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Norris hails ‘good progress’ after setting early pace at Silverstone as he aims to ‘give back’ to home crowd

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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren and Oscar Piastri of

Lando Norris was left satisfied with his opening day of action at the British Grand Prix, having topped the timesheets during both of Friday’s practice sessions in front of his home fans.

After the disappointment of his retirement last time out in Austria, Norris looked to have quickly bounced back as he hit the track at Silverstone. The Briton ended the day as the fastest driver of all thanks to his effort of 1m 26.549s during Free Practice 2, a session in which rain fell during the final minutes.

FP2: Norris sets the pace during second practice at Silverstone ahead of Piastri and Perez

Reflecting on the day, Norris commented after jumping out of the car: “A good start to the weekend. It wasn’t like the cleanest, or it was cleanest, but didn’t feel that comfortable this morning.

“But through the sessions, we made some tweaks and I got in a much nicer window, which is important around here, because it’s quite on the nose and quite sketchy and pretty high-speed. Yeah, tricky but I’m happy. I think we made some good progress.

“I think we’re pretty tight and even with probably Mercedes, they seem probably just as quick as us. They just didn’t turn up the engine and do as much in the final runs. I think we’re in a good place, but we definitely have a little bit more to find.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38

Norris set the pace on the first day of track action at the British Grand Prix

Asked how much energy he was gaining from the crowd, the British driver responded: “A good amount. It’s lovely, I wish the weather was a little bit better than it is at the minute, especially now!

“But at least the rain held off for most of the day. I love it, honestly – it’s great, it’s busy, it’s chaotic, but [I’ll] try and do my part and give back a little bit to them, and it’s been a good start to the weekend from that side of it, so we’ll just try keep it up.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from FP1 at Silverstone as Norris leads Stroll and Tsunoda spins out

With more rain potentially on the cards for the rest of the weekend, Norris is prepared for whatever the weather may bring. He admitted, however, that his preference would be for the forecast to remain dry.

“I always enjoy both conditions,” he explained. “I would prefer if it was one or the other. Honestly on a home race, you would prefer if it was just dry because we seem like we’re in a good place and I wouldn’t want to go too far away from that.

“But it’s Silverstone and it’s England. I’m kind of ready for everything, but my preference would probably be to stay dry.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Oscar Piastri of Australia and McLaren prepares to drive in the

Piastri felt that he had a "good day" on Friday at Silverstone

It was also a solid day for Norris’s McLaren team mate Oscar Piastri, who ended FP2 in second place on the timesheets. The Australian said of his Friday at Silverstone: “It’s interesting to see what other people were doing. If we can maintain that gap through the rest of the weekend that would be good – I’m not sure we will!

“I think we had a good session, good day. The car felt pretty good, just a few things to tidy up on my side, I would say. All in all, a decent Friday.”

READ MORE: Norris ‘happy to go racing again’ with Verstappen at Silverstone after clearing the air over Austria clash

Pushed on how important it would be to make the right calls at the right time given the factor of changeable weather, Piastri commented: “Yeah, I think it’ll have a big influence. Again, the pace today in dry conditions might not necessarily be that important for the rest of the weekend.

“We’ll see, I think it’s going to be a tough one for all the teams, trying to stay on top of the weather. Trying to stay on top of British weather is hard in normal times, let alone on a race weekend! I think it will be an exciting weekend for everybody.”

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