70th Anniversary GP, Practice One: Mercedes’ fastest Valtteri Bottas

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Paul di Resta is at SkyPad to analyze Valtteri Bottas’ fastest lap in P1 of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Paul di Resta is at SkyPad to analyze Valtteri Bottas’ fastest lap in P1 of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Mercedes reestablished their dominance at Silverstone in the opening practice of the 70th Anniversary GP as Valtteri Bottas led a brace ahead of Lewis Hamilton, while substitute Nico Hulkenberg shone for Racing Point.

On a busy Friday morning which saw two major F1 news confirmed – Sergio Perez’s second positive COVID-19 test and Racing Point’s fine and points deduction – Mercedes banished memories of the late drama from the GP tires British on the same circuit, not surprisingly. , start faster.

Bottas, who sorely lost points and the title due to his puncture last Sunday, set the tone in P1 – a tenth of a second ahead of championship leader Hamilton in bright UK sunshine.

And more than seven tenths faster than Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver who was the Silver Arrows’ only real threat when they started winning F1 2020.

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Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer said “it pains me” that the team received a 15 point deduction following Renault’s protest against the team’s 2020 car.

Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer said “it pains me” that the team received a 15 point deduction following Renault’s protest against the team’s 2020 car.

Remarkably, Hulkenberg was only just behind Verstappen, fourth as the German – again replacing Perez this weekend – impressively started the first GP of the 70th anniversary in front of his temporary Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll.

The title of the second stage of the first consecutive stage at Silverstone was inspired by the very first F1 world championship race, on the famous Northamptonshire circuit in May 1950.

Tires, heat and fast Mercedes: the story of P1

Considering Mercedes were a second faster than their rivals in qualifying for the British GP last weekend, it wasn’t a shock to see them display the first benchmark at Silverstone.

But the fact that it was Bottas, and not Hamilton, was crucial for the Finn’s confidence as he seeks to nibble the six-time champion’s 30-point title lead.

The opening session was as much about the heatwave tires as it was about the timesheets, with the teams collecting a lot of data on Pirelli’s rubber – which is a smoother ‘step’ than last weekend. And we saw how this race ended.

Verstappen was also performing aerodynamic testing for much of P1 and did not release any hours for more than an hour after the start of the session. When he did, he encouragingly went straight to third place.

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Current pilots including Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen reflect on their most important F1 memories.

Current pilots including Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen reflect on their most important F1 memories.

This toppled Hulkenberg, who was sorely unable to race last weekend due to a car breakdown, and indeed Charles Leclerc – a surprise podium last weekend – a place, both drivers minus of a second from Mercedes.

The same couldn’t be said of Alex Albon, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in the other Red Bull, Ferrari and Racing Point, who occupied the next three spots on the timesheets.

AlphaTauri had a good session, ahead of rivals Renault and McLaren, while Williams can also draw some positive points from the session with George Russell and Nicholas Latifi 15th and 16th.

Temperatures are expected to soar for the remainder of Friday and the weekend.

GP Practice One 70th Anniversary Timesheet

Chauffeur Team Time
1) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1: 26,166
2) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0,138
3) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0,727
4) Nico Hulkenberg Race point +0,776
5) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.896
6) Alexandre Albon Red Bull +1,114
7) Sébastien Vettel Ferrari +1,332
8) spear walk Race point +1,373
9) Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +1,487
10) Esteban Ocon Renault +1,535
11) Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1,541
12) Lando Norris McLaren +1,680
13) Romain Grosjean Haas +1,742
14) Carlos Sainz McLaren +1,972
15) George Russell Williams +2,004
16) Nicolas Latifi Williams +2,060
17) Daniel Ricciardo Renault +2,345
18) Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +2,489
19) Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo +2,794
20) Kevin Magnussen Haas +3,153

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