Technology

Hamilton fastest in first free practice of British GP

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Hamilton subsequently described the concept as the "worst looking modification in Formula One history", and the latest version is unlikely to appease the world champion with its aesthetics remaining largely unchanged. He began the morning with a test run of his auto using the latest "halo" cockpit protection device that is in line to be introduced to Formula One next year.

He finished 0.391s clear of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, with Max Verstappen, who set the fastest first sector overall but made a mistake on his quick lap at Copse, third.

Rosberg, who was leading the race at the time, lost part of his front wing and dropped to fourth place while Hamilton raced ahead to win.

It is the second time this season that they have crashed, following a similar incident on the first lap at the Spanish Grand Prix - although both drivers went out so neither gained any points advantage.

The revised "Rules of Engagement" would include "greater deterrents to contact between our cars", the team said.

Hamilton said he did not feel he and Rosberg had turned the championship into a two horse race. Hamilton, a victor here for the past two seasons, said: "In all honesty, I think our destiny has always been in our hands, so it doesn't really change much".

Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe said Rosberg, who was unable to take part, will have the data gathered by Hamilton's work in the session to help him with his auto set-up for Saturday's practice and qualifying. The German has taken five victories. At one stage the German driver led Hamilton by 43.

Hamilton revealed afterwards that he enjoys racing on his home Silverstone track so much that he screams aloud while he is whizzing around the circuit.

Hamilton, speaking in a press conference at Silverstone ahead of his home grand prix, welcomed the team's stance. "I will never stop being a racing driver".

"I think our destiny has always been in our hands, so it doesn't really change anything".

Lewis Hamilton says he was so excited to drive around Silverstone that he was yelling in his helmet during Friday practice for the British GP.

Watch the British Grand Prix on 10th July Live on Channel 4, the home of free-to-air Formula 1 in the United Kingdom with live coverage of ten Grand Prix this season and highlights of every race weekend.

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