FP2: Stroll fastest for Racing Point at Silverstone as Albon crash brings out the red flags
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll headed a disrupted Free Practice 2 session for the 2020 British Grand Prix, ahead of the Red Bull of Alex Albon and the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas – with the disruption in the session coming from a crash for Albon himself.
With the qualifying runs in full swing at the halfway mark of the hot, windy FP2 session at Silverstone, Albon was rounding the fast Stowe corner when he lost the back end of his car, the Thai driver correcting the slide before the RB16 snapped the other way and careened into the barriers, bringing out a red flag. Despite Albon clambering out of the car himself, he was taken to the Medical Centre after his g-force sensor was triggered, but the team later confirmed he had been cleared by the medics.
With the teams’ run plans interrupted, that left Stroll top of the pile with a lap time of 1m 27.274s, with Albon having put in a decent lap before his crash to finish 0.090s off the Canadian in second, with Bottas third, 0.157s adrift of the Racing Point.
FORMULA 1 PIRELLI BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2020
Great Britain 2020
Practice 2 results
|1 Lance Stroll STR Racing Point||1:27.274|
|2 Alexander Albon ALB Red Bull Racing||+0.090s|
|3 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||+0.157s|
|4 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||+0.296s|
|5 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.307s|
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc overcame a low-speed spin at The Loop early in the session to end up P4, his SF1000 looking particularly strong in the first sector of the Silverstone lap. He finished ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, with the six-time Silverstone winner having attempted a fast lap after the red flag period ended, before aborting the effort when he ran wide at Brooklands.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was sixth, ahead of the impressive Nico Hulkenberg, who finished the session seventh, 0.636s off his new team mate Stroll at the end of his first day in the Racing Point RP20, having been brought in by the team as a replacement for Sergio Perez, and jumping in the car for the first time just minutes before FP1 started on Friday morning.
Rounding out the top 10, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was an excellent eighth, ahead of the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo and the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen – a fine effort from the Finn after a scrappy, spin-filled FP1 for his team.
Two big names missing from that top 10 were Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Verstappen was on his hot lap when he came across the Haas of Romain Grosjean dawdling on the racing line in the rapid Maggots-Becketts complex, the Dutchman angrily pulling alongside the Frenchman and gesticulating. He ended up 14th, having failed to put in a proper qualifying simulation effort.
Vettel meanwhile, has endured a troubled start to his weekend, with an intercooler problem ruling him out of the majority of FP1, while something loose in his pedal box restricted his running in this session, as he ended up a lowly 18th.
Williams' Nicholas Latifi finished last, over a second off Haas’ P19-placed Kevin Magnussen, with the Canadian adding to his woes with a late spin into the gravel at Stowe.
So it’s Racing Point on top at the end of Friday. But with more pace expected from the Mercedes, Red Bull seemingly in the mix, and air and track temperatures set to be markedly cooler for Saturday’s qualifying session, the order could be shaken up overnight.