Leclerc: Silverstone not the easiest track for FP1 début

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GP3 Series points leader Charles Leclerc admitted that Silverstone, which hosts this weekend’s British Grand Prix, was not the easiest venue for his maiden FP1 outing with the Haas F1 team, but the Monegasque hailed a great experience at the wheel.

Making the first of his five scheduled Friday practice outings for the US team, Leclerc racked up 26 laps and set the 18th fastest time, 1.3s off Romain Grosjean who was in the lead VF-16.

In the process, the 18-year-old - who is also a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy - survived a momentary scare when he triggered a brief yellow by spinning at Village.

“Silverstone is not the easiest track to start in F1 because there are a lot of high-speed corners and it’s a lot different from a GP3 car” Leclerc said. “That said, it was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my time behind the wheel.”

“I’ve had the dream to drive in F1 since I was a child and it felt incredible and I’d like to extend my thanks to Haas for the opportunity.”

Leclerc had previously made his début in a Formula 1 car driving a 2014-spec Ferrari at Fiorano in May in order to qualify for a free-practice-only superlicence.

In the meantime it's been back to his 'day job' racing with ART in GP3 where he has already picked up two race wins at Catalunya and Spielberg, while also getting the chance to soak up the weekend atmosphere in the Grand Prix paddock.

“I usually prepare my GP3 weekends really well so there was not much change save for learning all the procedures required in Formula One. They are quite hard at the start but when you are in the car and focussed everything goes smoothly.

"I did not know what to expect before setting off for my first run… in the end I managed to do all the procedures wanted from me.”

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Charles Leclerc, Haas F1, British Grand Prix