British GP FP 2: Carlos Sainz On Top As Max Verstappen Remains Confident

Carlos Sainz upstaged local hero Lewis Hamilton to top the times for Ferrari in Friday’s second practice at the British Grand Prix, outpacing his Mercedes rival by just over a tenth of a second on a wet and windy day. The Spaniard, recording his first session-topping time since the Australian Grand Prix in April, clocked a best lap of one minute and 28.952 seconds to beat the seven-time champion, who appeared to have rediscovered his verve, by 0.163 seconds. It was an uplifting day for Sainz, who was frustrated two weeks ago in Canada where he was fastest in the race, but unable to pass Max Verstappen’s Red Bull to win.

“We expect to be competitive at every circuit and we hope to do well here,” said Sainz. “I expect it because the car is a very competitive car, as is the Red Bull, as is the Merc when there’s a bit less bumps, and there’s a bit more high-speed!

“So, yes, I think we all knew coming into this weekend that it was going to be a tight battle and again, it looks like it’s the same here.”

Another Briton, Lando Norris of McLaren, was third fastest for McLaren ahead of world champion and series leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari.

“It was a tricky day and we had a few problems on my side,” said Leclerc, winner of six pole positions this year. “Hopefully, we have a cleaner day tomorrow and things go our way.”

– ‘A bit tricky’ –

After an unimpressive day for Red Bull, Verstappen remained confident of finding the improvement he needed to return to the front.

“It’s always a bit tricky, of course, after not driving in FP1 and then FP2 becomes a bit of guessing, let’s say it like that. Whereas normally in FP1 you just build it up,” said the 24-year-old Dutchman, who leads the title race ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez by 46 points with Leclerc third and adrift by 49.

“It was maybe not ideal, but also not a big issue. I think we know what we have to work on and that’s what we’ll try to do overnight. But, again, tomorrow probably it’s raining so you have again different kinds of conditions.

“This time probably was not amazing, but it was also not really bad, you know. We’re still in there and still have a few things to look at you know, with tyres as well.”

Verstappen has won six of nine races this year, including five of the last six and arrived at Silverstone as favourite to continue his hot streak.

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was sixth for Alpine ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull, George Russell in the second Mercedes, Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.


For Hamilton, who lost a piece of his car’s bodywork in the final minutes, it was a solid demonstration of his and Mercedes’ potential on their home track.

After an embattled week during which he has rebutted offensive comments from various critics, including a vulgar attack by Nelson Piquet, this was a classic Hamilton ‘on track’ riposte.

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