Bottas beats Hamilton in British GP practice

Fernando Stephens
July 14, 2017

Much like in Silverstone's first practice session, Hamilton was within a tenth of Bottas' benchmark - but encouragingly for the home favourite, his fastest time was set on soft tyres while his team-mate's came on the optimum supersofts.

However, the real business of Formula One started today, 80 miles north of London at the traditional home of the sport.

Hamiltonwho trails Sebastian Vettel by 20 points in the championship, has three world titles and one more would make the 32-year-old the most successful British driver of all time.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't go down well in central London.

The three-time world champion's boss at Mercedes, Toto Wolff, believes Hamilton has had his fair share of bad luck and hopes that the momentum will swing back his way in front of his home crowd. He is due to face the media at Silverstone on Thursday. Yet Hamilton, one of only two Briton's on the grid but the only one with a chance of winning, chose to be the only one of the 20 drivers not to show up for last night's promotion event in London.

"Everyone had the right to make the decision for themselves", Hamilton said, as quoted by the Guardian.

"I felt it's been a pretty intense season so far and I felt it was the best way to prepare for this weekend. I have received incredible love from the fans every single year I have been here, and I'm looking forward to seeing them". The likeable Aussie has also finished on the podium for the last five races in a row and can be backed at a tempting 18/1 with Bet365 to claim his second win of the season. For the past two decades, it's been dredged up as many times as the Thames, but it's curious that a day after the owners of Silverstone made a decision to announce their intentions to break their current contract in 2019 the city held a large fan gathering the likes of which hasn't been seen for a while.

The romanticism of Formula One cars on the streets of London holds weight.

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"You have to stand by your decisions and I feel proud of them".

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Last year, after taking his fourth win at the Northamptonshire track, the mutual admiration between driver and fans seemed to be at its apogee.

"There might be some cars that could go through their flat at some point over the weekend, so we will see". Even with covering staging costs - something that they could quite easily do - the race fee would have to be met by the city itself, or, more importantly, the elected London Assembly.

There are several concrete patches around the track and the area between turns 6 and 8 have been re-surfaced.

Elsewhere, William Hill has Hamilton at 8-11, Coral at 4-6 and Ladbrokes also at 4-6. "It's way easier to make a mistake, it's way easier to get into the wall".

Returning to a place where he's had success is a bonus. So, when you don't deliver and other things are stacked up against you, it's hard to come out smiling and be "Oh, yeah, that's fine", because that means you don't care enough.

Other reports by BadHub

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