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Summary

  1. Rosberg fastest in second practice, Raikkonen 2nd, Vettel 3rd
  2. Hamilton 4th & struggling with car
  3. Grosjean, Alonso & Merhi spin into gravel
  4. Final practice & qualifying coverage from 09:30 BST on Saturday

Live Reporting

By Jamie Strickland

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thanks and goodbye

    Nico Rosberg

    That's us just about done for the day. I don't know about you, but seeing Nico Rosberg top in both of those sessions has got me thinking: is this season actually swinging his way?

    He's won three of the last four races and is just 10 points back in the title race, while Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton looked scrappy behind the wheel today - just as he did in Austria.

    Tomorrow's third practice and qualifying will make for interesting viewing. We'll bring you all the action across the BBC, with our live text commentary starting at 09:30 BST.

    Do please join us then.

  2. Just to mark your card...

    Promo
  3. Final positions and times...

    ...from our friends at Lotus.

    Lotus
  4. Stevens stands out

    Will Stevens

    A quick check on the British drivers after that session reveals Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button each finished around half a second down on their team-mates, but that was emphatically not the case for Will Stevens.

    The man from Essex was 1.6secs faster than Manor team-mate Roberto Merhi.

    Mighty impressive stuff.

  5. Rosberg doubles up in practice

    Final order:

    1 Rosberg, 2 Raikkonen, 3 Vettel, 4 Hamilton, 5 Kvyat, 6 Ricciardo, 7 Verstappen, 8 Hulkenberg, 9 Sainz, 10 Massa, 11 Maldonado, 12 Bottas, 13 Perez, 14 Grosjean, 15 Alonso, 16 Nasr, 17 Button, 18 Ericsson, 19 Stevens, 20 Merhi

  6. Chequered flag

  7. One minute to go...

    and all cars are on track.

  8. Tyres taking some punishment through Copse today...

    BBC
  9. Hamilton goes out

    Strange happenings at Mercedes.

    Our man Tom Clarkson reported a few minutes ago that Lewis Hamilton was out of his car, his session seemingly done.

    He was away for a few minutes, in which time the mechanics did not touch the car, but suddenly re-entered the garage and hopped in the car and went out.

    Allan McNish in the commentary box is speculating on computer issues.

    I'm thinking comfort break.

  10. Get involved - #BritishF1hero

    Mark Haggan: Colin Chapman made British F1 successful.

    Emma Jayne: All the British marshals! The unsung ladies and gents who risk their lives, for free!

    Katyoun Hana: What about Murray Walker and Ross Brawn?

    brawn
  11. Speed trap readings

    speed
  12. 60 years since Moss became first British GP winner

    Stirling Moss

    We're busy talking about great British drivers today, so it would be remiss to overlook the moment of history achieved by Stirling Moss at the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree.

    On a sunny July day on the outskirts of Liverpool, Mercedes driver Moss took the fight to his world champion team-mate Juan Manuel Fangio, the two duelling throughout before the Briton came through to win by a matter of yards from the Argentine.

    The win meant Moss was crowned the first ever home winner of the British Grand Prix, a feat that has since been repeated 21 times by the likes of Jim Clark, John Watson, David Coulthard and Damon Hill among many others.

  13. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    "Lewis Hamilton is getting out of his car - looks like it's game over for today."

  14. Green light

    We go again.

  15. Red flag

  16. Luffield claims its third victim of the day

    I can't recall the last time I saw cars off at Luffield, but we've had three of the blighters today.

    Roberto Merhi joins Grosjean and Alonso in that particular ignominy, spinning his Manor through the corner, catching a bit of gravel, and stopping.

    He eventually gets going again but as he does so the red flag comes out...

    Roberto Merhi spins off
    Roberto Mehri
  17. Mercedes team radio

    Lewis Hamilton: "The car is all over the place - I can't go any faster than I am right now."

  18. Red Bulls looking better than of late

    We've not really mentioned the Red Bulls so far but they are being quietly impressive out there today.

    Daniil Kvyat is the first of the non-Ferrari-Mercedes runners, his time of 1:35.009 just four tenths of Lewis Hamiton in fourth.

    The sister Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo is next up in sixth place, a tenth down on his Russian team-mate.

    Daniil Kvyat in action for Red Bull
  19. Post update

    Pirelli on Twitter: The gap between the medium and hard tyre is looking to be around 0.8-0.9 seconds on average so far

  20. Coverage options

    tv coverage

    Don't forget you can view extra camera streams across all sessions these days, including driver tracker, pit lane channel, on-board and timing screens.

  21. Mercedes team radio

    Team to Rosberg: "Cool the car, Nico, cool the car"

  22. Raikonen goes into second

    Raikkonen has climbed to second place, three tenths down on Rosberg, while Vettel and Hamilton are third and fourth.

    Battle joined between Ferrari and Mercedes so far....

  23. Post update

    Lotus on Twitter: Nothing like a good polish. Romain hard at work.

    gro
  24. Spit and polish down at Lotus

    Clearly feeling guilty for driving his sparkly Lotus through that gravel trap earlier, Romain Grosjean has been helping the team prepare the car for its return to the track by applying a bit of elbow grease.

