Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice for the British Grand Prix going seven-tenths faster than the McLaren of Lando Norris. The Dutchman set a 27.0 on the medium tyre which put him seven-tenths ahead of both Norris who was a thousandth quicker than Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton had the early pace in the Mercedes setting a 30.0 on the hard tyre, while Verstappen was left two tenths off after the first run. When the Red Bull driver switched to the soft he first set a 28.1, going half a second quicker before improving by over a second by the end of the session.
It’s too early to say after an hour of running which team has the upper hand going into qualifying, but Red Bull has managed to beat Mercedes at the last four races. This evenings session sets the grid for the sprint race, with the results of the sprint race setting the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
The 36-year-old seven-time champion is 32 points behind Verstappen, who has won four of the past five races, with team-mate Sergio Perez talking the other. Verstappen will leave Silverstone still at the head of the championship on Sunday even if he scores no points at all and Hamilton wins both races.
Norris has had a difficult build-up, he was caught in the chaotic scenes and was mugged during Sunday’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley. Despite setting his time on the slower tyres the Bristolian just a thousandth of a second faster than Hamilton. Mercedes have brought upgrades this weekend.
Most of the teams left it late in the session to do their qualifying simulations, going into this evenings session. Charles Leclerc vaulted up the timesheet going fourth fastest, seven hundredths ahead of Valtteri Bottas, while his teammate Carlos Sainz was just under a tenth behind in sixth.
Sainz despite a Spin at Village managed to finish ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo still appears to be struggling to show the same pace as Norris, the Australian nearly a second off his teammate in ninth after going five-hundredths slower than Esteban Ocon.
Alpha Tauri was another team to have a low key session Pierre Gasly going eleventh fastest, a tenth and a half faster than teammate Yuki Tsunoda. Antonio Giovinnazzi was thirteenth with teammate Kimi Raikkonen almost three tenths off, the two Alfa Romeo’s spilt by the Alpine of Fernando Alonso.
Nicolas Latifi and Mick Schumacher set identical times, going two seconds off the pace in sixteenth and seventeenth. That put both drivers just under half a second ahead of Lance Stroll, Nikita Mazepin and George Russell.