Romain Grosjean suffers pitlane crash as Valtteri Bottas goes fastest in British Grand Prix practice

Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes one-two in front of Lewis Hamilton to complete Friday’s practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Hamilton leads the world championship by 31 points from the Finn as he looks to win in Britain for a record sixth time this weekend, but he was pipped his team-mate to top spot at Silverstone by just 0.069 seconds following second practice. 

The Silverstone track has been resurfaced ahead of the race and drivers struggled for grip in the session as the asphalt required cars to lay down rubber on the track through accumulated laps. 

Romain Grosjean spun in the pitlane early in practice for the British Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean spun in the pitlane early in practice for the British Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean spun in the pitlane early in practice for the British Grand Prix

The Haas driver was making his way out the pitlane to start an outlap

The Haas driver was making his way out the pitlane to start an outlap

The Haas driver was making his way out the pitlane to start an outlap

But turning right preparing to join the track, he spun as he tries to correct the error

But turning right preparing to join the track, he spun as he tries to correct the error

But turning right preparing to join the track, he spun as he tries to correct the error

He could not prevent his Haas car careering into the barrier, breaking his front wing

He could not prevent his Haas car careering into the barrier, breaking his front wing

He could not prevent his Haas car careering into the barrier, breaking his front wing

But no driver struggled more than Romain Grosjean who suffered the embarrassment of spinning out in the pitlane during the first session in the morning.

The Haas driver was making his way to start an outlap only to spin once he had passed the pitlane speed limit and negotiated what was otherwise a basic right turn.

After losing his front wing by crashing into a barrier, the Frenchman had no choice but to drive a short way back down the pits, where he could turn round and make a second attempt at joining the track.

Facing the wrong way, Grosjean was forced to drive back down to the the pits to turn around

Facing the wrong way, Grosjean was forced to drive back down to the the pits to turn around

Facing the wrong way, Grosjean was forced to drive back down to the the pits to turn around

Grosjean makes his way down the wrong way of the pits in an attempt to turn the car round

Grosjean makes his way down the wrong way of the pits in an attempt to turn the car round

Grosjean makes his way down the wrong way of the pits in an attempt to turn the car round

Forbidden from going back into the pitlane, Grosjean was forced to spin round to exit the pits

Forbidden from going back into the pitlane, Grosjean was forced to spin round to exit the pits

Forbidden from going back into the pitlane, Grosjean was forced to spin round to exit the pits

Lewis Hamilton passed the stricken Grosjean as he tried to recover in the pitlane

Lewis Hamilton passed the stricken Grosjean as he tried to recover in the pitlane

Lewis Hamilton passed the stricken Grosjean as he tried to recover in the pitlane

The crash saw his front wing fall off and left debris in the pitlane as he makes his second exit

The crash saw his front wing fall off and left debris in the pitlane as he makes his second exit

The crash saw his front wing fall off and left debris in the pitlane as he makes his second exit

The Frenchman's front wing broke off the car in the embarrassing crash during practice

The Frenchman's front wing broke off the car in the embarrassing crash during practice

The Frenchman’s front wing broke off the car in the embarrassing crash during practice

Bits of his damaged front wing were littered onto the track as he made his way round before pitting to get his car fixed in a wasted run.

To make matters worse, once he did exit the garage he spun again on the circuit, perhaps showing a complete lack of confidence in his car as he ended the morning 19th fastest.

It sums up his worst season in F1 so far, where he has just two points – 12 less than team-mate Kevin Magnussen leaving him 17th in the championship.