    Well done that man.

    Romain Grosjean
  25. Dancing on ice

    bottas on ice

    Feeling hot in the sun? Check out this little video teaser that will be aired ahead of qualifying tomorrow on BBC Two from 12:10 BST.

    It's Valtteri Bottas driving a version of the Silverstone circuit on ice in Lapland.

    You weren't expecting that were you...

  26. Top 10

    Here's the top 10 with 40 minutes left:

    1 Rosberg, 2 Vettel, 3 Hamilton, 4 Kvyat, 5 Verstappen, 6 Hulkenberg, 7 Sainz, 8 Massa, 9 Maldonado, 10 Bottas.

  27. 'Oooooh, Matron'

    The new nose on the Force India has a rather 'nostrily' feel with those two holes set into it.

    Let's go in for a closer look...

    Kenneth Williams

    Sorry, wrong picture. Here we are...

    Force India's fresh nose
  28. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Nathan Tague: Aside from drivers, Adrian Newey. Absolute genius and the man behind countless title-winning cars.

    James Humberstone: It has to be Sir Frank Williams. He created a legacy team that is ingrained in F1 history.

    Jeremy Newlin: James Hunt - for all the wrong reasons...

    Hunt
  29. Hamilton stays third on mediums

    Lewis Hamilton has been unable to match the times of Rosberg and Vettel on the medium tyre.

    He's done a time four tenths off Rosberg and one tenth of Vettel on the quicker rubber.

    Lewis Hamilton
  30. Hulkenberg cool on Ferrari link

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Nico Hulkenberg is on Ferrari's list as a potential replacement for Kimi Raikkonen, should they decide to ditch the Finn later this year. But the German was playing his cards close to his chest on Thursday. While Daniel Ricciardo - number one on Ferrari's list, but under contract to Red Bull until the end of 2018 - said on Tuesday he was 'flattered' to be considered, Hulkenberg said: 'You do two good races and that's what happens.' He added that it was 'still early days' but admitted he was looking at his options: 'I'd be silly not to.'"

    Nico Hulkenberg
  31. Rosberg quickest on medium tyre

    We've just seen drivers switch from the hard tyre to the medium for the first time, with Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel setting the ball rolling.

    Rosberg sets a 1:34.155 to go top of the pile, with Vettel slotting into second place three tenths back.

    Lewis Hamilton is third, another four tenths back, but set that time on the hard tyre.

  32. McLaren team radio

    Team: "Do you want another lap?"

    Jenson Button: "Nope. The stability is terrible - the car's bouncing all over the place."

  33. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Gemma Webb: Easily Jenson Button. He's a Champion, down to earth and credits the fans and the team. Top bloke.

    I really like Jenson Button for all the reasons that Gemma states above, but having stumbled on the below picture from 2000 earlier today I simply have to use it. Sorry, JB.

    Button

    Thomas Knights: Professor Sid Watkins. Amazing man, did so much for the sport.

    Tony Crowther: Graham Hill, without doubt the epitome of 'British' and the best ever ambassador for any British sport, not just F1!

  34. Alonso also off at Luffield

    We've just seen the McLaren of Fernando Alonso sail off at Luffield, a la Grosjean.

    It's odd for two cars to go off there, leading James Allen and Allan McNish in the BBC commentary box to speculate that gusting winds could be affecting things.

    Fernando Alonso
    Fernando Alonso
  35. Toro Rosso impressing so far

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Max Verstappen

    "All season it has been apparent that Toro Rosso have produced a very good car this year. And this weekend Max Verstappen has revealed just how good he thinks it would be if only the Renault engine was competitive. 'P3, behind Mercedes,' he said.

    "Team-mate Carlos Sainz did not go quite as far, but elaborated: 'We look at GPS data after every session and compare ourselves with Ferrari, Williams and even Mercedes. After watching our data from Barcelona, I'm convinced that this car, with a very decent engine, will be fighting with Williams and, on some occasions, with Ferrari. That's why I keep praising the guys and saying what a hell of a job they are doing, because to produce a car that is capable of fighting against these two teams is really impressive. We looked at the data and Turn 3 and Turn 9 in Barcelona, only Mercedes was quicker than us.'

    "Of course the unspoken conclusion from this is that the Toro Rosso is actually better than the Red Bull, which was developed by Adrian Newey and on twice the budget. That can't be comfortable for Newey, Christian Horner and co."

  36. Top 10

    F1
  37. McLaren looking for better after poor morning

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "This is already turning into another difficult day for McLaren, with various engine-related woes emerging in first practice. Honda's difficulties are all the more frustrating because the McLaren chassis appears to be a very good car - around the level of the Ferrari. Fernando Alonso acknowledged this in response to a question from yours truly this weekend.

    Fernando Alonso

    "'Yeah, I am happy with the car and the philosophy of developing the car,' he said. 'Happy with the next steps that will come. Happy with the progress of Honda. Obviously we had to use too many parts. In eight races five engines is a little bit sad. but if this means we are learning a lot, it is very well.

