FP2: Verstappen tops second practice at Silverstone from Sainz and Albon as Leclerc hits trouble
Max Verstappen completed a Friday practice clean sweep by setting the pace during FP2 for the British Grand Prix, putting his Red Bull just in front of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and the rapid Williams of Alex Albon – while Charles Leclerc failed to make it out on track amid technical problems.
After an incident-packed F2 qualifying, the start of the session was delayed by five minutes to accommodate barrier repairs and track sweeping, but the full 60 minutes of running were still available to the field – bar the sidelined Leclerc – as they racked up further valuable data for the remainder of the weekend.
It was 2022 pole-sitter and race winner Sainz who set the early pace on medium tyres, only for reigning double world champion Verstappen to reclaim top spot when drivers moved over to softs as the halfway mark of the session approached.
Verstappen finished up with a best time of 1m 28.078s, more than half a second quicker than his FP1 benchmark, but Sainz sat just 0.022s adrift, with Albon and Williams continuing to impress via a run to third on the timesheets.
FORMULA 1 ARAMCO BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2023
Great Britain 2023
Practice 2 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||1:28.078|
|2 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.022s|
|3 Alexander Albon ALB Williams||+0.218s|
|4 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.264s|
|5 Logan Sargeant SAR Williams||+0.688s|
Sergio Perez wound up fourth, a quarter of a second away from team mate Verstappen, while rookie Logan Sargeant underlined Williams’ strong start to the weekend by posting a lap time quick enough to round out the top five positions.
With their factory just a few hundred metres from the circuit, Aston Martin ended their day in sixth and 10th respectively, Lance Stroll leading the team’s charge over Fernando Alonso – albeit with the Canadian losing a mirror and taking a stone to the finger, and the Spaniard losing one of his runs to an issue at the front-left of his car.
Nico Hulkenberg went from 20th and last in FP1 to seventh fastest in FP2, with the Alpine of Pierre Gasly and McLaren of Oscar Piastri slotting between the Haas driver and the aforementioned Alonso to complete the top half of the field.
Mercedes had another quiet session – despite this time running soft tyres – as George Russell took 12th, just behind Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, and Lewis Hamilton placed 15th, having run wide and launched over the kerbs exiting Stowe.
Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris were 13th and 14th in their respective Alpine and McLaren machines, as Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and the AlphaTauris of Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries brought up the rear ahead of Leclerc – De Vries enduring a scary moment after the chequered flag had flown as he suffered a sudden front-right puncture on his AlphaTauri.
Ferrari mechanics were huddled around Leclerc’s car in the early minutes of the session as they attempted to repair an electrical issue, but the crew were unable to complete a fix in time and instead turned their attention to Saturday’s running.
After the first two practice sessions, drivers and teams will now study the data and get ready for another busy schedule tomorrow, with third and final practice scheduled for 1130 local time, followed by qualifying at 1500.
Visit the RACE HUB for more information on this weekend’s action at Silverstone.