Briton leads the way in Silverstone

 

George Russell has claimed the top spot in this afternoon’s free practice session in Silverstone, blasting past everyone as the session closed with a stunning lap to grab P1 in an ART block out of the top four places ahead of Nirei Fukuzumi, Jack Aitken and Anthoine Hubert.

 

In a very dark and ominous looking session the Mercedes F1 junior driver used all of his local knowledge to bring home a lap of 1:46.738 as the flag dropped, crushing his own best time as well as those of his rivals to take the top spot by over three tenths.

 

With rain threatening the circuit as the session opened all of the drivers except Bruno Baptista were straight out on track, with Niko Kari making the first competitive lap before Aitken claimed the top spot at the 8 minute mark and running even faster on his next circuit round. In a tight session Dorian Boccolacci was the next man on top, with Fukuzumi claiming it from him 20 minutes in, and then circulating even faster on his next lap.

 

The teams then concentrated on race pace until the closing minutes: Fukuzumi usurped his own top time with 3 minutes remaining just before Russell snuck ahead by a few thousands, with Aitken and Hubert setting their quickest laps right behind him before pitting, but as the flag dropped first Fukuzumi and then Russell went quicker again, building a bit of breathing room into their times.

 

Behind the ART foursome Leonardo Pulcini, Kari and Steijn Schothorst put their Arden’s next on the timesheets ahead of Giuliano Alesi, Julien Falchero and Santino Ferrucci rounding out the top ten: with many of the drivers back in the pits when the quickest laps were sent, tomorrow’s qualifying session is likely to look very different indeed.

 

Provisional Free Practice Classification

 

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. George Russell ART Grand Prix 1:46.738 20
2. Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 1:47.099 18
3. Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:47.334 18
4. Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1:47.377 19
5. Leonardo Pulcini Arden International 1:47.523 17
6. Niko Kari Arden International 1:47.556 18
7. Steijn Schothorst Arden International 1:48.054 18
8. Giuliano Alesi Trident 1:48.193 20
9. Julien Falchero Campos Racing 1:48.372 17
10. Santino Ferrucci DAMS 1:48.378 16
11. Dorian Boccolacci Trident 1:48.490 18
12. Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1:48.697 18
13. Marcos Siebert Campos Racing 1:48.749 19
14. Tatiana Calderon DAMS 1:48.827 17
15. Kevin Jörg Trident 1:48.992 19
16. Ryan Tveter Trident 1:49.074 19
17. Alessandro Lorandi Jenzer Motorsport 1:49.366 15
18. Raoul Hyman Campos Racing 1:49.455 19
19. Bruno Baptista DAMS 1:50.004 8