    "'The steps that are coming are quite big but this is not too difficult when you are at the back two seconds off the pace. Every step you do is half a second or 0.8secs. when you are fighting for a podium you gain 0.1secs every two weeks. I think we will get much closer to the top guys in the second part of the championship and for next year as well.'"

  38. Green light

    The Lotus is cleared away and we're running green again.

  39. Meanwhile, a little earlier...

    Before Grosjean decided to explore the extremities of the Silverstone circuit, I was going to point out this messy moment for Williams driver Massa, who got a little loose through Vale but was able to continue.

    massa
  40. Lotus team radio

    Romain Grosjean: "I'm stuck in the gravel." Team: "Yep, I can see."

    Romain Grosjean
  41. Grosjean brings out the red flags

    Having missed FP1 while Jolyon Palmer had a hoon in his motor, Romain Grosjean has gone and binned his Lotus after just eight laps this afternoon.

    The Frenchman sails straight on at Luffield and is beached in the gravel.

    Game over, my friend.

  42. Red flag

  43. Scores on the board

    A slow start to the session but suddenly most drivers have punched in some hot laps.

    Unsurprisingly it's the Mercedes out from, Hamilton first with a 1:34.877. That's around six tenths off Rosberg's benchmark this morning.

    Rosberg is second at present, then it's Hulkenberg from Sainz and Verstappen in sixth.

  44. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Richard Bishop: For me the #britishf1hero is Johnny Herbert. Winner of several GPs & Le Mans after a remarkable comeback from a horrific accident at Brands.

    Matt Claypole: Who else but Coulthard. He was often capable of matching the great Schumi. Plus he had some great radio messages.

    Roeland Meijer: Must surely be John Surtees. By the way, I'm too young to have seen him win. But the stories...

    For me, Surtees is up there with Murray Walker in the 'why the hell haven't they been knighted?' category.

    Surtees
  45. Green and pleasant land

    Rural Northamptonshire looking fine this Friday afternoon.

    f1
  46. Post update

    Sauber on Twitter: Off he goes...

    ericsson

    An eager Marcus Ericsson is first on track after sitting out FP1.

  47. 'You must come and see what we've done with the Manor'

    Manor have a new sponsor coming on board this weekend and it's resulted in a new livery.

    The team has deviated from its erstwhile white-and-red arrangement with a lovely dash of purpley-blue on the sidepods.

    Will Stevens
  48. Hamilton meeting and greeting between sessions

    Lewis Hamilton on Twitter: Great chat! Pleasure to meet you Warwick Davis!!

    warwick
  49. Palmer out, Grosjean back in

    Romain Grosjean on Twitter: Welcome onboard!

    ro gro

    'Ro-Gro' (which I'm assured by a colleague is name sometimes applied to this chap) is back in the Lotus after sitting out FP1. Reserve driver Jolyon Palmer finished 14th this morning.

  50. Green light

  51. Happy birthday Sebastian Vettel

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel is 28 today, so many happy returns to him.

    The fact the sport's youngest ever pole-sitter, race-winner and world champion is closing in on 30 is sobering thought, but I guess he's crammed in plenty in the years since entering the sport as third driver for BMW-Sauber in 2006.

    In addition to growing into his teeth and hair, he's become a four-time world champion, won 40 races, taken 45 poles, set records for the most wins and poles in a season and become a father.

    Phew.

    Vettel and Heidfeld
    Image caption: The ABBA tribute band was rubbish
    Kovalainen, Vettel, Kubica
    Image caption: 2008: First win
    Vettel
    Image caption: 2013: Fourth world title
    Vettel
    Image caption: 2015: Looking dapper in Ferrari red
  52. Herbert wins at Silverstone - 20 years on

    If you get a moment, be sure to watch our highlights of the 1995 British Grand Prix, a race featuring both a memorable clash between Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher and a maiden F1 win for Johnny Herbert.

    Indulge yourself here.

    Johnny Herbert
  53. Mercedes mask pace in practice - Vettel

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "This season is developing into a bit of a pattern when it comes to the relation between the data seen in Friday second practice and the performance of the cars in the race. Ferrari often look absolutely competitive with Mercedes on Fridays, only to be unable to challenge in the races.

    "Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has called for an end to this 'fake' situation, saying at the last race in Austria that he believed it was because Ferrari were running less fuel on Fridays than Mercedes. But according to Sebastian Vettel it is more to do with the fact that Mercedes turn their engines up for qualifying and race. 'I am not telling you how much fuel we are running but I can assure you we are not running low fuel for our long runs,' he said. 'You can see the pace being quite different. I think it is mostly explained by the fact that some teams can be a lot more aggressive on Saturday/Sunday compared to Friday.

    "'I think in general we know from Friday to Saturday Mercedes turns the engine up. It is not just Mercedes. If you look at Williams on Friday versus Sunday there is a massive step. That is one of the lessons learned; and not so long ago they changed their engines and that is one of the differences compared to previous races, that they can be a lot more greedy on Sunday, which makes it more difficult to beat them on the race.'"

