British Grand Prix – Max Verstappen was once again fastest, Carlos Sainz his closest rival but it was all eyes on Williams as they had a very strong day.
There was a short delay to the start of the day’s second practice as there were some barrier repairs that had to be completed after a crash in the F2 qualifying. Once things got underway the AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries led the way out onto the circuit for the last guaranteed dry running of the weekend, with mixed conditions expected for the remainder of the sessions.
The Dutch driver opened the timesheets with a 1:31.091 on the hards. Charles Leclerc was the last driver left in the pits, Ferrari having reported an electrical issue on the Monegasque’s car. Leclerc wouldn’t end up taking part in the session as the problem was too complex to solve in time.
After ten minutes Max Verstappen was holding the top of the times with a 1:29.550 with the McLaren of Oscar Piastri two and a half tenths behind in P2, both on mediums. The track quietened down after the opening fifteen minutes with only a smattering of cars still circulating. Carlos Sainz had jumped to P1 with a 1:29.083 ahead of Sergio Perez and Verstappen.
The soft tyres went on after that and the drivers headed back out to start their qualifying simulations. The two Red Bulls took over at the top again with Verstappen setting a 1:28.078 but it was the Williams cars of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant who were the ones to watch, Albon jumping up splitting the Red Bulls with Sargeant in P4.
The two got demoted a place each soon after with Sainz getting past them into P2 but it after Albon took P3 in FP1 earlier, and the team kicking off their 800th Grand Prix celebrations this weekend, it’s all going very well for them so far.
Things weren’t going as well for Aston Martin around the halfway point with Fernado Alonso told to go slow and pit as there was some debris on his front left, while Lance Stroll also had to pit as he reported his mirror had just snapped.
The cars then started on their long runs so the timesheets mostly remained stationary and after a difficult time in FP1, Mercedes day continued to be a struggle with both cars still having trouble finding grip.
The session ended with no change to the fast laps but it ended in a slightly more dramatic fashion than expected as de Vries had a smoky puncture to his front right.
Verstappen’s 1:28.087 ended as the quickest of the day just 0.022 second ahead of Sainz while Albon was two tenths back to take a clean-sweep of P3s in practices today. Perez was sandwiched between the two Williams cars in P4, while Stroll, in P6, was the quicker of the Aston Martins.
Nico Hulkenberg took P7 for Haas ahead of Pierre Gasly and Piastri, who was the last driver within a second of Verstappen. Alonso rounded out the top ten with a 1:29.134.