Brendon Hartley unscathed in spectacular crash at Silverstone

Brendon Hartley unscathed in spectacular crash at Silverstone

New Zealander Hartley was taken to the medical centre for checks after a sudden front left suspension failure on the Wellington straight pitched the auto at speed into the barriers at Brooklands, bringing the session to a halt. Traveling at around 200mph at the time, Hartley was pitched into a spin with little in the way of braking ability, and the vehicle became momentarily airborne as the flailing left front - only attached by a wheel tether - dug into the gravel trap underneath the front of the chassis.

He was 0.093 seconds faster than Ferrari's Raikkonen and 0.642 better than Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The session resumed after a 13-minute stoppage.

The primary talking point of the session came just 14 minutes in when Hartley went off heavily into the barriers at Brooklands. Leclerc managed to remain seventh quickest, behind Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, but Ericsson dropped back to 10th behind Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean. The machine spun and went into the gravel crashing with the barrier.

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The Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson had been running fifth and sixth in the second half of the session, before the Red Bull and Haas drivers found improvements.

While Hartley - merely a passenger as the vehicle crossed the gravel - was passed fit to continue, the damage to the auto made it doubtful that he would be able to take part in qualifying.

Miraculously, the 28-year-old emerged from his destroyed auto, and walked away without significant injury.

A Toro Rosso spokesperson told Formula1.com the team completed a full front suspension change on Gasly's auto ahead of the one-hour session that will decide Sunday's grid. Gasly did not return to the track after Hartley's crash.

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