Aston Martin
|5 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari
After stopping his three-race run without a podium finish last time out at the Red Bull Ring, Perez backed up team mate Verstappen to give the Milton Keynes outfit a one-two result, albeit finishing some half a second adrift.
While Red Bull’s upgrades are relatively limited this weekend, and Ferrari have not reported any changes, a host of rivals – including Mercedes and Aston Martin – rolled out bigger packages, as the push to catch the reigning world champions continues.
Williams, sporting more new parts of their own, started their weekend in fine style with a run to third position, Alex Albon displaying impressive straight-line speed to slot ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.
Alpine also showed some encouraging early pace, with Esteban Ocon ending up between Leclerc and the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, while Lando Norris kept McLaren in the top 10 mix after his strong Austria showing.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri – also running the upgrades Norris debuted at the last Grand Prix – rounded out the top 10 positions, which did not feature Mercedes after they opted against any soft-tyre runs. However, there were issues for Piastri at the tail-end, as McLaren reported a hydraulic leak on his chrome-liveried MCL60.
Lewis Hamilton took 12th after his runs on medium and hards tyres, just behind the lead AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries, who had an early spin at Luffield, with George Russell back in 14th, behind the other Alpine of Pierre Gasly.
Valtteri Bottas put his Alfa Romeo 15th, from Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant in the second of the AlphaTauri and Williams machines, as team mate Zhou Guanyu and the Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg brought up the rear.
F1 drivers and teams will now regroup in the paddock and analyse the data from first practice before Friday’s second session gets under way at 1600 local time.