Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris within 0.2s of Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari; Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fourth and fifth with Mercedes upgrades looking like the difference; Watch the final British GP practice at 12 p.m. Saturday, qualifying at 3 p.m.
By Matt Morlidge at Silverstone
Last update: 07/01/22 6:03 p.m.
Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok is at the SkyPad to analyze Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s fastest laps in second practice at Silverstone.
Carlos Sainz was fastest for Ferrari in a highly competitive second test for the British GP, while Lewis Hamilton bolstered his home race hopes by finishing second as Mercedes showed promise with its improved car.
In front of a sold-out crowd at Silverstone, Lando Norris was just behind compatriot Hamilton in third, the McLaren driver surprisingly quicker than title rivals Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
“It’s so exciting,” 2009 world champion Jenson Button told Sky Sports F1. “Four different cars, four teams separated by two tenths of a second!”
Sainz topped a dry P2 – which was made all the more crucial and intriguing after a rain-disrupted opening session – by 0.153 seconds despite running wide at Copse Corner.
Martin Brundle and Jenson Button were trackside to watch the drivers tackle tough conditions through Becketts Corner during the second practice of the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton had dropped to 15th at one point but found his racing rhythm on the soft tires to finish second in a Mercedes car which has numerous updates, including a new floor, as the team is aiming for its first victory of the season.
Norris, who had been in the lead before the faster laps of Sainz and Hamilton, was still within two tenths of Sainz at the end of the session.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen gets stuck at Turn 3 due to gusty winds at Silverstone.
Verstappen, the title leader by 46 points, and Leclerc, who has the most poles this season, both struggled for one-lap speed and finished 0.2s and 0.4s off the pace respectively.
Fernando Alonso finished sixth for Alpine, ahead of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull and George Russell’s Mercedes.
Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll, whose spin at the end of P1 raised red flags, completed the top 10 to close out the opening day from the birthplace of British motorsport.
Mercedes takes a “step forward” at Silverstone
While Red Bull and Ferrari have dominated F1 2022 and shared all nine wins so far this season, all eyes were on Mercedes heading to Silverstone as the Silver Arrows hoped for a combination of significant upgrades, and a track of Silverstone suiting them would propel them forward on the home circuit of Hamilton and Russell.
It’s too early to say they’re chasing pole and victory, but things are looking much brighter for a team that has suffered from hard rebounds and a lack of pace so far. this season.
“It looks like we’ve taken a step forward because we’re not normally near the top on a Friday,” said Andrew Shovlin, ground engineering manager.
Lewis Hamilton has a slight problem at the end of practice 2 with something falling off the floor of his car at turn 9.
“Now I expect there will be more to come from Ferrari and a bit more to come from Red Bull, but the long-term work was also quite encouraging and these overlapped quite well.
“There’s definitely a lot to work on, there’s some rebounds and it’s tricky at high speeds right now, but hopefully the updates have pushed us in the right direction.”
Hamilton agreed Mercedes had “certainly made some improvements”, adding: “We still have some work to do. It feels like a small step forward.”
The only blow for Hamilton, whose car looked much more stable than in recent races, on an otherwise encouraging day when he finished second in both sessions, was losing some bottom at the end of P2.
McLaren ran into trouble in the pit lane trying to replace Lando Norris’ tires in second practice at the British GP.
Norris’ rise on the timesheets, after finishing 15th last time out in Canada, was even more surprising.
“As good as it sounds, it’s always hard to put things together and be consistent but I’m happy,” he said afterwards.
“The car seems to be in a decent place, at least, a bit better than we expected.”
Mercedes are still expecting a fight back throughout the weekend, especially from Red Bull, winners of the last six races.
Rain, meanwhile, is forecast for Saturday, when final practice is at 12 p.m. and qualifying at 3 p.m. Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1.
British GP Practice Two Timesheet
|1) Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||1:28.942|
|2) Lewis Hamilton||mercedes||+0.163|
|3) Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.176|
|4) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.207|
|5) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.462|
|6) Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+0.753|
|7) Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+0.811|
|8) George Russell||mercedes||+0.857|
|9) Daniel Ricardo||McLaren||+0.960|
|10) Start the walk||Aston Martin||+1.000|
|11) Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+1.058|
|12) Sebastien Vettel||Aston Martin||+1.115|
|13) Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+1.296|
|14) Alexander Albon||williams||+1.321|
|15) Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||+1.329|
|16) Yuki Tsunoda||Alpha Tauri||+1.396|
|17) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+1.538|
|18) Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||+1.568|
|19) Mick Schumacher||Haas||+1.667|
|20) Nicholas Latifi||williams||+2.384|