BRITISH GP – Lance Stroll fastest by nine hundredths as Alex Albon finishes second despite crashing second practice

Testing & Race Reports

Racing Points Lance Stroll was fastest in the second practice for the British Grand Prix after going nine-hundredths of a second faster than the Red Bull of Alex Albon. The Canadian set his fastest time on the soft tyre despite dipping the rear tyre onto the grass through Chapel as he went onto the Hanger Straight.

However, many drivers were compromised by Albon during the qualifying simulations, the British-Thai driver lost the rear of his Red Bull going through Stowe before having a huge impact with the barriers bringing out the red flag. That appeared to compromise many drivers flying laps, with many choosing to switch to long runs when the session resumed.

Mercedes Valtteri Bottas was third fastest with teammate Lewis Hamilton fifth, the two drivers split by the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel day didn’t appear to get better despite fixing the issues from FP1, he lost more time in the second session and then seemed to struggle with his car when out on the track.

The four times champion was rooted firmly to the bottom of the times, with just eight laps completed until more than an hour of the session had passed. On his soft tyre run the lap, that included running wide at the exit of Woodcote and through Chapel, scattering gravel and dust at those respective points, meant he only could manage eighteenth.

Also struggling was Max Verstappen, after going fastest in FP1 the Red Bull driver was blocked by the Haas of Romain Grosjean leaving him fourteenth. However, the Dutchman appeared to have a similar pace to the Mercedes in the race simulation.

Also struggling to get the timing right to do his flying lap was Lewis Hamilton, the six-time champion and winner at Silverstone did however look very quick when it came to his race simulation. The Mercedes is still expecting to be the team to beat as temperatures cool.

In the second session, Nico Hulkenberg was a respectable seventh, six tenths off the pace of his teammate.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly was eighth despite having a lap time deleted for track limits, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, both running new parts on their cars, Kimi Raikkonen was tenth rounding out the top ten.

Lando Norris could only manage eleventh fastest, three and a half tenths behind teammate Sainz and half a thousandth of a second faster than the Renault of Esteban Ocon.

Antonio Giovinazzi was thirteenth fastest the last driver to lap within a second of Stroll. Verstappen’s struggles left him just behind and over a second behind Stroll, despite topping FP1 he just couldn’t get a lap together.

The Dutchman settling for fourteenth, ahead of the Alpha Tauri of Daniil Kvyat, and the Haas of Romain Grosjean. George Russell continued his solid start to the season in seventeenth, ahead of Sebastian Vettel. While Kevin Magnussen was a second faster than Nicholas Latifi.

Analysis

Red Bull was always going to be the biggest challengers to Mercedes, however, I don’t think based on what we saw in Austria and Hungary in these conditions that Mercedes can be beaten. They will be quicker in qualifying as they will switch to the soft tyres, they didn’t set times on that compound.

Ferrari was a bit off a surprise, but I don’t expect them to be in fourth when we get into qualifying given previous sessions this season. Nico Hulkenberg, we need to watch, despite this being the first time in the Racing Point, the car was strong through the fast corners at Silverstone. The car was half a second faster than in qualifying last season, but it will be interesting to see how they progress.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.