Practice for the extra special 70th Anniversary Grand Prix has officially concluded at the world-renowned Silverstone Circuit, and yet again it’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team who lead the field.
Valtteri Bottas was the first of the Mercedes out on track, and the Finn wasted no time getting down to business; he set a lap time of 1:27.509 to go fastest by half a second early on- ending the final practice session second only to his seemingly flawless team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Evidently the stronger of the two Aston Martin Red Bull Racing cars, Max Verstappen slid into third after just one flying lap, but his pace did not reflect in the timesheets with the Dutchman ending up in seventh. Alexander Albon still could not extrapolate the full potential of his RB16 yet he did manage to close up somewhat to his team-mate, finishing one place behind Verstappen.
Two bright papaya cars were out on track very early, with both McLaren F1 Team MCL35’s on the circuit and duelling each other for fastest lap. Carlos Sainz could not seem to topple his team-mate’s time after multiple tries and the battle subsided with Lando Norris emerging as the victor, finishing a brilliant third whilst Sainz finished tenth only. Interestingly, Norris managed to power to the top of the table on the harder medium compound tyres- no doubt a promising session for the British driver.
The Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was first out on track after experiencing a disastrous engine failure in Free Practice Two, with Ferrari consequently having to replace both cars’ power units as a ‘precaution’. The German went on to set a final lap time of a 1:27.811 that placed him a lowly thirteenth, whilst team-mate Charles Leclerc finished a much stronger sixth.
Home hero George Russell was the first of the runners to experience some trouble with the stronger winds today, as the Brit suffered a slight moment at Stowe. He escaped unscathed, however, and went on to finish seventeenth for Williams Racing at their home event. His team-mate Nicholas Latifi managed to beat him by more than two tenths, finally showcasing some decent pace after previous complicated practice sessions.
After a difficult and political start to their weekend, BWT Racing Point F1 Team seem to have turned their fortunes around. Lance Stroll and stand-in driver Nico Hülkenberg finished with just milliseconds between each other in fourth and fifth, surely thanking the heavens that their controversial brake ducts have been cleared for use.
Qualifying for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix takes place this afternoon, and while it’s hard not to envisage a Mercedes 1-2 after their dominant pace, anything can happen in Formula One. Make sure to follow us at The Checkered Flag for all the latest news and drama.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:26.621||15|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:26.784||+0.163s||16|
|3||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1:27.202||+0.581s||20|
|4||27||Nico Hülkenberg||GER||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||1:27.256||+0.635s||16|
|5||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||1:27.263||+0.642s||15|
|6||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1:27.328||+0.707s||18|
|7||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:27.455||+0.834s||12|
|8||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:27.474||+0.853s||15|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Renault DP World F1 Team||1:27.496||+0.875s||15|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||1:27.627||+1.006s||22|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:27.659||+1.038s||15|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:27.754||+1.133s||18|
|13||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||1:27.811||+1.190s||20|
|14||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault DP World F1 Team||1:27.815||+1.194s||12|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||1:28.076||+1.455s||15|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:28.125||+1.504s||14|
|17||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:28.349||+1.728s||17|
|18||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:28.468||+1.847s||13|
|19||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:28.538||+1.917s||12|
|20||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1:28.763||+2.412||16|