Mercedes Top FP1 but Red Bull hide their True Pace

Free Practice 1 saw Hamilton top the time sheets early on with a 1.21.3s lap, two tenths quicker than Rosberg who also ran the super-soft tyre.

The Ferrari’s followed on with Vettel 3rd and Raikkonen 4th, but the times were underwhelming given both cars were also running the super-soft compound. They were 1.6 and 1.7 seconds off of the Mercedes times.

Impressively, Daniel Ricciardo finished 5th on the soft tyres with less than a tenth of a second the deficit to Kimi’s supersoft-clad Ferrari. Given that Red Bull are yet to run the much quicker supersoft compound, they still remain the biggest challenger to Mercedes. Verstappen finished 6th with a 1.23.4s lap.

Elsewhere, early pace looks promising for McLaren. Alonso and Button had spins on the newly surfaced track during the session, but will be satisfied with 7th and 8th place. They need a double-points finish this weekend if they are to at least catch Toro Rosso in the constructor standings.

Grosjean offers some early encouragement for Haas with 9th, the reserve driver Charles Leclerc had a positive session too, finishing 16th but only a second behind his fellow American-powered Frenchman.

Perez’ Force India finished 10th, the Silverstone based squad are looking to take more points away from the Williams team who aren’t looking like points scorers this weekend… Massa finished 12th and Bottas 13th.

More will be revealed in FP2 when drivers start their race-stints, then Β the running order for Sunday might be clearer. Red Bull still look to be favorites to challenge Mercedes.

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