The 2022 British Grand Prix weekend got underway in wet conditions at a rain-affected Silverstone for first practice. Valtteri Bottas once again out-performed his Alfa Romeo to ascend to the top of the standings by the finish. Sir Lewis Hamilton finished up P2, with both Ferraris completing the top four.
However, with the race on Sunday likely to be dry, how much can we read into the running this afternoon?
Half dry, half wet
The Silver Arrows of Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were the first cars on track, to the delight of the home fans. Intermediate tyres were the order of the day early on, with Charles Leclerc setting the opening gambit of a 1:43.801.
Around 20 minutes into the session, the rain stopped, but the damp track put off most drivers from risking it out on circuit. Interestingly, only the far end of the circuit was wet, with the pit-straight and pit section of the track all-but dry.
Carlos Sainz would beat Leclerc’s best time by eight tenths of a second to make it a Ferrari 1-2 with 25 minutes gone. Valtteri Bottas would pop his Alfa Romeo into second half way through the session, showing they have great one-lap pace once again.
The rain would soon return though, with the deluge making the circuit’s grip levels unrepresentative again. With ten minutes to go though, Hamilton would take to the track, but the wet surface meant his first effort was over six seconds off Sainz’s best time.
However, with five minutes to go, Hamilton took the brave decision to opt for slick tyres. The wet middle sector ruined his lap though, the inters were still quicker. Bottas proved this by going to the top of standings and this would be the best time of the first practice session.
Lance Stroll would spin off at Copse, bringing out the red flags. With only a few minutes to go, the session didn’t resume.
Red Bull opted not to run, perhaps wanting to maintain engine components in what is a very long season. Mercedes’ George Russell also never set a time, as was the case for Williams, Alpine, McLaren and Pierre Gasly. This left us with an unusual classification at the end of the session’s running.
|1||Valtteri Bottas||77||Alfa Romeo||1:42.249|
|6||Zhou Gunayu||24||Alfa Romeo||+3.922|
|8||Lance Stroll||18||Aston Martin||+8.994|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||5||Aston Martin||+16.919|
|11||George Russel||63||Mercedes||No time|
|12||Max Verstappen||1||Red Bull||No time|
|13||Sergio Perez||11||Red Bull||No time|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||3||McLaren||No time|
|15||Lando Norris||4||McLaren||No time|
|16||Fernando Alonso||14||Alpine||No time|
|17||Esteban Ocon||31||Alpine||No time|
|18||Pierre Gasly||10||AlphaTauri||No time|
|19||Alex Albon||23||Williams||No time|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||6||Williams||No time|
Grid Talk Podcast
Want more content to preview the 2022 British Grand Prix? The Grid Talk crew previewed the race in their latest podcast. Tom Horrox hosted Olivia Kairu, Warren Schorr and Sophia Richmond in episode 208 of the show. Audio and video versions of the podcast are available below: