2018 British GP: Alonso in Fight for Best of the Rest on McLaren’s Home Soil

Fernando Alonso, Friday Practice, Silverstone 2018
Photo: © McLaren

McLaren have shown their strengths in Friday Practice in the upbeat to the British Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso being as high as 6th place in FP2.

Although it was all but smooth running in the first practice session, Fernando Alonso made a minor mistake early on, going off in turn 14, he was able to continue.

But it was 30 minutes into the session, when Kevin Magnussen caused controversy, as he very unnecessarily attempted to cause a collision with Fernando Alonso’s McLaren on an in-lap, the dane possibly might’ve thought, that he was alone on track.

The Haas driver squeezed Alonso almost off the track, going into turn one and three, topping it off by waving into the Spaniard’s path, on the first DRS straight.

Alonso and Magnussen were summoned to the race stewards after this incident, but unsurprisingly, the race stewards – led by dane Tom Kristensen, gave Magnussen another free pass for his dangerous on-track actions.

Fernando Alonso didn’t run most of the first practice session, being 19th most of FP1, but he ended up in 15th place.

2018 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Practice One Results
1.united_kingdom Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes241’27.487 
2.finland Valtteri BottasMercedesMercedes271’27.8540.367
3.germany Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari221’27.9980.511
4.australia Daniel RicciardoRed BullTAG301’28.1440.657
5.finland Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari241’28.2180.731
6.netherlands Max VerstappenRed BullTAG241’28.3250.838
7.france Romain GrosjeanHaasFerrari121’29.3521.865
8.mexico Sergio Perez Force IndiaMercedes231’29.8122.325
15.spain Fernando AlonsoMcLarenRenault191’30.3222.835
17.belgium Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenRenault251’30.4162.929

Both McLaren and Fernando Alonso seemed much more competitive in the 2nd practice session in Silverstone, with Alonso taking 6th place, best of the rest behind the top three teams.

While the mid-field pack was very tight, with 6th to 18th place being under 1 second, the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari & Red Bull was nearly 1 second.

Team mate Stoffel Vandoorne was heavily off the pace in comparison to Fernando Alonso, trailling by 0.8s to the Spaniard.

Nearing the end of the session, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso enjoyed a nice, clean, on track battle, showing Kevin Magnussen, just how simple and enjoyable clean racing can be.

Fernando Alonso, Post-Practice:

“It was definitely a positive Friday for us. We tested several items for future reference, which meant we sacrificed some track time in FP1 for that. In the second session, the car behaved well and we did some tyre tests, but clearly the car is quite similar to how it was in France and Austria.”

“In the last 11 days we raced three times, so the performance and the power shouldn’t be too different to what we saw in the last couple of weeks, which means tomorrow it’s going to be tight in the midfield. Two tenths can completely change your qualifying, as you can be out in Q1 or you can be seventh. Hopefully we are closer to Q3 than in the last few races, but everything remains to be seen tomorrow.”

“The track is in good condition, in good shape; the asphalt is better, less bumpy, and has more grip. The third DRS zone probably gives us an opportunity to race as well, and the weather is great, so I think we have all the ingredients to see a good race.”

2018 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Practice Two Results
1.germany Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari361’27.552 
2.united_kingdom Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes321’27.7390.187
3.finland Valtteri BottasMercedesMercedes301’27.9090.357
4.finland Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari341’28.0450.493
5.australia Daniel RicciardoRed BullTAG311’28.4080.856
6.spain Fernando AlonsoMcLarenRenault311’29.3061.754
7.germany Nico HülkenbergRenaultRenault351’29.3541.802
8.france Esteban OconForce IndiaMercedes331’29.4671.915
9.mexico Sergio Perez Fornce IndiaMercedes321’29.5221.970
10.monaco Charles Leclerc SauberFerrari301’29.5572.005