Feature

What the teams said – Friday in Great Britain

Share
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari

McLaren

It was an ideal start to a home weekend for Norris, who topped the timesheets in FP1 before repeating the feat in FP2. There was a slight off for the Briton in the second hour, prompting him to ask his team to check the floor, but otherwise a positive day for the McLaren man. Team mate Piastri also had a solid Friday, ending the sessions in P3 and P2 respectively despite having to return to the pits with a possible hydraulic issue in FP1.

READ MORE: Norris hails ‘good progress’ after setting early pace at Silverstone as he aims to ‘give back’ to home crowd

Lando Norris – FP1: 1:27.420, P1; FP2: 1:26.549, P1

“It’s been a solid day. We've done a good amount of running and some nice laps, so I feel reasonably comfortable. We’ve made some changes over the morning which helped me get into a good rhythm, which is super important around such a high-speed track like this.

“I think we’ve got a few more to tweaks to make, but it's difficult with the challenges of wind and rain. It’s been a clean two sessions, and that’s a good start to the weekend, so I’m happy with that.”

Oscar Piastri - FP1: 1:27.631, P3; FP2: 1:26.880, P2

"That's Friday done. It’s been a decent day for the team, especially in FP2. We’ve got a few things to sort out overnight to make it a bit better on my side, but I think it’s been a solid first day at Silverstone.

“Going into tomorrow, I think we’re in a reasonable position, however we’re probably going to get very wet which can change things. I’m looking forward to getting back on track.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal

"Today at Silverstone we had two productive sessions. There was an ever-present risk of rain, but it only materialised towards the end of the second session, which gave us enough time to go through our run plan and set-up work. In general, we got encouraging information – but conditions were very particular today, so we’re not looking too much at the lap times themselves. We’re now just focussing on tomorrow, when we need to be ready for whatever the weather brings.”

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Mercedes

Having brought some small updates to the W15 for the weekend at Silverstone, Mercedes set to testing the car’s balance as free practice got underway on Friday. While their run plan was disrupted somewhat by an early red flag in FP1 following Tsunoda’s spin into the gravel, both Russell and Hamilton had a decent session. They also completed a good number of laps in FP2, ending the day in P6 for Hamilton and P10 for Russell.

READ MORE: Hamilton admits Mercedes have ‘work to do’ after Friday practice at Silverstone as Russell gets set for mixed conditions

Lewis Hamilton – FP1: 1:27.858, P7; FP2: 1:27.202, P6

"The car felt generally good today. We’re still a little bit behind the ultimate pace at the front but today was encouraging. I don’t think the times are fully representative of where our speed was, but nevertheless, we know we’ve got work to do tonight. We will therefore do what we can to try and find more performance and hopefully that can get us a little closer to those ahead.

"It is always great to be here at Silverstone. The size of the crowd seems to grow every year and it was awesome to see all their support. Hopefully we can give them something to cheer about over the rest of the weekend."

George Russell - FP1: 1:27.738, P5; FP2: 1:27.294, P10

"FP1 was a strong session with the car feeling great. FP2 was a slightly more challenging hour, and we need to pick through why that was. It was much windier, and I don’t think we got the tyres in the right window, so that could explain a chunk of it. The conditions are likely to change across the weekend, with more rain possible too, so we will have to be adaptive. I hope the fans didn’t get too wet this afternoon; as always, it was fantastic to see their support in the grandstands.

"After today’s running, I’d say that the competitive picture looks similar to the past few races. McLaren and Max (Verstappen) look a step ahead and it’s close between ourselves and Ferrari. We will work hard overnight to try and take a step forward and see where that leaves us tomorrow."

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

"We got off to a decent start with both cars in FP1. The balance around the lap was reasonably good and both drivers were relatively happy. With the first session being interrupted by a red flag, we didn't manage as much long run work as we hoped for, but it seemed that we had the car in a decent place.

"For FP2, the wind picked up a little and overall, the car was a bit less stable. It's good to highlight these issues today though whilst we can still work on the setup. We've got some work planned overnight to try and understand the balance issues a bit further. We are optimistic that we can make progress and with that, we should find a bit more pace for the rest of the weekend."

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Great Britain during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Ferrari

Ferrari used Friday’s free practice sessions at Silverstone to compare pre and post-Barcelona configurations, with Leclerc running the Austria specification while Sainz used the one that took to the track in Canada. Leclerc ultimately finished ahead in the timesheets, but the team will now analyse the data ahead of Saturday’s track action.

