Formula 1

F1 British GP: Friday practice reaction

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It was all about Mercedes at the British Grand Prix on Friday as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg shared the honours leading one practice session each at Silverstone.

However, it wasn't the only topic of discussion from a frantic windswept day in the Northamptonshire countryside, so here are the other major stories...

Red Bull are back

Australian Daniel Ricciardo believes his team's disappointing result in Austria just over two weeks ago will be a mere blip on their year after enjoying a more competitive day on Friday.

The 25-year-old was fourth quickest in both sessions as the World Champions suggested they could take the fight to Mercedes this weekend.

Ricciardo's best time in FP2 may have been a second off the pace set by Hamilton, but the Canadian GP winner did not set a time on the faster medium compound tyres in the afternoon.

Speaking to Autosport, Ricciardo said the RB10 was enjoying the high-speed corners, a traditional strength of any Red Bull car.

"We were back to our stronger point there and I think Austria for now is a one-off. Through the high speed [corners] it feels really good actually."

Ricciardo was particularly enjoying the 170mph Copse corner where some drivers were struggling with the stiff wind blowing across the right-hander.

"We arrive in eighth and there is a little lift to seventh and go flat again, but we had a bit of a headwind through Maggots/Becketts which helped the grip, so hopefully that stays there and it will be a lot of fun in qualifying," he explained.

Strangely, Ricciardo's upbeat mood comes despite electrical problems blighting his day, while teammate Sebastian Vettel, who had a smooth day, was demanding more from his car.

"I think we need to improve still. It was quite windy today which didn't make life easy out there, it was decent," said the German, who turned 27 on Thursday.

"Mercedes is ahead but behind that is really close."

Susie Wolff makes history 

All eyes in the morning were at Williams as Susie Wolff became the first female driver in 22 years to participate in an official F1 Grand Prix weekend.

Sadly, however, her experience at Silverstone would be short-lived as oil pressure and engine problems forced her to pull off the track after just four laps.

"It was a really tough day," she was quoted by CNN afterwards. "But that's F1 sometimes."

With so much attention on her in the build-up to the weekend, Susie, wife of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, said all the nerves and pressure went away as soon as she stepped behind the wheel.

"Although there has been a lot of media around my run, when it's just you in the car it's the best feeling.

"I felt very ready for today -- I knew in my head what I had to do, it was good to get that first run of a race weekend in the bag."

Happily for the Scot, she will also be participating in FP1 at the German Grand Prix in two weeks time where hopefully the car will be a lot more reliable.

Ricciardo & Rosberg avoid red flag penalty

Following Felipe Massa's high-speed crash early in morning practice, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg were called to the stewards for allegedly passing a car under red flag conditions.

In an incident that could have had massive implications for the rest of the weekend, however, both drivers were found not to have breached the rule in a dangerous manner.

In the case of Rosberg, the German clearly passed Russian Daniil Kvyat at Stowe corner, the place Massa had lost control of his Williams, but stewards deemed Rosberg had done nothing illegal because the Toro Rosso driver was off-line and travelling at a much slower speed than normal.

While for Ricciardo, he passed Ferrari's Fernando Alonso just as the red flag was brought out and because again Alonso was travelling at a slower speed, the fast approaching Red Bull driver was deemed to be concentrating on passing the Spaniard in a safe manner when Felipe Massa crashed.

Force India blown off course in Silverstone wind

Despite being the nearest team located to Silverstone, Force India were struggling to tame the VJM07 in the windy conditions on Friday.

Both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg complained of rear instability through the high-speed corners as higher downforce circuits continue to be the weakness for Vijay Mallya's team.

“Straight away it was pretty tricky and unpredictable to drive in these conditions," Hulkenberg, who was only 17th quickest in the afternoon, was quoted by crash.net.

"We have to understand a bit more and hopefully with the right conclusions and improve for tomorrow.

“Wind is never good for a racing car, especially when it is so gusty and so strong, racing cars don't like that. It makes it hard for the aero to stay healthy so you can feel it in the car. There will be cars that can cope better with this and cars that will be worse with it.”

Instead Force India may see their hopes of a good result rest in a possible wet qualifying on Saturday and then better tyre conservation during the race on Sunday.

Hamilton in the dark over race pace

Despite leading the second session at his home race on Friday, things did not go 100% to plan for Hamilton on Friday.

The Briton was forced to pull off the track as a undiagnosed engine issue caused the Mercedes V6 to cut out.

This meant that Hamilton was unable to complete an important race simulation whereas rival Rosberg was unaffected as he completed is long stint on the medium option tyres.

Nico said he had no problem with sharing the data from run with Hamilton the pair's battle for the championship, but according to Autosport the 2008 champion is still very much in the dark.

"The long run data doesn't really help in the sense that we drive differently," Hamilton told reporters afterwards.

The Briton also expressed some frustration as to why the problems seem to hit his car more regularly than Rosberg's.

"I don't know why things happen to my car so much. We'll fix it, but I really needed a long run.

"Now I don't know what the car is going to feel like for the race," he said.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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