Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets after the first practice session at the British Grand Prix on Friday morning, having set a best lap time of 1:29.106 on the Soft Pirelli tyre. Home hero Lewis Hamilton was just 0.078s behind in second place, with Max Verstappen third on a track where Red Bull's chassis should help its drivers' performances. Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, with Kimi Raikkonen fifth in the leading Ferrari, just over a second behind Bottas. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top six, just over 1.4s off the fastest time - he had tested the new protective shield device on his initial installation lap.
Daniil Kvyat, who had a troublesome time in Austria, fared much better in this opening session and was the fastest Toro Rosso in seventh. Fernando Alonso hauled his McLaren up into eighth, but may face more of a struggle throughout the rest of the weekend as he is expected to take yet another grid penalty. Felipe Massa was ninth for Williams and the filling in a McLaren sandwich, as Stoffel Vandoorne squeezed into the top ten behind him.
The lower half of the field was headed by Kvyat's team-mate Carlos Sainz, and he was followed by the Silverstone-based Force India duo - Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were twelfth and thirteenth respectively. Romain Grosjean took fourteenth for Haas, with Lance Stroll significantly behind his team-mate in fifteenth. Antonio Giovinazzi ended the session in sixteenth while stepping into Kevin Magnussen's Haas, ahead of the two Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and the second British driver on the grid, Jolyon Palmer. Pascal Wehrlein and his Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson once again found themselves at the bottom of the table.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing