Hamilton and Mercedes lay down a marker in FP1

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in free practice Friday morning at Silverstone, the British driver edging team mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.367s as the Silver Arrows duo appeared firmly in control at the head of the field.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel concluded FP1 half a second behind his title rival while Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen rounded off the top six.

2018 British Grand Prix - Free Practice 1

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:27.487s24
2Valtteri BottasMercedes1:27.854s+ 0.367s27
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1:27.998s+ 0.511s22
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:28.144s+ 0.657s30
5Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:28.218s+ 0.731s24
6Max VerstappenRed Bull1:28.325s+ 0.838s24
7Romain GrosjeanHaas1:29.352s+ 1.865s12
8Sergio PérezForce India1:29.812s+ 2.325s23
9Esteban OconForce India1:29.815s+ 2.328s24
10Lance StrollWilliams1:29.878s+ 2.391s25
11Marcus EricssonSauber1:29.942s+ 2.455s25
12Pierre GaslyToro Rosso1:30.004s+ 2.517s31
13Charles LeclercSauber1:30.027s+ 2.540s27
14Kevin MagnussenHaas1:30.065s+ 2.578s20
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:30.322s+ 2.835s19
16Carlos SainzRenault1:30.358s+ 2.871s22
17Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1:30.416s+ 2.929s25
18Nico HülkenbergRenault1:30.701s+ 3.214s18
19Brendon HartleyToro Rosso1:30.749s+ 3.262s31
20Sergey SirotkinWilliams1:31.017s+ 3.530s22

The British Grand Prix has 'come home' to Silverstone, under blues skies and scorching summer temperatures much to the many fans' pleasure.

The action kicked off with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson the first man to take to the race track, followed by a heavy field of runners anxious to sample the track's new asphalt.

The high-degrading surface has enticed Pirelli to bring its thin tread tyre to Silverstone, the same structure used in Spain and France and which has appeared particularly well-suited to Mercedes W09.

As a reminder, teams will be running on the hard, medium and soft compounds this weekend.

Valtteri Bottas has received a fresh power unit for this weekend following last weekend's drama but the Finn had hardly rolled the nose of his car out of his garage when he was ordered to switch off his engine before being pulled back in.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was the first man to put a significant time on the board, clocking in with a 1m30.800s time, while Ferrari's Vettel-Raikkonen duo slotted itself in in second and third.

Williams Sergey Sirotkin was the first driver of the weekend to visit the gravel traps, the Russian having a spin at Club corner.

Turn 1 - Abbey - attracted a lot of attention at the outset as everyone watched who could possibly run through Abbey flat-out. Daniel Ricciardo lost no time answering that question, the RB14 running full blast through the corner at the outset, a testimony to the efficiency of Red Bull's chassis. And he was apparently the only one to do so.

A little after the 30-minute mark, Hamilton put himself in charge with a lap in 1m28.908s achieved on the soft compound;

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen got involved in a bit of a bickering out on the track, the McLaren appearing to have blocked the Haas at Turn 1.

"Magnussen tried to hit me two times, in Turn 1 and 3, I don't know what he's thinking," Alonso quipped on the radio.

Bottas, also running on soft rubber, upped the pace to lower the benchmark by seven tenths with a 1m28.143s, relegating his team mate to second while Verstappen moved up to third

Sixty minutes into the session, the Virtual safety car was brought out as a result of Romain Grosjean crashing at the high speed Turn 1, the Frenchman attempting - perhaps inadvertently - to run through Abbey with the DRS open on his Haas.

Ricciardo had his own trip through the gravekl trap on the exit of Luffield while minute slater Raikkonen also ventured off the track after thumping the kerb at Brooklands.

Pressing on as his attempted to finally put in a timed lap, Alonso suffered an off at Becketts, the Spaniard painfully making up the rear along with Williams' Sirotkin.

As the Mercedes twins kept themselves comfortably ahead in the closing stages of the session, Verstappen was seen slowing and then stopping on the start/finish straight, the Dutchman suspecting a gearbox issue.

The session ended with Hamilton and Bottas looking nice and stable, and firmly in control.

Best of the rest behind F1's front-runners, Grosjean held on to P7 despite his off, with Force India's Sergio Perez edging out team mate Esteban Ocon for eight.

Closing off the top ten was Lance Stroll, the Canadian putting in a good effort for Williams and perhaps offering the Grove-based outfit some hope for a productive weekend.

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