    Sebastian Vettel
  54. Post update

    McLaren on Twitter: All at McLaren observing a minute's silence to remember the victims killed in the Tunisian atrocity. #WeStandTogether

    McLaren
  55. F1 pays silent tribute to Tunisia victims

    F1 teams, along with Silverstone circuit staff and spectators, joined with the national minute's silence at 12:00 BST to remember the 38 people - including 30 Britons - killed in the Tunisia beach attack a week ago.

    Getty
  56. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Today we're asking you for your British F1 heroes. You've already come up with some cracking suggestions so please keep them coming.

    Mr Keer: Has to be Graham Hill. Won the F1 championship, Le Mans and the Indy 500. And all with the grace of a jolly good chap.

    James Matthews: It's a toss-up between Graham "Triple-Crown" Hill and Eddie Jordan's wardrobe.

    Kieran Karolak: My #BritishF1hero is Murray Walker. The sound of the sport since the start & his commentary of Hill '96 is still emotional!

  57. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton: Love seeing the support out here Silverstone! Thank you #TeamLH!

    fans
  58. 'F1 support race could feature third cars and junior drivers'

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Changes are afoot with the F1 rules, as a result of Wednesday's meeting of the strategy group. You may well have read the two stories from the last 12 hours or so, one on a desire to restrict driver aids and one on bosses deciding to get rid of refuelling.

    "The idea is to leave the drivers freer to manage their cars themselves, and reduce the current impression that the pit wall is too involved. The detail is to be worked through over the next few weeks, with as many changes as possible to be introduced for the Belgian Grand Prix and the rest for 2016. F1 may introduce standard clutches and there will be less help at starts, and on managing brakes and tyres, although with one eye on ensuring safety is not compromised.

    Bernie Ecclestone

    "Various changes to the race weekend format have been discussed. No major developments are expected, because there is a desire not to diminish the importance of a grand prix, but there could be an F1 support race introduced for third cars and junior drivers, with the top few qualifying for the main grand prix. Among other fights/discussions are Bernie Ecclestone's desire to cap Ferrari and Mercedes' engines so Honda and Renault can catch up and over whether in-season engine development should be reintroduced for 2016.

    "The idea of a budget cap - specifically a suggestion from former FIA president Max Mosley to allow greater technical freedom for teams who operate within one - was discussed but rejected."

  59. Welcome back

    AP
    Silverstone

    Hello again.

    There really aren't too many sights in F1 to match Silverstone on a sultry summer day.

    Yeah Monaco has the glitz and Singapore the stunning city backdrop, and yes Abu Dhabi has lights and bells and whistles.

    But this feels pure. It's feels like motor racing stripped bare. And that's a good thing.

    Thirty minutes til we go again.

  60. Bye for now

    We're going to recline for a couple of hours now and contemplate the universe.

    While we do that, be sure to keep your #britishf1hero suggestions coming in, as well as your views on FP1, the decision not to bring back refuelling, and the rule changes announced this week. You can get in touch using #bbcf1

    Andrew Benson's FP1 report is now on the site.

    We'll see you at 13:30 for the build up to FP2.

  61. Second free practice coming up at 13:55 BST

    Just a reminder that you'll need to press the red button to see FP2 later today, what with Wimbledon and all that...

    Promo
  62. Silverstone traffic

    Different year, same old traffic problems. It seems from Twitter that quite a few of you are still struggling to get into Silverstone, and you're not best pleased.

    Darren Buckley: Silverstone traffic jams are a joke. Lines of traffic and empty car parks to the left. Every year there's an issue.

    Daniel Stafford: ‏Definition of torture - can see the Silverstone wing and hear the cars - but caught in traffic for car park for last hour!

    Jonathan Park: Big queues of traffic on way in to Silverstone. It's moving, just slowly. At least they can hear cars in distance...

    traffic
  63. FP1 11-20

    F1
  64. FP1 1-10

    f1
  65. Rosberg improves again

    Rosberg shaved another six hundredths of a second of the quickest time of the session right at the end there.

    He finishes FP1 on top by 0.070secs from Mercedes team-mate Hamilton, with Verstappen holding on for a highly impressive third in the Toro Rosso.

    Full times coming up.

  66. Chequered flag

  67. Oh hello...

    That rather took us all by surprise.

    Nico Rosberg, having sat in the garage for most of that session, has just gone and beaten Lewis Hamilton to top spot with a time of 1:34.334, just one hundredth of a second quicker.

  68. Rosberg makes it a Mercedes one-two

    All that time in the pits has clearly been a setback for Rosberg, but he sets about making up for his losses with a solid first flying lap out of the pits.

    He's done a 1:35.1 and is eight tenths off team-mate Hamilton.

    Verstappen is still third in the Toro Rosso.

    Nico Rosberg
  69. Good battle between Wolff and Palmer

    A degree of bragging rights to be had among the FP1 'guest' drivers today, and at the moment it's Susie Wolff who will be crowing tonight.

