While England is often associated with changeable weather, conditions were dry and warm all day on Friday, June 6, with track temperatures in excess of 113-degrees Fahrenheit. Similar warm weather is expected for the rest of the weekend.
Mercedes was quickest in the first free practice session this morning, courtesy of Lewis Hamilton on the soft tires, while Sebastian Vettel used the same tire compound to go fastest in the afternoon. While both sessions were notably quicker than their equivalents last year, Hamilton’s pole time from 2017 is yet to be beaten.
The new track surface at Silverstone has contributed to these faster times, but drivers have also described it as bumpy. All three nominated tires were used extensively today, with the P Zero Ice Blue hard tire making its 2018 debut.
"No real surprises today, with all the tire compounds performing exactly as we expected them to and no issues encountered," said Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of car racing. "This is despite Silverstone being one of the most demanding tracks of the year with its long and high-speed corners, intensified by high temperatures all day that are expected to continue into the weekend.
"The bumps and a changing wind direction were two more hurdles for drivers to overcome, but they managed to complete their scheduled programs as planned, learning not only about the new surface but also about the hard tire and how it relates to the two other well-known tire compounds that we have brought to Silverstone. The gap between the tire compounds so far is slightly bigger than expected, with two seconds covering the whole selection here from hard to soft."
Best time by Pirelli tire compound:
Compound Driver Time
Soft Lewis Hamilton 1:27.487
Medium Max Verstappen 1:28.325
Hard Daniel Ricciardo 1:29.970