READ MORE: 'It's causing me a bit of stress' admits Sainz on his looming 2025 decision

Charles Leclerc - FP1: 1:27.903, P8; FP2: 1:27.150, P5

"We got a lot of testing done today and will analyse all the data we gathered to draw some comparisons and take steps forward as a team.

"For now, we are not fully satisfied and will be working flat out to solve any issues quickly in order to have a good qualifying tomorrow."

Carlos Sainz - FP1: 1:27.925, P9; FP2: 1:27.249, P8

"An interesting Friday for us as the aim today was to gather useful data to give us a complete picture about our car. Objective achieved, and now we need to analyze everything in order to be ready for tomorrow.

"We need to make some decisions, but I think we can position ourselves in a decent spot this weekend."

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Sparks fly behind Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Aston Martin

Following a point-less weekend last time out in Austria, things could only get better for Aston Martin at Silverstone and fortunately that proved to be the case on Friday, at least according to the timesheets. Both Alonso and Stroll looked more competitive at the team’s home track, with the latter ending the opening session up in P2.

Fernando Alonso – FP1: 1:27.794, P6; FP2: 1:27.372, P11

"It's difficult to read too much into the practice times today with the mixed conditions. The wet weather conditions have been a bit more friendly to us this season, so let's see what happens tomorrow."

Lance Stroll - FP1: 1:27.554, P2; FP2: 1:27.274, P9

"We looked a bit more competitive today, but we know tomorrow and Sunday is when it counts. After Spain and Austria, we changed a few things on the car, so today was spent gathering a lot of data and getting the laps in. There’s some homework to do tonight ahead of Qualifying, but the aim will be Q3."

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Alpine

After a reasonably good outing in FP1, Ocon appeared to struggle more in FP2 following some set-up changes. On the other side of the garage, Doohan sat in for Gasly in first practice and managed more laps than his last rain-affected session in Montreal, before Gasly returned for second practice on a weekend where he will start from the back of the grid after taking on new power components.

READ MORE: Gasly set for grid penalty at British GP after taking on new power unit elements

Esteban Ocon - FP1: 1:27.974, P10; FP2: 1:27.743, P15

“The car felt good this morning straight out of the box, with good performance and good balance. But we went a bit backwards in the afternoon and went slightly in the wrong direction in terms of parts and set-up, so we will probably revert back to what we had in FP1 in the morning session. We cycled through a few parts to try and understand and analyse a few things across both cars, and it has given us some good learnings for tomorrow. It was great to see so many fans trackside and in the grandstands on a Friday, which is always the case here at Silverstone! We will put our heads down and work hard to make some changes overnight and give it our all in Qualifying tomorrow.”

Pierre Gasly - FP2: 1:27.732, P14

“Jack ran the car in FP1 today and once again did a great job working with the team and getting useful data, although he did not get as much running in as expected due to a red flag. I will have to take a grid penalty on Sunday for a change of Power Unit and battery. For FP2, I was mainly then trying to get a first feeling of the car at this track. And I have to say I am not satisfied so far with how the car felt, although of course we only got minimal running in. As I will start from last position on Sunday, the focus for the rest of the weekend will be to get the car set-up and balance in the right window for the race so we can attack. There is lots of work for us to do overnight and the rest of the weekend, but I hope for Sunday we can be in a position again to move up the field and possibly fight for some points.”

Jack Doohan - FP1: 1:28.735, P17

"Happy to get out on track today and have some more extensive running after the last outing was hindered by rain in Canada. When I was coming to track in the morning and saw it was raining, I wondered whether the same would happen again here, but thankfully it cleared up and the rain stayed at bay! The track conditions were slightly strange with the surface being a bit greasy. We ended up completing most of our run plan and tried some things across both cars, so hopefully it helped build a solid foundation for the rest of the weekend. It was good to get the dry running in and get that feedback and feeling inside the car, which can also translate to the work I do in the sim for the rest of the season.”

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Haas

Off the back of being announced as one of the team’s 2025 drivers, Bearman was behind the wheel of the Haas for his third FP1 outing of the year, this time in front of his home crowd. Both cars were running an upgrade package and Hulkenberg enjoyed a particularly positive Friday, ending second practice up in fourth on the timesheets. Magnussen, meanwhile, lost out somewhat after setting his fastest time as rain started to fall on the circuit.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘The perfect match’ – Bearman and new team boss Komatsu on the 19-year-old’s multi-year Haas deal

Nico Hulkenberg – FP1: 1:28.082, P11; FP2: 1:26.990, P4

“It was a good Friday. In the morning we ran the previous spec car and during the break, the team put the update on ahead of FP2. There are certainly some differences, it felt positive from the get-go, but there’s obviously still more to look at and optimize around it, but the first impression is positive and that’s important and valuable. It may well be a challenging weekend with the weather, rain will probably happen and we need to be prepared for it. I like this track in the dry a lot, it’s fascinating the speeds we run around here, but I’ll take it as it comes.”

