Sainz fastest in dry Free Practice 2

Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz has ended the opening day’s running for this weekend’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix fastest for Ferrari,

The Spaniard made the most of improved conditions to log the best time of the day during his qualifying simulation run.

It left him atop the timesheets from Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, championship leader Max Verstappen fourth best.

A dry track made for a busy start given the limited running seen due to mixed conditions in Free Practice 1 earlier.

A mixture of tyre compounds were in use, Williams and Alpine selecting the soft tyres for their cars.

Sainz set the first timed lap, a 1:35.345s on the medium compound rubber.

It was little more than a sighter as Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, and Esteban Ocon soon went faster.

Like Sainz, Charles Leclerc was on a set of mediums, and logged a 1:30.706s early on.

A stiff breeze was proving difficult to manage, pushing drivers into the opening corner, Abbey.

It also proved something of a cross-tail wind as they turned into Copse, while gusts catching a number of drivers out throughout the session.

Verstappen quickly improved to second fastest, 1:30.488s with Sainz having gone fastest on 1:29.962s.

The timesheet was constantly changing, with Leclerc again moving to the top on a 1:29.639s as Sergio Perez slotted in fourth, 1.1s down on the outright pace.

At Williams, the team had coated Alex Albon’s right-hand sidepod with flo-viz paint.

The team was working to understand its new upgrade package, which is so significant it effectively amounts to a b-spec car.

It includes an all-new sidepod concept, front wing, floor and fences, engine cover, diffuser, rear suspension, and more.

After a busy opening 20 minutes, the track fell silent but for Bottas and George Russell.

Mercedes was still struggling with porpoising despite introducing a new floor among other developments this weekend.

In-keeping with standard practice, midway through the session, teams began to focus on single lap pace.

That saw Norris go fastest with a 1:29.118s, almost 0.7s clear of Russell’s comparative effort on the red-walled tyre.

Sainz soon went quicker with a 1:29.014s, though that time came despite running wide at Copse.

Replays showed the Spaniard was suffering from porpoising, reporting as much to the team over the radio.

Importantly, that was happening as he rounded Copse, Ferrari having typically not experienced the issue in corners previously.

A few minutes later, Sainz went even faster with a 1:28.942s, while Leclerc was unable to match his team-mate, logging a 1:29.404s on his first push lap.

Running repairs at Red Bull delayed Verstappen and Perez, the former needing new bodywork above his front wheels, and the latter suffering cracks on his sidepod.

Unusual scenes at McLaren saw the rear jack fail while lifting Norris’ car, dropping it to the ground and forcing the team to switch to a backup.

As that was happening, Hamilton shot to second fastest with 1:29.105s, the time coming after two build-up laps.

The final 15 minutes of the session saw focus again turned to long-run pace, with most but not all opting to continue on the soft compound tyres.

Hamilton and Norris both swapped, the former on mediums and the McLaren driver on hards.

The session then concluded with Sainz fastest from Hamilton, Norris, Verstappen, and Leclerc, the top five covered by 0.4s.

Daniel Ricciardo ended proceedings ninth fastest, his best a 1:29.902s some 0.8s away from his team-mate.

At Williams, Albon proved a second faster than Nicholas Latifi, suggesting the upgrade package is a step in the right direction.

A final hour of practice remains on Saturday prior to Qualifying. Free Practice 3 begins at 21:00 AEST on Saturday.

Results: Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Free Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Team Laps Time Diff
1 55 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari 27 1:28.942
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 20 1:29.105 +0.163s
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 28 1:29.118 +0.176s
4 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 17 1:29.149 +0.207s
5 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 24 1:29.404 +0.462s
6 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team 18 1:29.695 +0.753s
7 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 17 1:29.753 +0.811s
8 63 George Russell Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 28 1:29.799 +0.857s
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team 25 1:29.902 +0.960s
10 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin F1 Team 17 1:29.942 +1.000s
11 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team 28 1:30.000 +1.058s
12 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin F1 Team 19 1:30.057 +1.115s
13 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team 12 1:30.238 +1.296s
14 23 Alex Albon Williams Racing 14 1:30.263 +1.321s
15 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team 26 1:30.271 +1.329s
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri 28 1:30.338 +1.396s
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 26 1:30.480 +1.538s
18 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri 27 1:30.510 +1.568s
19 47 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team 28 1:30.609 +1.667s
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing 26 1:31.326 +2.384s

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