F1: Sainz Jr. over Hamilton in 2nd British GP Practice

After the wet morning session there was plenty of activity early in the second practice session for the Bristish GP.

Carlos Sainz Jr’s turned a lap of 1m28.942s on soft Pirelli tires to top the 2nd practice for the British GP F1 race at Silverstone in the #55 Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton in the upgraded Mercedes was 2nd quick, just 0.163s back, his highest practice finish of the season. It appears the Mercedes is back in the hunt.

More positive signs down at Mercedes, as Russell was told that he was matching the Ferraris on the hard tire in race trim.

Lewis Hamilton – Jiri Krenek Photo

After the checkered flag, Mercedes continued to gather data, Russell was seen following his teammate through Maggots and Becketts, as they learn about the effects of following another car around Silverstone with their new upgrades.

Lando Norris was 3rd quick in the McLaren-Mercedes, just 0.176s behind the Ferrari, 0.753s off the pace, with Sergio Pérez seventh in the second Red Bull. Russell finished eighth for Ferrari ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and the top 10 was order was completed by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll 1.000s behind Sainz.

Max Verstappen was 4th in the Red Bull Honda 0.207s behind, while Charles Leclerc rounded out the top-5 in the #16 Ferrari.

Esteban Ocon was in the pit lane and word is he has lost some time in the session after his Alpine suffered from a cracked sidepod. It’s not the first time this season that Alpine have suffered from sidepod issues – they will hope that is not a sign of things to come.

Some good news for Alpine – Ocon’s teammate Fernando Alonso was 6th quick.

The top 10 drivers are covered by exactly a second. Many teams brought upgrades this weekend, and the signs are positive for not just Ferrari but Mercedes and McLaren too. However, it is still early in the weekend, the likes of Alpine and Aston Martin still working out the kinks.

Select Quotes

Lewis Hamilton
It has been a good day, we managed10 laps in FP1 which was better than most, so I was happy with that. We’re bouncing a bit still, not on the straights but through the corners, so we’ve still got work to do. It does feel like a small step forward, but we’ve got to keep working. With this car, you can’t drive the tracks the same as you used to, with how stiff it is and the ride characteristics, but it’s still fun through Maggotts, Becketts and also Stowe – it’s mega, my favorite corners. It was difficult to feel the upgrades because you’re coming from such a different track – slow speed corners in Montreal, to the medium and high-speed corners here. The track is smoother than we’ve had recently which is much better but in general, this track is just the best, it’s still hair-raising to drive. Our long run pace isn’t as good as some of the other guys, but it isn’t far off. The crowd give me hope, it’s so good to see them here, and I appreciate the support so much.

George Russell
I struggled on the low fuel compared to Lewis, he put in a very strong lap. The high fuel was definitely more promising compared to the McLaren, which was also on the Hard. By the time our tires warmed up, we showed good pace to the Ferraris and were improving lap after lap. Some positive signs there, but definitely room to improve. We need to understand why our race pace is so much stronger than our single lap pace, the McLaren is very strong on a single lap, but we just can’t get the tires working over a single lap. Over the course of a race, we’re in a pretty good window, but it’s always a balance, you can’t just put your eggs in one basket for Sunday. It’s a very different circuit to Montreal and Baku, we knew the car was going to be a challenge through the high-speed corners and that proved true through Copse, Maggotts and Becketts, the car was bouncing around, so we need to try and understand that. But we aren’t bouncing down the straights, which is positive.

Andrew Shovlin
It’s great to be back at Silverstone and fantastic to see the grandstands so packed. This was our best Friday for a few races. We’ve still got a lot to improve but the car is working much better at this track than the last few street circuits. It’s really hard to evaluate whether the updates are doing exactly what we’d expect, especially in the windy conditions, but we’ve not seen anything worrying so we’ll continue with this specification for the rest of the weekend. George had a trickier session than Lewis but we had the Hard tire on his car for the start of the second session and the double compound step made it difficult for him to get the most out of the Soft. Saying that, his long run pace was encouraging. Lewis put in a strong lap on the Soft compound but we expect the fast teams to have plenty to come tomorrow so we need to work hard to iron out a few of the balance and bouncing issues. Lots of work to do overnight but a reasonably encouraging start to the weekend.

Max Verstappen
“It’s always a bit tricky when you don’t run a lot in FP1, it means there’s a lot more guess work in FP2. I think we know what we need to work on and we’ll do that overnight. It looks like it’s going to rain during qualifying tomorrow, so there’ll be different conditions compared to our sessions today. I got a few laps in with high fuel on the softest compounds, the tires wear quickly here with all the high-speed corners, so it’s always going to be quite tricky to manage the tires on this track. Overall it went okay today and I’m looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez
“It wasn’t a great session today, from the preparation I had on the simulator the car is miles off that. We suspect the issues are related to the aerodynamics but I can’t go into too much detail until I see the data properly and then we need to understand the problems. Because of that we had a very short long run and then impacted running at the end of the session too. It’s not a great start to the weekend, we are a bit on the backfoot now and we need to look into it in more detail now. It will be difficult to catch up, but we have done it before and as long as we are able to get things in the right place we should be good. You need confidence around these tough corners here, so as long as I can get that back things should be alright. Ferrari look strong and I hope we can match them tomorrow come qualifying.”