    The Williams driver has just nosed ahead of Jolyon Palmer's Lotus, taking 13th place from her fellow Briton by two-hundredths of a second.

    Susie Wolff
  70. Button sets a time

    Jenson Button is finally on the board in his patched-up McLaren.

    He's done a 1:39.9 and is now 19th, ahead of Manor's Roberto Merhi.

  71. Speed trap times

    F1
  72. Post update

    F1.com on Twitter: It looks like Mercedes have patched up Rosberg's car and he's ready to head back out.

    ros
  73. Red Bull team radio

    Daniel Ricciardo: "There's definitely something up with braking."

  74. Stevens geared up for home GP

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "'Excited' seemed to be there trendy word among drivers in the second half of the grid on Thursday. Both Force India drivers were feeling that way about their upgrade, and so was Will Stevens about Manor's.

    "The back-of-the-grid team have their first upgrade of the season and Stevens hopes it will move them closer to the rest of the field. Stevens has lost the advantage he had over team-mate Roberto Merhi in the last couple of races - and he has an in-built 0.5secs advantage because of his lighter weight. But Stevens says that in Austria he was actually quicker, but that wet first qualifying disguised it. He is hoping to be ahead again at his home race this weekend, although he says he has not raced at Silverstone since his first year in Renault 3.5 in 2012."

    Will Stevens
  75. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Kryten: My hero is Mansell and what a warrior, hitting the wall at the Indy 500 then finishing third!

    Gary Smith: Three world titles and a strong advocate for driver safety, Jackie Stewart has to be the one #britishf1hero

    Chris Baldwin: When watching as a kid with my dad ours was Damon Hill. Awesome fights with Schumi, and when he limped that Arrows home…

    Hungary 1997, Chris. I remember it well and feel your pain...

    hill
  76. Hamilton in a league of his own

    Just an update on Lewis Hamilton, who has increased his advantage at the front to well over a second from the chasing pack.

    The Mercedes man has done a best time of 1:34.344 from 17 laps so far.

    Most productive driver so far is third-place man Carlos Sainz with 25 laps put up.

  77. Breaking: Refuelling will not return to F1

    Formula 1 bosses have decided to abandon plans to reintroduce refuelling from 2017, writes Andrew Benson.

    The idea was proposed in May but investigations revealed it would lead to a drop in on-track overtaking and too little variation in strategies.

    It was dropped at a meeting of the strategy group of leading teams and officials on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is pushing to impose an engine freeze in a bid to make racing more competitive.

    Kubica
    Image caption: Like excitement like this? Tough
  78. Tired eyeballs?

    Then give them a rest by reading the latest Lewis Hamilton column.

    The world champion could not be accused of waffling as he gave his responses to questions posed by BBC Sport readers.

    Maybe he read this week that Kimi Raikkonen was voted the most popular F1 driver in a fans' survey and thought he'd take a leaf out of the Finn's monosyllabic book?

    Lewis Hamilton
  79. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Ursa Minor Threat: Mike Hailwood, legendary bike racer and driver, and got George Medal for saving Clay Regazzoni in South African GP.

    Andy Geering: Perry McCarthy for driving the hopeless Andrea Moda and John Watson for winning in '81.

    Mihail Nesterovich: True British F1 hero was Eddie Irvine - an ultimate f1 superstar, he was fast, outspoken, flamboyant and spectacular!

    Irivne
  80. Post update

    Mercedes on Twitter: Hydraulic fault found in Rosberg's gearbox. Crew swapping it now. Hoping for install lap at end of FP1.

  81. Toro Rossos on the march

    The big gainers since the action kicked in again have been the Toro Rosso drivers, with Max Verstappen up to second place, a second behind Hamilton, with team-mate Carlos Sainz a further tenth back.

    They we have Raikkonen, Rosberg, Kvyat, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Vettel and Massa.

    Palmer is 13th, Wolff 15th, Stevens 17th and Button is still to set a time.

  82. Post update

    Sauber on Twitter:Raffaele jumps out of the C34 for further talks with his race engineer.

    Marciello is 16th at present, 3.772secs off Hamilton's quickest times.

    raff
  83. Upgrade for Force India

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Force India have come to the British Grand Prix with a major update to their car, what Sergio Perez calls 'our first upgrade'. It features a change to many of the aerodynamic surfaces of the car. As well as an innovative nose, with two slots in it to allow the airflow through, Perez said there are changes to 'the floor, the chassis, the rear floor, the diffuser and the front and rear wings - the whole airflow quality.'

    "The Mexican says the team are 'very optimistic', but cautions that it has to be kept in perspective. The old car, he says, would have been very uncompetitive at a downforce-reliant track such as Silverstone - and both he and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg pointed out that it can take a few races for the full effect of updates to be seen. Force India's aim is to hang on to fifth place, which Perez admits won't be easy and Hulkenberg says is 'optimistic'. There is the threat from Lotus - whose car he says has been 0.5secs a lap quicker than the Force India this year - and Toro Rosso, whose car he says is 'mega'. But if this weekend goes well, they even have their sights on displacing Red Bull from fourth. The key, he says, will be to get a lot of mileage in Friday practice to understand the car in its new spec."

