Pierre Gasly set the pace for Red Bull in opening practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday morning as Haas driver Romain Grosjean crashed early in the pit lane.

Struggling Red Bull driver Gasly put in a late lap on the Soft tyres to go almost half a second clear of the field, turning in a fastest time of 1m27.173s.

Gasly’s effort saw him beat Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who led the majority of the session, by 0.456s, with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen sitting a further four-tenths of a second off the pace in third.

The session was notable for a number of off-track moments for drivers as they struggled for grip on the recently-resurfaced Silverstone circuit - including the pit lane, as Haas's Grosjean found out to his cost.

Grosjean spun his car coming through the right-hand uphill kink, taking the front wing off his Haas VF-19 car. The team had reverted to its Australia-spec bodywork for the weekend in a bid to solve its ongoing tyre struggles, but was left needing to complete some repairs early on.

Grosjean suffered another spin soon after getting back out on-track, joining a number of drivers to go off. George Russell turned his Williams car around at Brooklands, while Lando Norris slid off at the final corner after running wide for McLaren.

There was worse news for Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, who was forced to park up at the side of the track at Luffield following an issue on his car, sparking a red flag period halfway through the session.

Home favourite Lewis Hamilton finished the session fourth-fastest for Mercedes, nine-tenths of a second off Gasly’s time, while Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel followed in P5 and P6 respectively.

Renault made a strong start to the weekend with Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo in P7 and P8, finishing ahead of Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who completed the top 10.

 

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