Kevin Magnussen –FP2: 1:28.122, P20

“I sat out FP1 so I was just getting into the rhythm, and with the weather at the end I didn’t manage to get a long run so not too many laps at all today, but hopefully we can get some more tomorrow. I got to try the car in the wet when we were going around the track to do the start. There wasn’t too much gain from this session, but there’s another tomorrow. I wouldn’t mind rain, although Nico looked pretty quick in the dry as well, so we’ll take it as it comes.”

Oliver Bearman – FP1: 1:28.536, P14

“It was a good session back in the car, especially at my home race, plus it’s one of my favorite tracks. There are lots of positives to take from today and we got the new package on our car so we got to check it out and get a first read on it for the guys. I’m glad the session went well, and I wish the team the best of luck for this weekend.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal

“Ollie was back in the car again for FP1 and he did a very good job as he has done before. It’s really good to have Ollie confirmed and give him the chance to drive in front of his home crowd, that was amazing. Nico drove the previous package in FP1 and we gave him the update for FP2, and he felt the difference immediately. There are certain things that we still need to work on but for a baseline run, we were happy with what we saw. On Kevin’s side, the story isn’t the same as he felt a difference in car behavior this weekend compared to Spielberg, but he wasn’t happy with the car. We’ve got lots of work to do to find out why Kevin isn’t happy while Nico is. Overall, it’s been a largely successful day; we got the data and we’ve now got driver feedback, but the unsuccessful part is that Kevin isn’t happy with the car and that’s something we will work on tonight.”

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Oliver Bearman of Great Britain and Haas F1 prepares to drive in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

RB

A difficult day for RB, with Tsunoda’s running in FP1 coming to an early end after he beached his car in the gravel at Luffield. This left him in a challenging position for FP2, and the Japanese driver ended the session down in P16. Friday was also tough for team mate Ricciardo, who experienced instability on his VCARB 01.

Daniel Ricciardo - FP1: 1:28.477, P13; FP2: 1:27.916, P19

“It was a tricky day. We found some answers for that trickiness in FP2 due to a few issues on the car in terms of load. It was a bit of a bummer because obviously you still try to do what you can, but it was a bit inconclusive on what our true pace is. In general, we’ll be trying to work on a few weaknesses we’ve seen and getting it better for tomorrow. We’ll try to find the course once we look at the data, but I’m confident it’s nothing too weird. It’s going to be a tough circuit this year, but we should be able to clean that up and be further up the grid than we were today.”

Yuki Tsunoda - FP1: 1:29.864, P20; FP2: 1:27.745, P16

“I didn’t have the ideal start to the race weekend with FP1 and lost some valuable track time, but we managed to collect plenty of data in FP2. I think we know where we’re at now. We didn’t expect to struggle as much as we did in FP2, but there’s more time to come from us and I’m sure we can find a couple more tenths for tomorrow and fight for Q3. It doesn’t seem our car quite suits these track characteristics with the long high-speed corners, but others just seem to be stepping it up. They’re doing a good job, so we’ll continue working and fighting for more.”

Alan Permane, Racing Director

“A challenging day for us, starting with Yuki’s spin, which cost him almost all of the first session. This meant he wasn't as prepared as he could have been for FP2 and didn't get the most out of things. He's generally happy with the car though. Daniel struggled with some instability at the rear and it’s clear we’ve got work to do overnight to find some low-speed performance which is costing lap time. We will have one eye on the weather as rain is forecast for both days over the weekend and we will take this into account with our setup choices. We need to get everything perfect to give our drivers a shot at Q3 tomorrow.”

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB prepares to drive in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Williams

Williams were another team to run a rookie on Friday at Silverstone, with Colapinto stepping into Sargeant’s car for his first FP1 appearance where he completed 24 laps. Albon experimented with set-ups between sessions and ended the day in 13th on the timesheets. Despite missing first practice, Sargeant seemed to get back up to speed quickly in FP2 and was left feeling positive about the day.

Alex Albon - FP1: 1:28.649, P16; FP2: 1:27.645, P13

“A mixed day overall. Long runs are looking promising, and the car feels good to drive relative to last year.