    Sergio Perez of Force India
  84. Get involved - new rule changes #bbcf1

    Damien Hirst: Let's hope its not too late as apart from styling changes those new rules should have been from the start.

    poolieboy1: I think adding a shorter race on a Saturday is a no go it's just going to add more costs to teams.

    Tom Ballaam: I approve. Would prefer a revert to an earlier engine with more cylinders and more of those engines per season to reduce costs.

  85. McLaren going out klaxon

    Right, we're about to see a McLaren on track.

    Fernando Alonso is in the cockpit of the unloved MP4-30 and should be going out shortly.

    Jenson Button's car, meanwhile, remains in several pieces and ain't going anywhere anytime soon. Some sort of a leak has been reported.

    Jenson Button during practice
  86. Mercedes mechanics working on Rosberg car

    A quick update on Nico Rosberg for you. His car is back in the garage and that hydraulic problem is being worked on by his mechanics.

    Will he make it out for what's left of FP1?

    Mercedes mechanics
  87. Vettel: We need to be quicker

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Can Ferrari challenge Mercedes this weekend on a track that poses one of the toughest all-round challenges to a grand prix car's capabilities? Sebastian Vettel does not sound that optimistic. 'The target since the beginning of the season has been to make sure that we close the gap and become the team that is the number one challenger of Mercedes,' Vettel said on Thursday. 'Mercedes is in a dominant position.

    "'For a couple of races we have succeeded in most of the things, you can leave some room for interpretation how many races we want to win, but for sure we want to win, but it is very difficult challenging Mercedes being in the shape they are in right now. What we need: we need to become quicker, we need to become stronger in all areas, they are quicker than us, to do that we are working very hard, we need some time.'

    "A sense of where Ferrari's fight really lies was provided by Lewis Hamilton, who said he was not sure whether the Italian team or Williams would be the next team behind Mercedes."

    Sebastian Vettel
  88. Brit check

    Just a quick check on the two Brits making cameos in FP1 today.

    Williams driver Susie Wolff is in 15th place at present, some 3.5secs off the ultimate pace, while Jolyon Palmer is 11th for Lotus, 2.4secs off pacesetter Hamilton.

  89. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Lewis McMurray: As a driver Lewis Hamilton, but as a hero David Purley for his '73 Dutch GP heroism.

    Purley famously risked his own life trying to save fellow Briton Roger Williamson from the cockpit of his blazing car at Zandvoort. Williamson sadly died as a result of the accident, despite Purley's actions that earned him a George Medal for bravery.

    david purley

    Jake Nichol: Sir Jackie Stewart, wouldn't take no for an answer with Safety. Many have been saved.

    Nav Tumber: Remember seeing Johnny Herbert on Going Live in '90s. Amazed when he said he passed driving test first time after one lesson.

  90. Post update

    Romain Grosjean on Twitter: Good morning British GP! Thank you for the nice flag and your support.

    Grosjean is sitting this session out, with Jolyon Palmer taking over the Frenchman's Lotus.

    rg
  91. Top 10

    The cars are all back in the pits with the first runs completed, so let's take a quick time check.

    1. Lewis Hamilton - 1:34.815, 2. Kimi Raikkonen - 1:35.700, 3. Nico Rosberg - 1:38.875.

    Then it's Ricciardo, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Verstappen, Kvyat and Massa rounds out the top 10.

  92. Silverstone a 'question mark' for McLaren - Alonso

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Fernando Alonso

    "McLaren are hoping for a better weekend at their home race after two, frankly, terrible races in Canada and Austria. But already they have had a hit, after discovering that Fernando Alonso's brand new engine, fitted in Austria, was broken in the accident with Kimi Raikkonen.

    "Asked what the team could expect from the weekend, Alonso said: 'I don't know. It is a question mark also for us. We were not sure about the performance of the car after Austria. With the new aero package, the car feels more competitive but how competitive we don't know. It was not our preferred track in terms of layout. It will be interesting to see if we can finish the race because after four retirements I would like to finish the race if at all possible. And to see how competitive we are is an answer we need to get this weekend because we don't know if we are 12th, 17th or eighth.

    "'It is an important weekend for us. We will put some old engines to avoid any penalties here, which may limit the laps we can do in free practice but we need to find quality laps not number of laps and maximise the performance this weekend and see where we are.'"

  93. Get involved - #britishf1hero

    Martin Brundle

    As it's that very special time of the F1 season we thought we'd take the opportunity to pay tribute to the many British drivers to have graced the sport over the last 65 years.

    We all know the obvious ones - Mansell, Hamilton etc - but we'd like of your more obscure favourites please.

    I, for example, supported Martin Brundle (above) when he was driving in F1, even though his career played out in the shadows of the more successful Mansell and Damon Hill.

    Perhaps Derek Warwick did it for you? Or Tony Brooks? Hell, maybe it was Tiff Needell...

