Max Verstappen is on top in FP2 at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas were nowhere near the Red Bulls in a dominant session for Red Bull and Ferrari.
Yesterday’s qualifying saw Mercedes seemingly recover to their original form, after struggling during the tripleheader that had elapsed. Red Bull, on the other hand, had a troubling session as they could only get P2 and P5 from Verstappen and Perez respectively.
Free practice 2 is meant to collect data and test setups for the upcoming Sprint Qualifying, which is to be implemented for the first time in F1. This likely means a hotter track for Sprint Qualifying, causing greater tire wear, influencing what sets teams use.
Both Red Bull and Mercedes brought in floor upgrades for Silverstone, with the latter’s upgrades proving to be beneficial. Ten minutes in, Esteban Ocon led the pack, as Charles Leclerc lost time at Vale, like a few others throughout the weekend so far. Most drivers started on mediums or hards, except for Ocon, Norris, and Russell in a possible attempt to extract the pace for Sprint Qualifying.
Drivers complained of gust as Hamilton and Russell both struggled while setting laps, because of Williams’ aero-sensitive nature. 15 minutes into the session, it seemed as if there was little incentive for both drivers and teams to attempt time attacks due to the upcoming Sprint Qualifying.
With 40 minutes to go, Verstappen went fastest on medium tires, rounding up a Red Bull 1-2 with Sergio Perez. It was noted that Mercedes was a lot twitchier than it was in Austria, with Bottas possibly suffering issues with the rear deflector.
Drivers started beating each other’s times as by 17 minutes to go, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren made it to the top 10. Leclerc set a blisteringly quick lap as he pushed his SF21 to second, just shy of Verstappen.
With less than 10 minutes to go, drivers tried a crack at improving their times, but for the most part, there was little to no improvement. It was clear that teams were less focused on the usual time attacks. After the checkered flag, Bottas had a minor spin, in a disappointing session for him.
The top 10 in FP2 at the end of the session is as follows:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:30:428|
|2||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||+0.375|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari||+0.605|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||+0..898|