Red Bull's Dutch racer Max Verstappen laid down a marker in the sole practice session that took place ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session for the British Grand Prix.
It was no surprise to see drivers use every single second of the first practice session for the British Grand Prix as this was the only occasion for them to finesse their cars before parc ferme conditions come into force for the remainder of the race weekend.
In the opening stages of the session, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas dictated the early pace on Pirelli’s Medium compound as the Anglo-German squad seemed to have the upper hand over their arch rival Red Bull. While the Brackley-based team hardly brought any updates to its W12 in the past races, their 2021 car received a significant upgrade package for this weekend which might be the last big development step for 2021.
When Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Sergio Perez switched to the Medium compound following their runs on the white-walled Hard compound, they quickly demonstrated their speed on the fast and flowing Silverstone Circuit.
In the end, Verstappen posted the fastest lap of the session with a time of 1m27.035s on the soft compound which is Pirelli’s C3 rubber. The Dutchman was over seven tenths of a second quicker than McLaren’s Lando Norris, who posted a 1m27.814 to go second quickest on the C4 compound.
Hamilton ended up third fastest, but the mini sector times he set following his fastest lap indicated that he has a lot more to offer in qualifying. His team mate Bottas finished P5, a tenth behind the Briton with Ferrari’s duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz ending up fourth and sixth fastest.
There were mixed feelings at the Aston Martin Cognizant team, which has its factory just metres away from the Silverstone track. While four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel seemed to enjoy his updated car, finishing P7, his Belgian-Canadian team mate Lance Stroll failed to finish higher up than P18, claiming that he lacked confidence in his AMR21.
The AlphaTauris finished 11th and 12th, Pierre Gasly over a tenth faster than Yuki Tsunoda, with Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi 13th – his team mate Kimi Raikkonen 15th behind Alonso.
Home hero George Russell finished in P20 after the left mirror of his Williams FW43B picked up a crack when the 23-year-old went aggressively over the kerbs at Copse.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:27.035||22|
|2||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:27.814||+0.779s||25|
|7||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:28.062||+1.027s||22|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:28.163||+1.128s||24|
|9||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:28.211||+1.176s||27|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:28.415||+1.380s||23|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:28.449||+1.414s||27|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda||1:28.600||+1.565s||28|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:28.827||+1.792s||25|
|14||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:28.873||+1.838s||23|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:29.220||+2.185s||26|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:29.227||+2.192s||26|
|17||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:29.227||+2.192s||23|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:29.597||+2.562s||20|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||1:29.808||+2.773s||22|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:29.857||+2.822s||28|