British Grand Prix 2017

"I think that getting in, getting out - obviously getting in doesn't matter - but getting out is probably more about getting used to it, so that's not the main thing I think".

"I had to make sure I got that lap in".

Like Bottas, the Australian has a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorised gearbox change. He started only eighth before he recovered to finish fourth.

Vettel was fourth fastest in the second practice session, behind Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, after an experimental transparent screen was removed from the auto in the morning.

Lewis Hamilton was in no mood to entertain what he described as "the dumbest question" in a pre-British Grand Prix media conference, but thankfully a jovial Daniel Ricciardo stepped in to prevent an awkward exchange.

The transparent safety device, which sits in front of the driver, was attached to Vettel's Ferrari during opening practice. The quick times were all set on super-soft tyres before a band of light rain swept across the circuit and put an end to meaningful qualifying simulation runs.

This weekend Hamilton has already had to fend off criticism this week as he was the only driver on the grid to miss the London street demonstration, as he instead took a break.

Mercedes led the way and Hamilton broke the lap record with a 1:27.893 which saw him nearly a second clear of Bottas.

Thankfully for the three-time world champion, his record at Silverstone has been nothing short of superb.

Mercedes have triple world champion Lewis Hamilton under contract for next year while Finland's Valtteri Bottas joined in January with no guarantee beyond 2017.

Hamilton won from pole here in 2015, and again a year ago, and now the Englishman could do with another dominant victory as he bids to trim the 20-point margin to rival Sebastian Vettel at the summit of the championship. And Baku victor Daniel Ricciardo also believes that Red Bull can challenge the red cars for the rest of the weekend after he and team-mate Max Verstappen finished sixth and fifth respectively.

"Forward vision is not very good".

Max Verstappen starts fifth for Ref Bull (Ricciardo suffered a turbo failure in Q1), and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg did a good job to put his auto in sixth.

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

"For the second run we thought it was going to be fine, then I got to Turn 3 and out of the blue I had a massive rear lock", he added.

Earlier, Vettel became the first driver to trial the so-called "shield" - the FIA's third different concept aimed at improving cockpit protection.

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