It was the perfect start to the weekend for Carlos Sainz Jr, who ended the opening day of the British Grand Prix on top by just over a tenth of a second.
Sainz made the most of the only dry session of the day, which came in the afternoon. The morning session at the Silverstone International Circuit was constantly disrupted by the traditional English weather, which resulted in half of the field not even completing a lap-time.
The afternoon saw drivers finally get the hammer down, with Sainz setting the bar on a 1:28.942. The Spaniard appears quick at the British circuit in all conditions crucially, with rain being a threat for Qualifying.
Despite topping the first day, Sainz admitted that Friday was “quite challenging”.
“A busy second session after the lack of running in FP1. We had to put together an intense run plan for FP2 to properly check both the short run and the long run pace. It was quite a challenging session. The wind made it tricky to get the right balance for the high-speed sections and the correct compromise for tyres in the low-speed ones.
“Overall we were quick, but it felt like there is margin to improve. Qualifying tomorrow could get interesting due to the weather, so those few laps in wet conditions in FP1 were also useful. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
“We will be competitive” – Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc ended the opening day just under half a second behind his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate, with the Monegasque driver ending the first day in fifth-place.
Leclerc like his team-mate ventured out on the track during the wet opening session, in order to gain some data of the conditions should the heavens open on Saturday. Leclerc spent the afternoon focusing primarily on long-run performance, however, he did put in some quick laps on the Softs.
The Ferrari driver is “confident” that the team have pace this weekend, where he’s hoping to build on his opening day performance.
“We didn’t run much in FP1 today, but we did a few laps in wet conditions to have some data should there be a wet qualifying tomorrow. Once the rain stopped, we put on a set of Soft tyres but we weren’t able to complete any laps on them due to a red flag.
“FP2 was a bit cleaner and I could tell that our performance felt good in the car. I am confident that we will be competitive and it will be a matter of putting everything together.“