Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas tops British GP practice

Updated: Jul 13, 2019, 08:01 IST | Abhishek Takle

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started from pole and and led the last race in Austria until Red Bull's Max Verstappen snatched the win away from the Monegasque two laps from the end, was third

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas tops British GP practice
Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in yesterday’s practice session for the Formula One British Grand Prix. The Finn lapped the 5.8-kilometer long Silverstone track in a time of one-minute, 26.732 seconds, edging his team-mate by just 0.069 seconds on a cool and overcast day at the former Second World War bomber base.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started from pole and and led the last race in Austria until Red Bull’s Max Verstappen snatched the win away from the Monegasque two laps from the end, was third. The 21-year-old was just 0.197 seconds adrift of the Mercedes pair, however, around a track suited to the strengths of the silver cars. His speed, which put him over two-tenths clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel in fourth, raised hopes that Ferrari could have the speed to challenge their dominant German rivals over the rest of the weekend.

Pierre Gasly set the fifth-fastest time for Red Bull. Under pressure and struggling to match team-mate Verstappen, the Frenchman had set the fastest time in yesterday morning’s first practice session.

British rookie Lando Norris put on an impressive display on his first Formula One outing in front of his home crowd, with the 19-year-old going sixth fastest. He beat Verstappen in seventh and McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz who was eighth.

Alexander Albon was ninth for Toro Rosso. Sergio Perez rounded out the top-ten for Canadian outfit Racing Point.

Hamilton, on pole for the last four years in Silverstone, leads the championship by 31 points from team-mate Valtteri Bottas. The Briton, who has won six of this season’s nine races, heads into the weekend chasing a record sixth British Grand Prix win.

Friday's two sessions of practice were largely uneventful. Romain Grosjean spun damaged the front wing of his Haas car when he bizarrely spun in the pitlane.

Several other drivers had minor spins or off-track excursions as they scrabbled for grip on the resurfaced track and contended with a brief shower of rain.

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