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Max in P4 after first free practice at Silverstone

Published on 05 July 2024 by Misha van der Kroon

Max Verstappen finished the first free practice session for the British Grand Prix in fourth place. The top three set their fastest times on the soft tyre, while Max was fastest on the mediums. Lando Norris was the fastest man this session, followed by Lance Stroll and Oscar Piastri. George Russell completed the top five of the first practice session of his home race.

In Great Britain too, the summer is hard to be found. At the start of the session, it is only 16 degrees outside, and the track temperature is 22 degrees. In today’s FP1 we see a few rookies taking place in the F1 cars: Franco Colapinto gets into Logan Sargeant's Williams and Jack Doohan takes over Pierre Gasly’s car. Oliver Bearman, who announced earlier this week that he has signed a multi-year contract with Haas, will drive Kevin Magnussen's car during this training. Isack Hadjar takes over the seat from Sergio Perez this session. He and Max drive in a special livery for the British Grand Prix. On his first flying lap, the reigning World Champion sets a time of 1:29.906 on the hard tyre. Hamilton and Russell are faster and push Max back to third place.

A few minutes into the session, Lance Stroll reports issues with his brakes over the radio. Yuki Tsunoda has an even bigger issue: he loses rear grip, spins and gets stuck in the gravel, causing a red flag. He climbs out of his car and marshals remove the car from the gravel trap. It means the end of FP1 for the Japanese driver. With 45 minutes to go, the session is resumed. All drivers head to track, including Stroll, who's braking issues seem to be resolved. Max improves his time, but is still two tenths slower than Russell. Hamilton and Sainz both go faster, and Sainz claims P1. Halfway through the session, the top five is as follows: Sainz, Hamilton, Russell, Verstappen, and Stroll.

Max changes his tyres for a set of mediums, and sets a 1:27.764, the fastest time of the session so far. A little later, he improves to a 1:27.729, just nine thousandth ahead of Russell, who is in P2. However, the Dutchman does not stay in P1 for long, as Oscar Piastri pushes his McLaren to top of the time sheets. He is almost a tenth faster than Max, but does this on soft tyres. Teammate Norris goes even faster on the softs: he is two tenths faster than the Australian driver and takes over first place. Stroll then splits the two McLarens and puts his Aston Martin on P2, a bit more than a tenth behind Norris.

In the last ten minutes of the session, we hear via Verstappen’s on-board radio that it has started to rain lightly. In the meantime, Oscar Piastri is having problems with his McLaren and crawls back to the pits with his McLaren. He comes to a stop just after the white line of the pit entry. Race Control decides to close the pit entry for a while, so Piastri’s car can safely be pushed back to the McLaren garage. The first practice session ends with an incident between Hadjar and Norris, in which the rookie almost crashes into Norris because he did not see the Brit coming. Fortunately, both drivers can return to the pits unscathed. The session ends with a fourth place for Verstappen, who was the fastest driver on the medium tyres.

Contest British GP: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results first free practice Great Britain:

1Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:27.420 25
2Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:27.554+0.134s21
3Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:27.631+0.211s18
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:27.729+0.309s24
5George RussellRUSMercedes1:27.738+0.318s25
6Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:27.794+0.374s26
7Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:27.858+0.438s25
8Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:27.903+0.483s25
9Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:27.925+0.505s27
10Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:27.974+0.554s24
11Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:28.082+0.662s21
12Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:28.254+0.834s26
13Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:28.477+1.057s24
14Oliver BearmanBEAHaas Ferrari1:28.536+1.116s24
15Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:28.590+1.170s23
16Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:28.649+1.229s24
17Jack DoohanDOOAlpine Renault1:28.735+1.315s21
18Franco ColapintoCOLWilliams Mercedes1:29.078+1.658s23
19Isack HadjarHADRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:29.270+1.850s15
20Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:29.864+2.444s5