F1 – Norris Tops Opening Practice Session For Home Grand Prix At Silverstone

F1 – Norris Tops Opening Practice Session For Home Grand Prix At Silverstone

McLaren’s Lando Norris went quickest in the opening practice session for this weekend’s 2024 FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix, beating Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll by a tenth of a second but there was trouble for McLaren with third-placed Oscar Piastri stopping on track with hydraulic issues. F1 Drivers’ Championship leader Max Versrappen was fourth.

The session got under with Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman, announced yesterday as a 2025 Haas F1 driver, among a gaggle of other reserves flooding out of the pit lane. Also deputising for regular drivers in the session were Isack Hadjar, who took over Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull RB20, Franco Colapinto, in for Logan Sargeant at Williams and Jack Doohan, who sat in for Pierre Gasly at Alpine.

It was Verstappen who led the way early in the session, however, with the Dutchman posting a lap of 1:29.906 to claim P1 ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc, with all on the hard tyre.

RB’s Yuki Tsunoda then moved ahead by 0.042s, before Mercedes’ local hero Lewis Hamilton lowered the benchmark again, to 1:29.035s, to put an eight-tenth of a second gap between himself and Tsunoda.

Hamilton’s stay in P1 was brief, however, as Mercedes team-mate and fellow local hero George Russell then took P1 with a new best time of 1:28.888.

The red flags then came out when beached his RB in the gravel at Luffield. The Japanese got out of shape in the previous corner and when the back end of his car stepped out he couldn’t catch the rotation and he slid off track and out of the session.

After an eight-minute delay to recover the stranded RB, the action resumed and Russell was quickly out on track and improving. The Briton, on Hard tyres, went quickest of all in the second and third sectors to lower the benchmark to 1:28.156 as Verstappen went purple in Sector 1 to move to P2, two tenths off the Mercedes.

With 20 minutes gone, Bearman became the first driver to bolt on a set of Soft compound tyres and the Haas driver moved up to P5, half a second off Russell’s Hard tyre time. Russell though was finding more pace and after a cool-down lap he set a new P1 time of 1:28.046.

Russell was then briefly deposed by Hamilton, who went 0.003s quicker, but the best Hard tyre time of the session was then set by Carlos Sainz who went top on 1:27.925.

With 25 minutes left, Verstappen bolted on a set of Mediums and he logged a new fastest time of 1:27.764 to dislodge Sainz. Russell also fitted the yellow-banded tyres and he improved to 1:27.774, 0.010s behind Verstappen with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in third, just a tenth back, and with Sainz in P4.

Piastri then became the first of expected front runners to try Soft tyres and he jumped to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:27.631s on the soft, 0.098s ahead of Verstappen.

Norris and Stroll also moved to the red-banded rubber and with just over 10 minutes to go Norris set the best time of the session with a lap of 1:27.420.

Piastri, though, was in trouble. The Australian was running slowly and over the radio reported that his power steering had stopped working. He tried to bring his McLaren back to the pits but was forced to pull over just short of the pit entry.

With few of the other frontrunners attempting Soft tyre runs, Norris was left with top spot ahead of Stroll and Piastri. Verstappen took fourth ahead of Russell and Alonso, while Hamilton finished seventh ahead of Leclerc, Sainz and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon who rounded out the top 10.
2024 FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 
1 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:27.420 26 242.594
2 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:27.554 0.134 22 242.223
3 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1:27.631 0.211 18 242.010
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1:27.729 0.309 25 241.739
5 George Russell Mercedes 1:27.738 0.318 26 241.715
6 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:27.794 0.374 27 241.560
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.858 0.438 26 241.384
8 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.903 0.483 26 241.261
9 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:27.925 0.505 27 241.201
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:27.974 0.554 24 241.066
11 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1:28.082 0.662 22 240.771
12 Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 1:28.254 0.834 26 240.301
13 Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 1:28.477 1.057 24 239.696
14 Oliver Bearman Haas/Ferrari 1:28.536 1.116 25 239.536
15 Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 1:28.590 1.170 24 239.390
16 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:28.649 1.229 25 239.231
17 Jack Doohan Alpine/Renault 1:28.735 1.315 22 238.999
18 Franco Colapinto Williams/Mercedes 1:29.078 1.658 24 238.078
19 Isack Hadjar Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1:29.270 1.850 15 237.566
20 Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 1:29.864 2.444 5 235.996

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