British Grand Prix FP2 Report: Mercedes Play It Safe as Verstappen Tops Ahead of Sprint Qualifying

Published 07/17/2021, 8:01 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra


Ahead of Formula One’s first-ever sprint qualifying at the British Grand Prix, drivers completed their final practice session of the weekend. Although several teams displayed good single-lap pace, a majority of them preferred testing race pace in this session.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While Mercedes seemed to have the upper hand in yesterday’s qualifying session, Red Bull signaled their intent in this session.

Red Bull lay down a marker ahead of sprint qualifying at the British Grand Prix

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Although the need to test single-lap pace this weekend is long gone, Red Bull put both their drivers on medium tires. Championship leader Max Verstappen stormed to the top of the timesheets, running just two sets of tires throughout the session. Despite holding P2 for a brief period of the session, Sergio Perez finished the session in P5.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

While Mercedes put Bottas and Hamilton on hard tires for the majority of the session, the Briton finished a surprising P8 in this session despite putting a lap on soft tires. However, this could be a case of the Silver Arrows not showing their hand with just hours left for sprint qualifying.

Ferrari pip McLaren to highlight tense midfield battle

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While Charles Leclerc finished an impressive P2 on medium tires, his teammate Carlos Sainz finished P3 on soft tires. The Italian outfit finished well ahead of McLaren with Lando Norris in P6 and Daniel Ricciardo in P7.

Despite Esteban Ocon‘s struggles in recent races, the Frenchman posted an impressive lap to take P4 in the session. The 24-year-old will hope this is a sign of better things to come for him and Alpine this weekend.

Pierre Gasly rounded off the Top 10 while George Russell finished just behind on P11. However, Aston Martin looked more focused on race pace throughout the session, with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer admitting it during the session. Despite that, both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll look strong contenders to make big moves in the sprint race.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Starting Grid for the First Ever F1 Sprint Race Qualifying at British GP

15 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Sanket Nair

339 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories