Pierre Gasly almost half a second clear in British GP FP1
Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly finished almost half a second clear during the opening practice session for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Gasly, who has struggled for pace during the 2019 campaign, moved into a close second place behind Valtteri Bottas before jumping clear of his rival shortly after.
Gasly used the Soft tyres to clock a time of 1:27.173s, leaving him 0.456s clear of Bottas, who set his time earlier in the session, which was held in cool and cloudy conditions.
Gasly’s Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen finished in third place, 0.836s down, while points leader Lewis Hamilton was fourth, the only other driver to classify within a second of the Frenchman.
Hamilton was the only one of the front-runners to set his best time on Medium tyres, as opposed to the Softs.
Ferrari finished fifth and sixth, Charles Leclerc 0.051s ahead of Sebastian Vettel, with Renault leading the midfield pack in seventh and eighth respectively.
Nico Hulkenberg edged Daniel Ricciardo, though the German still faced a 1.630s deficit to pacesetter Gasly.
Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon classified ninth, while McLaren took 10th and 11th, Carlos Sainz Jr. taking a top 10 spot at the expense of Lando Norris by just 0.008s.
Sergio Perez showed improved one-lap pace from Racing Point in 12th spot, with team-mate Lance Stroll 14th, the duo sandwiching Daniil Kvyat.
Antonio Giovinazzi took 15th while Haas’ struggles continued as Kevin Magnussen was 3.4s off the pace in 16th and Romain Grosjean only 19th.
Grosjean, who reverted to an early-season spec car in a bid to understand recent issues, spun at pit exit early in the session and damaged the front wing.
Grosjean’s incident was one of several during the session with a handful of drivers running wide and spinning, notably at Brooklands, though only the Frenchman suffered lasting damage.
Kimi Raikkonen was forced to stop his Alfa Romeo C38 at Luffield due to a mechanical problem, with the session halted while his car was recovered.
George Russell took advantage of the problems to classify in 17th position, while Robert Kubica finished firmly at the rear of the field, 1.4s behind Russell, and 4.9s down on Gasly.
Friday’s second 90-minute practice session is scheduled for 14:00 local time