Grosjean had to tour the track slowly before re-entering the pits again

Grosjean had to tour the track slowly before re-entering the pits again

Grosjean had to tour the track slowly before re-entering the pits again

A virtual safety car was called as bits of his Haas car fell onto the track during the session

A virtual safety car was called as bits of his Haas car fell onto the track during the session

A virtual safety car was called as bits of his Haas car fell onto the track during the session

Grosjean would later spin again out on track in a troubled morning for the Frenchman

Grosjean would later spin again out on track in a troubled morning for the Frenchman

Grosjean would later spin again out on track in a troubled morning for the Frenchman

He has endured a torrid start to 2019, scoring just two points in the championship

He has endured a torrid start to 2019, scoring just two points in the championship

He has endured a torrid start to 2019, scoring just two points in the championship

But he was not the only one to suffer. The likes of George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc were caught out by the lack of grip on the track with minor errors early on.

Although Mercedes later proved unbeatable in the afternoon, Ferrari have hopes of challenging the Silver Arrows this weekend with Leclerc less than two tenths off the pace of Bottas in third.

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel however was over four tenths down on the Monegasque driver in fourth, hinting that Mercedes were the team to beat this weekend following their curious under performance at the Austrian GP where Hamilton was fifth and Bottas third. 

While Grosjean showed signs of feeling the pressure, another in Gasly ended the morning on a high with the fastest time. The Red Bull driver is in much need of a confidence boost after being lapped by team-mate Verstappen on his way to winning the Austrian Grand Prix last time out.

Gasly enjoyed the afternoon session too, recording the fifth best time three tenths quicker than Verstappen in seventh, who later claimed it was his ‘worst Friday of the season.’

Pierre Gasly went fastest for Red Bull at the end of the morningon a suspected light fuel load

Pierre Gasly went fastest for Red Bull at the end of the morningon a suspected light fuel load

Pierre Gasly went fastest for Red Bull at the end of the morning on a suspected light fuel load

Lewis Hamilton makes his way through the paddock past onlookers towards the garage

Lewis Hamilton makes his way through the paddock past onlookers towards the garage

Lewis Hamilton makes his way through the paddock past onlookers towards the garage

The Brit will wear a Union Flag inspired theme for his home race at Silverstone

The Brit will wear a Union Flag inspired theme for his home race at Silverstone

The Brit will wear a Union Flag inspired theme for his home race at Silverstone

The world championship leader arrived at the track looking calm and composed

The world championship leader arrived at the track looking calm and composed

He will be looking to win the British Grand Prix for a record sixth time

He will be looking to win the British Grand Prix for a record sixth time

Hamilton comes into the weekend looking to win the British Grand Prix for a record sixth time

Splitting the Red Bull duo was rookie Lando Norris in the McLaren who will be looking to shine ahead of his home race.

His team-mate Carlos Sainz was eighth quickest, with Alex Albon and Sergio Perez rounding off the top 10.

Another Brit in George Russell was less fortunate with the struggling Williams team, ending the session slowest following gearbox troubles. 

It proved to be an incident filled session in the morning, one that left Ferrari powered teams concerned when Kimi Raikkonen’s power unit in his Alfa Romeo appeared to fail, bringing him to a stop out on track.

BRITISH GP – FIRST PRACTICE 

1 Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 01min 27.2secs

2 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:27.629

3 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:28.009

4 Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1:28.122

5 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:28.253

6 Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:28.304

7 Hulkenburg (Ger) Renault 1:28.803

8 Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:29.031

9 Albon (Tha) Toro Rosso 1:29.093

10 Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:29.162 

11 Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:29.170

12 Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:29.453

13 Kyvat (Rus) Toro Rosso 1:29.500

14 Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:29.657

15 Giovinazzi (Ita) A. Romeo 1:30.099

16 Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:30.605

17 Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:30.741

18 Raikkonen (Fin) A. Romeo 1:30.747

19 Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:30.811

20 Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:32.121 

Kimi Raikkonen reacts after his Alfa Romeo stops on track following an engine failure

Kimi Raikkonen reacts after his Alfa Romeo stops on track following an engine failure

Kimi Raikkonen reacts after his Alfa Romeo stops on track following an engine failure

The Finn is aided by marshalls in trying to remove the car off the circuit

The Finn is aided by marshalls in trying to remove the car off the circuit

The Finn is aided by marshalls in trying to remove the car off the circuit

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