British Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished P2 behind teammate Valtteri Bottas in both practice sessions on Friday, but was nonetheless delighted with his early weekend form.
Hamilton finished second best to teammate Bottas in both FP1 and FP2 on Friday, ending FP2 0.047 seconds behind the Austrian GP winner. However, Hamilton was the only one of the main front runners not to set a fully competitive time on a fresh set of SuperSoft tyres, having made an error on his flying lap on those tyres. On the lap where both Merc drivers were sent out on their fresh sets, Hamilton ran wide out of Chapel entering the Hanger Straight and went over the exit kerb and touching the grass. Needing to back out of the throttle, the lap was ruined. While he did go back out on SuperSofts later in the session, these were not a new set. Hamilton’s best time was thus set on the Soft tyre.
Enthused by Merc’s form on Friday, after finishing 0.3 clear of nearest challenger Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton was clearly thrilled about the comparative performance of the W07 and the overall speed of Formula 1 2017 at one of the sport’s fastest circuits: “Today’s been a really good start to the weekend and it’s great to be back here at Silverstone. The track is absolutely incredible with these new cars. It was already one of the very best circuits in the world, but with this car and the speed we are able to carry through the corners, it’s just phenomenal, it’s like the greatest rollercoaster ride ever.
We worked through all the sessions, fine-tuning the balance and I think we’re in a good position at this early stage of the weekend. We still need to build upon it, but it’s a great foundation moving forward. Each time I left the garage I gave the fans a wave and I could see them waving back. I just want them to know that I can see them and I really appreciate all the love and support.”