Vettel on top in final practice, Hamilton brakes failure

There are some that moan all the time- Mercedes boss rebuffs fuming Grosjean

Lewis Hamilton has defended his decision to skip the first-of-its-kind F1 Live event held in London leading up to this weekend's British Grand Prix in Silverstone.

Raikkonen hopes that Ferrari's added strength in race trim compared to Mercedes will give him and Vettel the chance to battle with Hamilton at the front on Sunday as he chases his second podium of the year. Sainz was one of the drivers to be caught out through Maggots and Becketts, getting loose during a super-soft tyre run and spinning off the circuit.

Hamilton has won the last three Grands Prix at Silverstone and is one behind the joint-best record alongside Alain Prost and Jim Clark, who won five in a row between 1962 and 1967.

Vettel, who has been so consistent this season, was only fourth here, four tenths of a second slower than the Mercedes pair.

The device is created to protect the driver's head from flying debris and is an alternative to the Halo and Aeroscreen devices tested past year.

The device, made of transparent polycarbonate, is created to sit in front of the driver and deflect any flying debris. The latter was described by Hamilton as the "worst-looking modification" in the sport's history.

"I was coming around to start my lap, Valtteri [Bottas] was up ahead, so I was, as we all do, trying to get the space".

"The vision is not very good [with the shield cockpit protection] and I think it's because of the curvature that creates a bit of distortion".

More news: IND win by 186 runs, qualify for semi-final

Some form of cockpit protection is set to be introduced next season, with the shield, which was run for the first time yesterday, having emerged as the preferred option over the halo concept that was trialled a year ago.

Hamilton's timing for his break is curious given that the British Grand Prix, a race he described as the most important on the calendar, is just days away.

Mercedes' one-two in both practice sessions was a "really promising start" to the British Grand Prix weekend, according to Silver Arrows technical director James Allison.

"We have got very clear rules in qualifying and with 10 cars in Q3, we should not have those problems".

Max Verstappen finished fifth for Red Bull, just 0.15s behind the nearest Ferrari.

Like Bottas, the Australian has a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorised gearbox change.

The Finn ended the day with the fastest time in the afternoon session, a 1m 28.496s, with 32-year-old Hamilton again in P2 as the Silver Arrows dominated the first day of practice.

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