Yuki Tsunoda
“I enjoyed driving the new car here for the first time today, it’s always a challenging circuit with high-speed corners but with the new car it was really exciting – especially through Maggotts and Becketts, you can push even more than last year’s car and you slide around a lot. Overall, it’s been a bit of an unusual day compared to most race weeks, as we had almost no running in FP1 with the rain. I feel like we’ve only really had one session, so it’s a bit weird, but we still managed to complete all the running we needed to this afternoon. We’re currently struggling a lot with the car and we’re quite far away from other teams at the moment. We were always expecting it to be more difficult this weekend, but we’ll need to take a big step to be able to be competitive in Qualifying. It looks like the conditions will be tricky tomorrow, so we need to look at all the data tonight and be able to adapt to whatever the British weather throws at us.”

Pierre Gasly
“We damaged some parts of the car quite early on today, which made things even harder for us, but generally we’re just lacking quite a lot of pace. We’re struggling in high-speed corners and unfortunately this is a track that has many of them. Based on these track characteristics, this weekend was always going to be tough, but we’ll work hard tonight and see what we can do to improve. We need to be on top of our game and try to make some steps forward, so that we can be in the best position for Sunday. It’s also maybe raining tomorrow, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for us, we obviously can’t rely on this though, so we’ll work hard tonight to find a bit more performance for Quali.”

Jonathan Eddolls (AlphaTauri Chief Race Engineer)
“Today we enjoyed some typical British weather, with two thirds of the track wet and one third close to dry in FP1. This meant overall it was too dry to do any decent running on an Inter without killing it, but it was equally too wet for a dry tyre. So, there was little to learn in FP1, which meant we needed to compress all our planned running into FP2. We split the cars in terms of tyre allocation with the view of understanding the best tyres for the race. In FP2 we struggled with both cars in terms of overall grip and balance – neither driver was happy, and we could see some issues in the data. These issues were confirmed when the cars came back to the garage with extensive damage to various aero components. We were able to survive and keep the cars on track, but the performance was far from where we were expecting and where it should be. We have a lot of work ahead of us tonight to confirm the reasons for this and to make the relevant changes for tomorrow. Currently it’s also looking like the weather tomorrow could be mixed, so potentially we have completed all of the possible dry running we will get ahead of Qualifying and the race. We therefore need to put everything together and focus on supplying the drivers with a more competitive car from FP3 onwards.”

Sebastian Vettel
“A busy day with mixed weather: some rain just before first practice and the usual windy conditions you expect at Silverstone. All of that limited what we could learn when the track was wet or drying out. We also had some downtime this afternoon with a few small issues that we had to repair during the session. So limited track time, and we have not done all the work we would normally do on a Friday. That is a little frustrating because we have quite a few updates this weekend, so we will try to play catch up tonight and tomorrow morning to be ready for qualifying.”

Lance Stroll
“I think we completed some solid running today, despite the weather. I got a good feel for the car and my first experience of the upgrades was positive. I think there are some small improvements to make as we optimize things, but we will keep pushing tonight and tomorrow morning to be ready for qualifying. It is the usual stuff – a bit of understeer here, a bit of oversteer there, but we will try and sort it out ready for tomorrow.”

Dave Robson, Williams F1 Head of Vehicle Performance:
It is a bit frustrating that the weather prevented us from doing anything useful in Free Practice 1 but at least it was dry for Free Practice 2, allowing us to start the evaluation of the new parts. We have a lot to get through tonight but there are some positive signs, despite the windy conditions. Unfortunately, Alex suffered some kerb damage to the rear of his car and whilst this was completely independent of the updates, it did prevent him from getting his high fuel running done.

We still need to understand how to modify the setup to take advantage of the new package and this will be our main job overnight. However, it looks likely that the weather will dominate tomorrow’s running and so we will also need to focus on preparation for wet qualifying.

Alex Albon:
We had a limited day with the wet Free Practice 1, so didn’t get as much running as we’d like to with the new aero package. As Free Practice 2 goes, we do need track time and despite having pretty much none of it, we’ve got a car we can drive that is a step forward from the previous car, so it’s positive. We have a bit of fine-tuning and changes to make but we have a good base so can start from there and see how we go tomorrow.

Nicholas Latifi
The first day at Silverstone wasn’t very eventful, with no running in Free Practice 1 because the conditions were not representative to learning anything, with other teams in the same boat. It meant Free Practice 2 was more important as it might be the only dry running we get before qualifying. We completed our program with very little issues. It was extremely windy which I think is making it tricky for everybody. We’ve got some good data and direction to go to overnight, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.

More to follow…..

Practice 2 Results

1 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m28.942s +0.000s 28
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas 1m29.105s +0.163s 21
3 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m29.118s +0.176s 29
4 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m29.149s +0.207s 18
5 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m29.404s +0.462s 25
6 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m29.695s +0.753s 19
7 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m29.753s +0.811s 17
8 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas 1m29.799s +0.857s 29
9 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m29.902s +0.960s 26
10 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant 1m29.942s +1.000s 17
11 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 1m30.000s +1.058s 29
12 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m30.238s +1.115s 20
13 Alexander Albon THA Williams Racing 1m30.263s +1.296s 12
14 Guanyu Zhou CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 1m30.271s +1.321s 14
15 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant 1m30.335s +1.329s 27
16 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m30.338s +1.396s 29
17 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1m30.480s +1.538s 27
18 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m30.510s +1.568s 28
19 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 1m30.609s +1.667s 29
20 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1m31.326s +2.384s 27