British GP FP1 Bottas leads first practice at Silverstone
Valtteri Bottas set the pace in opening practice for the British Grand Prix as persistent rain meant only 10 drivers opted to set a lap time around Silverstone.
The Alfa Romeo driver clocked a 1m 42.249s on the intermediate tyres to end the one-hour session 0.470s quicker than Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Mick Schumacher, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda and Sebastian Vettel the only other drivers to complete a timed lap.
FORMULA 1 LENOVO BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2022 – Practice 1 results
|1 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo||1:42.249|
|2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes||+0.532s|
|3 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||+0.718s|
|4 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+1.552s|
|5 Mick SCHUMACHER Haas F1 Team||+1.646s|
Conditions were so tricky, it was impossible to draw any conclusions from the track action, with teams like Red Bull deciding not to head out at all to save tyres for anticipated wet conditions on Saturday.
It was frustrating for teams like Mercedes, Alpine, Williams and Aston Martin, who brought significant updates and would have liked 60 minutes of dry running to evaluate the improvements.
When the rain finally eased, making the call to switch to slick weather tyres was tricky. as while a dry line formed in some parts of the circuit at Maggots and Becketts, it was wet in other parts.
Hamilton was among the first to brave the soft tyres and improved to the second quickest time in the Mercedes.
However, Lance Stroll was caught out by the conditions at Copse when on the softs, spinning off into the gravel and beaching his Aston Martin.
That brought out the red flag – and with less than a minute to go, the Race Director opted not to restart the session.
Second practice takes place at 1600 local time on Friday, with forecasts suggesting more rain is possible.