    Let us know your British favourite using #britishf1hero

  94. No sign of McLarens yet

    McLaren pretty much reached their nadir last time out in Austria with a double retirement following on the heels of a combined 50-place grid penalty.

    They have arrived at Silverstone hoping for some solace but their cars are not on track yet, the mechanics instead busy around both cars.

    Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button look pretty relaxed though.

    Alonso
  95. Hamilton now fastest

    With his team-mate out of the running, Hamilton is now fastest with a 1:35.391.

    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has slotted into second place, three tenths back, with Rosberg third as things stand.

    The second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel is fourth, albeit well off the pace.

    Lewis Hamilton
  96. More cars getting lairy

    Drama is not the sole preserve of Mercedes, with the Sauber of Felipe Nasr also getting in on the action with a quick spin and Felipe Massa running very wide.

    All go in these early stages.

  97. Rosberg retires from FP1

    No sooner is Hamilton's drama over than we have have another one down at Mercedes, this time affecting Nico Rosberg.

    The German pulls off track just after Copse due to a loss of hydraulic pressure.

    ros
  98. Hamilton spins

    We saw a very untidy performance by Lewis Hamilton in Austria a fortnight ago with a spin and a series of missed apexes.

    hamilton

    He's started in a similar vein today with a half-spin on the exit of Stowe corner, but the champion is able to continue.

  99. Mercedes first on the board

    Just under 15 minutes into the session at a gloriously sunny Silverstone and we're starting to get some times on the board.

    The two Mercedes are leading the way with Nico Rosberg quickest on a 1:35.875, followed by team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

    Susie Wolff is also on track in the Williams and will hope for plenty of laps today.

    Lewis Hamilton
  100. Crash conspiracy theorists 'are sick' - Alonso

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "There has been some discussion on social media in the fortnight since the Austrian Grand Prix about the Alonso-Raikkonen crash, particularly among Raikkonen fans who cannot believe he made such a mistake (they're not alone, by the way, but not for the same reasons). But there is no evidence that anything happened other than Raikkonen lost control. McLaren, Ferrari and the FIA have both investigated the data from the crash and none can find any evidence that it was a touch from Alonso that tipped Raikkonen sideways, as some on the internet allege.

    "Alonso has little patience for the conspiracies. 'Some of the videos also I saw,' he said. 'I am clearly behind him. Kimi after the race said he lost the car and even with that 15 days later people are talking about the same thing. It's just people are sick because if not I don't understand.'"

    Both Ferrari and McLaren cars are removed from the track in Austria
  101. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Rachel Bridge: Currently sat outside Silverstone stuck in traffic... I have tickets to get in and everything.

    Traffic
  102. Pressure on Raikkonen ahead of British race

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Kimi Raikkonen

    "Kimi Raikkonen's future is one of the main talking points at the moment, and whether Ferrari will retain him and prolong his F1 career into 2016. The team have not yet made up their mind, although they have gone far enough to compile a list of potential replacements, Raikkonen says all he can do is drive his best. But, if his team are disappointed with his form, at least he has some support from his team-mate.

    "'For a limited period we all had races where we crashed before,' Sebastian Vettel said, 'we don't need to call it a negative period, if you look at the way F1 is, you have two or three races where you don't get the results and people call it a negative period, I had the same last year where things didn't come together for many different reasons. In the end Kimi is a champion and he knows what he is doing I think he has said that on the radio, I think he knows what he is doing and puts his focus on the weekend to try to do his best, I don't need to give him any advice or talk to him.

    "I am very happy with Kimi. Since day one he has been very straight and he hasn't changed. Becoming world champion in 2007 didn't change him, in the years that he wasn't in F1, it didn't change him. It is good for F1 to have him back. Seeing him as team-mate it is the first time I get to compare with what he is doing on track. We are very close to each other, sometimes I have the upper hand and sometimes he has the upper hand so it is a good challenge, and for him, he has a different approach to some things. I know we have this season left, I don't know the contract details for next year but would be nice to have him in the team next year.'"

  103. 'No salad thanks'

    It seems our TV colleagues are getting into the swing of the Silverstone weekend with a barbecue.

    Nigel Mansell and Jenson Button - the latter adopting a very manly posture beside a smoking fire pit - have been spied with David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan.

    Jenson Button and David Coulthard
    BBC barbecue
  104. Green light

    First free practice for the British Grand Prix begins.

  105. Weather forecast

    BBC

    BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson says Friday at Silverstone will be dry, sunny and turning very warm.

    We're likely to see temperatures into the mid-upper 20s C by afternoon, probably 26-27C at the circuit and there are no weather concerns for FP1 or FP2.

    Those camping at the circuit might be in for a soggy evening though, with threat of some heavy showers and thunderstorms spreading north, some potentially severe. The Met Office has issued a warning for these.

    You can catch the full weather report here.

  106. New information on Hamilton's slow Austria getaway

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Nico Rosberg might have won three times in the last four races, but in terms of qualifying form not much has changed between the Mercedes drivers - Lewis Hamilton has been on pole for seven of the eight races this season. Hamilton feels he lost the last race in Austria at the start, and fascinating new information has emerged about why the world champion was slow off the line.

