Max Verstappen topped the timesheet in Saturday’s final practice, the Red Bull charger leading Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a session that appeared widely devoted to preparation for Sunday’s main event.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas concluded FP2 in the lower part of the top ten as the Mercedes drivers focused on the long pace of their W12 Black Arrow.
British Grand Prix Free Practice 2 – Results
The Silverstone crowd and teams alike were greeted with near perfect 25°C conditions mid-day on Saturday and there were no signs on the weather radar of a disruption of the climate in the Northamptonshire countryside.
After Friday’s qualifying that saw Lewis Hamilton regain the upper hand over arch-rival Max Verstappen, there were a few discussions in the paddock among the drivers who questioned the purpose of FP2 given that teams are not allowed to undertake any major set-up changes ahead of this afternoon’s sprint qualifying.
But with the jury still out on which tyre compound to use in the 17-lap mad dash – softs or mediums – the 60-minute session was expected to deliver some insight into that crucial choice as well help teams prepare for Sunday’s main event.
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There was little relevancy in the running order in the first part of FP2 as everyone was on different programs, with drivers sampling all three of Pirelli’s compounds.
Nevertheless, the bulls guided their RB16B to the top of the time sheet, with a medium-shod Verstappen edging Perez by 0.646s.
In fact, it was a Red Bull wave at the front halfway through the session with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda completing the top four.
As Verstappen upped the pace, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz – running on the softs – slotted his SF21 into P2 but the Spaniard was demoted in short order by teammate Charles Leclerc, while Alpine’s Esteban Ocon clocked in an excellent fourth, ahead of Perez.
The positions among the top five remained unchanged in the final minutes of the session, while McLaren Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo lined up P6 and P7, ahead of the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas who shied away from performance runs to focus on the long pace of their W12.
There was little to take away from the session as teams followed a diverse set of running plans, but check back later this afternoon for a run-down on F1’s first ever Sprint Qualifying?
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