Silverstone, 8 July –The two Ferraris were fourth and sixth fastest come the end of the first free practice session for the British Grand Prix. This historic round of the calendar is in its 67th year. Strong winds kept the rain away from the track, so the session was run entirely in the dry. The programme involved the usual work to find the set-up best suited to the track, as well as trying some new aerodynamic components. Sebastian Vettel started out on the Hard tyres, before switching to the Softs on his SF16-H. For his installation lap his car was fitted with an updated version of the Halo prototype – the tubular structure designed to improve driver head protection in the cockpit – which had already been tried by Kimi Raikkonen at the Barcelona track during the second winter test. The Finn was sixth fastest in 1.33.039, starting his day on Medium tyres before switching to the Softs, while Vettel did a 1.32.501. Fastest was the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (1.31.654) and Nico Rosberg (1.31.687.)
Silverstone, 8 July – Sebastian Vettel was once again fourth in the second free practice session in a time of 1.32.570, followed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen (1.32.736) in fifth place. In sunny conditions at Silverstone, temperatures were higher than in the morning session, thus asking more from the Hard and Soft tyres used by Kimi and the Medium and Soft chosen by Sebastian. The programme focused on set-up and then, in the second half, on a race simulation. Quickest was the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (1.31.660,) ahead of the two Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo (1.32.051) and Max Verstappen (1.32.286.)
Kimi Raikkonen: I’m really happy for the renewal of my contract, I’m happy to be here now and to stay for next year. It’s nice to know that the team believes in me and I believe in them. Now we can put all the effort in the racing and try to achieve better results. On the track it has been a tricky day, conditions were not very easy, there was quite a lot of wind in some places and this was not helping. We are not very happy of where we finished today, but since this morning we have been improving things. We have been working in the right direction all day and I’m sure we can do even better for tomorrow.
Sebastian Vettel: I think it was a bit of mixed conditions this afternoon: it was quite windy, and at the beginning it was not so good. I believe the long run was sort of OK, but we need to have a look and do some comparisons to know where we are. We know that we have lot of work ahead of us for tomorrow to improve the car but, as a baseline for today, we understood and learned quite a lot of things. As for the Halo device I tested this morning, it has quite a lot of impact in terms of visibility.