    "His reaction time to the lights going out was slower than Rosberg's, but that was because there was a problem with his engine - as he tried to match the throttle to the on the dashboard indicator that shows the ideal revs for the start, the engine was not responding to his foot moving on the pedal; when he lifted, the revs weren't falling. So Hamilton had to guess the correct throttle position and hope for the best.

    "'His reaction time was long as a result of trying to manage this issue,' said executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe, 'and in fact our analysis having reproduced the issue in the Austria test, we actually found Lewis had done an incredible job to manage it as well as he did. Things could have been a lot worse.' Indeed they could - Rosberg was unable to stop the engine from stalling each of the several times he replicated the problem in testing."

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at the start of the Austrian GP
  107. Post update

    Jenson Button on Twitter: Morning from Silverstone. This was me 16 years ago in my first British Grand Prix. #Likeafinewine!!!

    Nice looking car, the 2000 Williams.

    jb
  108. Five Brits to watch in FP1

    Susie Wolff

    We've got some bonus Brits in action for you today.

    Susie Wolff is drafted in for Valtteri Bottas in the Williams, the Scot earning her second practice drive at Silverstone in as many years.

    Over at Lotus, Jolyon Palmer is again in for Romain Grosjean, the second of a run of five consecutive outings for the GP2 champion over the remaining European rounds this season.

    The duo join regular Brits Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Will Stevens.

    Another FP1 change sees Sauber test driver Raffaele Marciello come in for Marcus Ericsson.

  109. Get involved - sprint races in F1? #bbcf1

    As mentioned at the outset, the F1 strategy group met at Biggin Hill on Wednesday and emerged with rule changes to be brought in from next month's Belgian Grand Prix - chiefly restrictions on radio coaching and driver aids "with a particular emphasis on race starts".

    The FIA said the measures would "bring back the driver in full control of the car, enhancing races excitement and unpredictability".

    It added that "several exciting and innovative changes to the qualifying and race weekend formats have also been discussed and are being evaluated for introduction in 2016", with a number of websites reporting that a second, shorter race might be introduced on Saturdays.

    Obviously it's early days, things need to be ratified by the F1 commission and so on, but all of this certainly smacks of a sport ready to undergo a major overhaul.

    Please get in touch using #bbcf1 with your views on the proposals.

  110. Post update

    Force India on Twitter: Good morning Silverstone! Stunningly blue and clear sky today, it's time to get this party started!

    fi
  111. Pop up Towcester

    Driving into work today I heard the excellent Lynn Bowles utter the words "Towcester" and "A43" during her travel report and a warm, fuzzy feeling came over me.

    Yep, when that 60-mile ribbon of tarmac starts leading the travel bulletins you know it's British Grand Prix time.

    Even though today is just practice, the roads around Silverstone are snarled up, as the picture below from BBC Radio Northamptonshire nicely demonstrates.

    Highways Agency
    Traffic
  112. Post update

    BBC Northampton on Twitter: The campers are waking up and getting the breakfast on the BBQ at Hamilton Fields Campsite.

    bbc
    BBC Northampton
  113. Title rivals in close quarters

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg are staying in adjacent motorhomes in the British Racing Drivers' Club campsite here, and the expectation is that they will be in equally close company on the track.

    "Just 10 points separate them at the top of the championship after a run of three wins in the last four races for Nico Rosberg, who explained his recent results in a matter-of-fact fashion, saying: 'Nothing has changed; it's just sport goes in waves.' That sounds about right, but Hamilton wants to turn the tide back in his direction on his home track."

    Lewis Hamilton walks through the paddock at Silverstone
  114. Post update

    James Allen

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator

    Blue skies over Silverstone - how often can we say that? Going to be a special British GP weekend.

    James Allen
  115. Salad Days

    BBC

    Good morning and welcome along to live text coverage of the opening two practice sessions for the British Grand Prix.

    I'm not going to lie to you, this feels very good indeed.

    The sun is out, the sky is blue, Wimbers in full swing and F1 has done with its travels for a few glorious days to return to its spiritual home.

    It all feels very jolly and, well, British. So much so in fact, I've started this live text with two Monty Python references.

    What a time to be alive.

  116. 'Does he talk? Does he talk?'

    BBC

    Hard as it is to believe, what feels like a mewling, callow F1 season is actually stampeding into middle age, with the ninth of 19 races to be held at Silverstone this weekend.

    To be quite honest, F1 2015 is not really developing into the strapping brute we hoped it would be. We've had a smattering of decent action but a truly great race has been conspicuous by its absence.

    It's all led to a lot of navel-gazing (something at which F1 excels), with fans asked for their views on the state of the sport and F1's rule-making strategy group getting their heads together on the eve of the British Grand Prix and coming up with a raft of new proposals to shake up proceedings.

    We'll rake over those new proposals as today's action unfolds, starting at 10:00 BST with first practice.