“As a Qualifying car, there’s some work to do. We experimented quite a lot with set-up and tyres between the two sessions, and we haven't quite got the right balance yet.

“We'll look at the data tonight and come back stronger. With a bit of British weather and some fine-tuning, I think we're in with a chance of Q3 tomorrow.”

Logan Sargeant - FP2: 1:27.809, P17

“My first time missing FP1, so I knew I was going to have to make the step up quickly in FP2 and I feel like we did that.

“I came out the gate strong on low fuel which was positive. I feel like we were immediately in a good place with some clear little bits to work on.

“High fuel is a bit of a different story as there’s definitely work to do from my side. Hopefully, we can have a better weekend, but we’ll have to wait and see when everyone goes for it tomorrow. Overall, today’s been a pretty strong start.”

Franco Colapinto – FP1: 1:29.078, P18

“My first FP1 done! I enjoyed every lap, every corner of it, and I did the best I could.

“It was an amazing experience. There was much more on the table, and I couldn't maximise some corners, which I was getting better at on the long runs, but of course, it's difficult on old tyres.

“I'm delighted that Williams has given me this opportunity, the support that I've received from the team has been on another level.

“I'm super proud of what we've achieved, but now I need to keep working so I can get back here one day.”

Sven Smeets, Sporting Director

“Overall, it has been a positive day today.

“Earlier this afternoon, we had Franco doing his first FP1 for us and he did a solid job, improving his lap times every time he left the garage.

“He then qualified 4th in F2 Qualifying an hour later so he can look back on a good day.

“Alex changed the set-up of the car quite significantly between FP1 and FP2 and this had a positive effect on the performance of the car, especially on the long runs.

“They seemed competitive this afternoon, but we still have some issues with the balance of the car on low fuel, so we need to improve that overnight ahead of FP3.

“Logan got up to speed quickly after missing FP1 and is reasonably happy with the car on low fuel but was missing some performance in the race run. “We will be working hard tonight to find some extra performance for tomorrow. The weather forecast is changing nearly every hour so there is everything to play for in Qualifying.”

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Franco Colapinto of Argentina driving the (45) Williams FW45 Mercedes on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Kick Sauber

Kick Sauber looked to be in better form than at recent events as the British Grand Prix weekend got underway, with Bottas finishing as high as P12 and being only narrowly away from the top-10. It also appeared to be a decent day for Zhou as the team continue to hunt for their first point of the season.

Valtteri Bottas - FP1: 1:28.254, P12; FP2: 1:27.381, P12

“Based on what we saw today, we seem to be in a better place compared to the previous weeks, but in the end it’s the next two days that really matter. The feeling with the car was better and we didn’t have any issues troubling the balance: we made some improvements on last weekend; the car is more balanced in the high-speed corners, and we took small steps forward to make the stability better. We tried different things with the two cars, so we have plenty of data, and of course we will still need to find something overnight, as everyone will – it's the name of the game. We’re one tenth away from the top ten, though, and this gives us a lot of motivation to keep pushing.”

Zhou Guanyu - FP1: 1:28.590, P15; FP2: 1:27.813, P18

“It’s good to be back in Silverstone, a truly enjoyable and fun track to drive. Today’s sessions focused on gathering data and information, and while there's still work to do to refine the car’s baseline and balance, everything already feels better than last weekend out in Spielberg. The team continues working on the car to set us up for tomorrow’s qualifying session, where we could have opportunities for a good result.”

1 / 2

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Simone Berra, Chief Engineer

“The most salient data from today is the significant reduction in lap time compared to a year ago, as can be seen from the fact that Norris’ best time is already almost two tenths under Verstappen’s 2023 pole time. Unless qualifying takes place on a wet track, it is therefore almost certain that the pole time will be significantly lower than the 1’26”1 predicted from the average of the simulations received from the teams prior to each race. The cooler temperatures compared to last year have definitely had a major influence but it’s also true that on such a demanding and challenging track, the real potential of this year’s cars comes to the fore more than at any other circuit.

“From an initial analysis of the data from the two hours of free practice, we can say first of all that the performance difference between the compounds is in line with what we saw two weeks ago in Barcelona, namely around half a second between the Hard and the Medium and just over a second between the Medium and the Soft. Compared to last year, it seems the Hard is working better, both over a long run and in terms of pure performance, which puts it in play for the race, rather than the Soft which suffered with a bit of graining today.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Coming Up

Coming Up

Poll

RACE PREDICTOR: Who do you think will finish on the podium for the Hungarian Grand Prix?