Mercedes put the difficulties of Austria behind them and absolutely dominated the first practice session at Silverstone.
In cool morning temperatures Red Bull were the first big names on track, Daniel Ricciardo putting in a 1:37.297 on the hard tyres before he and team-mate Max Verstappen started trading fastest laps all the way down to Verstappen putting in a 1:35.195 on his medium tyres.
Sebastian Vettel gave the “halo” head protection device a quick run-out before before removing of it to set timed laps. However by then the Mercedes had taken to the track and blown everyone out of the water. Even with a good coating of aero paint on the front wings and side pods the Silver Arrows were soaring, quickly breaking into the 1:32’s and then the 1:31’s on the medium tyres, a full two seconds faster than most of the field. Of course, we don’t know the fuel loads and engine modes everyone was in but it was an ominous sign for the weekend ahead that they were so much faster than everyone else.
While Mercedes were wowing the crowd the wind was causing a bit of havoc at turn 3, the tail wind blew drivers deep into the corner, causing more than a few lockups and one slight spin from Michel Leclerc who was in the Haas instead of Esteban Gutierrez.
Even when the other teams started to put the faster soft tyre on they couldn’t get close. Nico Hulkenberg put his Force India third but he was eight tenths off the pace. He was though a hair quicker than Sebastian Vettel which was nice to see. Still, the morning session belonged to the Mercedes team, who look on course to dominate the weekend at Silverstone.