The 10th round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Silverstone Circuit as teams prepared for the British Grand Prix Sunday. Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 5.891-kilometer (3.66-mile), 18-turn track were run under sunny and warm conditions.
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen endured a difficult FP1, Grosjean more so than Magnussen.
With approximately 30 minutes remaining in the opening session, Grosjean spun off the incredibly quick Abbey Curve in turn one, shooting across the gravel trap before nosing hard into the barrier. Grosjean emerged unscathed, but the same could not be said for his Haas VF-18. There was structural damage to his chassis, which meant the team was forced to build a backup chassis, which kept Grosjean out of FP2. Despite the crash, Grosjean proved quick, even with only 12 laps of on-track running. Riding on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires, he notched the seventh-fastest time with a lap of 1:29.352 on his penultimate tour, a best-of-the-rest mark behind the big three of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull.
Magnussen ran 20 laps in FP1 and ended the session as the 14th-fastest driver with a 1:30.065 secured on his 13th lap. With two virtual safety car periods – one for Grosjean’s spin and another in the final 10 minutes for when Max Verstappen had to park his Red Bull on the frontstraight – Magnussen was unable to get the high-fuel run he and the team wanted while running on a used set of Yellow softs.
With Magnussen carrying the flag for Haas F1 Team in FP2, he set the 12th-quickest time with a lap of 1:29.617, which was .448 of a second better than his best lap in FP1. His quick time came on the 12th of his 33 laps with Yellow softs bolted onto his Haas VF-18.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 65 laps – 53 by Magnussen 12 by Grosjean.
We’re not pleased to miss FP2, but there’s been some good work done on Kevin’s car. I was following the whole afternoon session. Obviously, we’re going to try and squeeze as much out of FP3 as we can. The car was fast this morning, so I think we should be alright. Hopefully, we can build up nicely tomorrow, and then do some fine tuning for qualifying when the track temperature gets really high. That’s going to be the biggest challenge for us, as we haven’t run those high track temperatures. Kevin was doing some good runs. I’ve just been looking at what he was doing out there, and trying to take that on-board for ourselves for our side of the garage.”
The heat’s been the same for everyone, but it’s something that’s making the tire management a bit trickier. Getting them to work – it’s always the main thing. The tires, for all the teams, can be difficult to manage, but that’s the focus. I think tomorrow we could be anywhere from seventh to 13th or something like that. It’s very close. You need to really hook it up to get in front of that midfield, but I think it’s all open. We need to go through the data a bit more to learn about today because we didn’t find many answers in the practice itself. We’ll go through everything and see if we can find some answers.”