Bottas quickest as Stroll spin brings wet practice to an early end

2022 British Grand Prix first practice

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Valtteri Bottas was the fastest driver during a rain-affected opening practice session in which only half the field set timed laps.

A wet session saw many drivers reluctant to head out onto the circuit. A late spin for Lance Stroll at Copse corner ended running in the final minute, leaving Bottas as quickest overall from former team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Despite forecasts indicating a low risk of rain on Friday, a significant downpour hit the track after the green light illuminated at the end of the pit lane for the start of first practice.

Both Mercedes and Ferraris took to the track on intermediate tyres, but all bailed back into the pit lane save for Charles Leclerc who continued for a few sighting laps around the half-wet, half-dry circuit.

Leclerc was joined by Sergio Perez and the two Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon – all out on intermediates – before Red Bull quickly abandoned the run.

Alexander Albon took the revised Williams out for a single lap before returning to the pits. Sebastian Vettel took an extended run in the Aston Martin but did not attempt anything close to a flying lap.

Eventually the rain stopped and the track conditions slowly began to improve, but with only a handful of cars out on the circuit, it took a painfully long time for the track to dry out. None of teams opted to send their cars out to help clear the circuit and the track fell silent for over 20 minutes as all 20 drivers sat in the garage.

Eventually, with only ten minutes remaining, Lewis Hamilton took to the track on intermediates but it became clear that the first and third sectors were almost dry enough for slicks.

Hamilton became the first driver to move onto slick tyres, switching onto soft tyres and moving second quickest on the dry tyres, behind his former team mate Valtteri Bottas who went quickest with a 1’42.249 on the intermediate tyres.

A group of cars took to the circuit on slicks in the final minutes of the session. However, none had the opportunity to improve their best lap times as Stroll spun his Aston Martin into the gravel at Copse corner, bringing out the red flags. With under a minute remaining, practice was effectively over, leaving Bottas as the quickest driver at the end of the first session of running.

Hamilton ended the session second, the quickest of the times set on dry tyres. Carlos Sainz Jnr was third in the times, with Ferrari team mate Leclerc fourth.

Mick Schumacher was fifth for Haas, with Zhou Guanyu in sixth. Kevin Magnussen, Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10 – the only drivers to log any form of timed lap over the hour long session.

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2022 British Grand Prix first practice result

177Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’42.2499
244Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’42.7810.53210
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’42.9670.7188
416Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’43.8011.5527
547Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’43.8951.6463
624Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’46.1713.9224
720Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’48.1615.9123
818Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’51.2438.9945
922Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’51.3739.1245
105Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’59.16816.9195
1163George RussellMercedesW13No time2
1211Sergio PerezRed BullRB18No time3
1331Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA522No time2
1414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA522No time1
1523Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW44No time1
163Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL36No time4
1710Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT03No time3
184Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL36No time4
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW44No time1
201Max VerstappenRed BullRB18No time3

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2022 British Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Bottas quickest as Stroll spin brings wet practice to an early end”

  1. What a waste of an hour.

    Should have been a sprint weekend.

    1. Why?

      How would it have been a sprint gimmick weekend have changed anything. The reason they didn’t want to run was because half the track was dry & the other half was wet meaning they had no tires that were suitable. The inter’s were overheating as soon as they got to the totally dry part of the track and until the last 10 or so minutes the wet parts were still too wet for slicks.

      Maybe they should look at a tire like that Michelin hybrid slick-termediate they run in WEC. Would certainly give them more flexibility in terms of having a tire more suited to these conditions.

      Today also proves the lie that they need a sprint gimmick format to draw fans to a Friday/Saturday as attendance is expected to be higher today/tomorrow than it was with the gimmick format a year ago.

      1. If that had been the only practice session before qualifying, they wouldn’t have wasted all that time would they.
        Nobody pays huge sums of money to go to the track just to watch cars sitting in the garages.

        You call it a gimmick all you like – but the sprints have great value in both a sporting context and an entertainment context.

        1. Yes, what people get wrong is compare a sprint to a race, ofc they’re boring in comparison usually, but they need to be compared to the ultra boring practice sessions, cause that’s what they replace.

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