Max Verstappen was fastest in free practice ahead of Formula 1’s new sprint format trial in Silverstone. The Dutch driver was well ahead of the pack crossing the line in 1.27.035, four tenths quicker than last years fastest lap in FP1. An impressive session for Norris as he came home second fastest (on mediums) seven tenths behind Verstappen with Hamilton in third also finishing seven tenths behind the flying Dutchman.
All drivers completed over 20 laps with teams rushing to test race pace ahead of the new sprint race qualifying format on Saturday which will determine the starting grid for Sunday’s British Grand Prix. With 33% less practice than a usual race weekend teams tested all three compounds of tyres with the majority finishing their flying laps in the final 20 minutes on softs. The qualifying for the sprint race takes place later this afternoon UK time and all teams must use the red soft compound tyre. Although, during the sprint race, unlike usual weekends all teams will have free tyre choice for the 17 lap experimental qualifying format.
The practice session was quite uneventful in terms of spins and other such incidents with only Carlos Sains rotating a full 360 ending up the right way and screaming off as if nothing happened. Overall, the focus was on the upgrades of the various teams with both Mercedes sporting an array of aerodynamic upgrades since their underwhelming performances in Austria. As well as Mercedes, the Alpine of Ocon was equipped with a new chassis and front wing in hopes to bring him greater performance as it seems the French driver has been in a slight rut since Monaco.
With the limited track time and practice for all teams ahead of the sprint race qualifying it seems to be brewing an exciting weekend with increased racing for the fans!
Classification for practice was as follows:
Featured image courtesy of: 5 sports network.