Rosberg fastest in the first Free practice at Silverstone
Several regular drivers missed the first Free practice with Susie Wolff get a chance in Williams with Valtteri Bottas staying out. Raffaele Marciello was driving for Sauber keeping Marcus Ericsson out while Jolyon Palmer once again replaced Romain Grosjean in Lotus.
The Mercedes pair first went out to the track with Nico Rosberg setting first time to beat (1:35.875). Lewis Hamilton was 2.271 second behind and had a small spin at the exit of Stowe losing control after going wide onto the astro turf. In the next lap, Rosberg also went out of the track after losing hydraulic pressure. German stayed long time in the garage, but managed to finish few more laps in the end.
Next to the spin was Sauber’s Felipe Nasr at Turn 3 and soon after pair of Ferrari’s went out of the garage, but both of them were some 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton who in the meantime set fastest lap – 1:34.815. After 30 minutes, Kimi Raikkonen inserted his Ferrari between two Mercedes, while Sebastian Vettel, who turned 28 today, was fifth.
Force India arrived to Silverstone with an almost completely new car and had a solid performance, while McLaren’s agony continued as both cars remained in the garage at the start of the session. Fernando Alonso admitted earlier that the team would be restricted in their run plans given he is using an old engine for the British Grand Prix. The Spaniard finally joined the session with 30 minutes to go, while Jenson Button drove just a few laps in the closing minutes.
The first to break the silence on the track with hard tyres were the two Toro Rosso cars. Max Verstappen immediately jumped up to second 0.715 behind Hamilton and Carlos Sainz moved up to third. Hamilton strengthened his lead with 1:34.344 leaving Toro Rosso’s pair and Raikkonen more than a second behind.
In the final laps, Rosberg set the new best result 1:34.334 leaving his teammate just 0. 010 seconds behind, while Verstappen was third with a gap of 1.256 seconds.