The Friday practice session from Silverstone was a hurried affair for Racing Point as Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19 and has been benched for the next two races. The big questions was, who will fill his seat.
The decision, and the correct one mind you, was to toss Nico Hulkenberg on a plane from Monaco, get him to the circuit, test him for The Covid and make him a seat in a matter of hours. That also included 45 minutes in a simulator and a crash course on the team’s steering wheel layout and functions.
In the end, Nico was six tenths off the pace of his teammate, Lance Stroll but not bad considering he’s never sat in this year’s car before. His teammate, Stroll, led the second practice session.
Max Verstappen took his Red Bull to the top of the first practice session while Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari sat out due to an intercooler problem. It was also a session that saw Antonio Giovinazzi spin and flat spot his tires but the delimitation of those tires was a dramatic affair.
FRIDAY TIRE SUMMARY
- Temperatures at Silverstone were the hottest seen for several years, peaking at 37 degrees ambient and 51 degrees on track, adding to the challenge of this high-speed and high-energy circuit.
- Racing Point’s Lance Stroll set the fastest time of the FP2 session this afternoon on the P Zero Red soft tire, around half a second slower than the equivalent time from last year.
- As a result of the recent lockdown, the Silverstone track hasn’t been used extensively, meaning that the surface that was re-asphalted last year hasn’t matured much. The wind and high temperatures today also often made it quite difficult for the drivers to find the right levels of grip and aerodynamic balance.
- In these tough conditions, the P Zero White hard C1 tire – nominated for the first time this year – offered a good compromise between performance and durability.
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING FOR PIRELLI
“Silverstone is always a tough challenge, but when the track is ‘green’ on a Friday and in these extremely hot conditions, the job of the tyres becomes even harder. Because weather conditions are likely to become considerably cooler for the rest of the weekend, that makes life a bit harder for the teams: the data they collect today might not be entirely relevant to the expected race conditions. It was interesting to see that 17 cars out of 20 were covered by just 1.5 seconds in FP2, which suggests that we’re in for a closely-fought weekend.”
British GP FP2 results
|1||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m27.274s|
|2||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||0.090s|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||0.546s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Racing Point/Mercedes||0.636s|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||0.885s|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||0.982s|
|14||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1.116s|
British GP FP1 results
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m27.422s|
|3||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||0.582s|
|4||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||0.707s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Racing Point/Mercedes||1.170s|
|12||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1.566s|
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||2.324s|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||2.503s|