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LEWIS HAMILTON STAMPS HIS AUTHORITY ON BRITISH GRAND PRIX PRACTICE AS MERCEDES DOMINATE AT SILVERSTONE

LEWIS HAMILTON STAMPS HIS AUTHORITY ON BRITISH GRAND PRIX PRACTICE AS MERCEDES DOMINATE AT SILVERSTONE

Hamilton relinquished the lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to Sebastian Vettel last weekend

Lewis Hamilton made an early mark at the British Grand Prix as he led a Mercedes one-two in opening practice.

Hamilton, who is looking to clinch a record sixth victory at his home race on Sunday, finished 0.367 seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas in the sister Mercedes.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, one point ahead of Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, ended the first running half-a-second down on Hamilton in third, with Daniel Ricciardo fourth for Red Bull.

Max Verstappen’s session came to a premature end when he was forced to park his car on the main straight following a loss of power in the closing moments.

Hamilton has dominated his home race in recent years, taking to the top step of the podium for the last four seasons, and securing every pole position since 2015.

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And the 33-year-old British driver set out his stall with an impressive lap of one minute and 27.487 seconds on a glorious Silverstone day.

Mercedes also boast an impressive record at what is effectively their home race – given their Brackley base is only handful of miles away – and Hamilton’s team-mate Bottas edged out Vettel for second.

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Kimi Raikkonen placed fifth for  Ferrari, 0.731 seconds slower than Hamilton, and the veteran Finn escaped a hairy moment when he spun at Brooklands before heading back to the pits.

The same could not be said for the error-prone Haas driver Romain Grosjean after he crashed out.

Grosjean finished an impressive fourth in Austria, but the Frenchman was back in the wars on Friday after he lost control of his car under braking for the 190mph opening bend.

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Grosjean slid across the track and into the gravel before thudding into the barriers and causing significant damage to the front of his Haas.

“How is the car?” Grosjean’s team asked. “The car is destroyed,” he responded. “I’m very, very sorry, guys.”

It was a difficult opening morning for Fernando Alonso, too, who placed only 15th of the 20 runners.

McLaren are without racing director Eric Boullier this weekend after he was forced to resign earlier this week following the British team’s desperate run of results.

Sir Frank Williams was attending a race for the first time this season. Lance Stroll finished 10th and Sergey Sirotkin last in the Williams cars.

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LEWIS HAMILTON STAMPS HIS AUTHORITY ON BRITISH GRAND PRIX PRACTICE AS MERCEDES DOMINATE AT SILVERSTONE