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Practice report
Formula 1 British GP

F1 British GP: Verstappen leads Sainz by 0.022s as Leclerc misses FP2

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Carlos Sainz in FP2 at Formula 1’s 2023 British Grand Prix by 0.022s, but that close margin was overshadowed for Ferrari by Charles Leclerc’s session absence.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Several other teams had disrupted sessions – including Aston Martin and Mercedes – while Williams produced a stunning result in front of its home fans.

The start of the session was delayed by five minutes so the track could be swept thoroughly following several offs and crashes occurring in the Formula 2 qualifying session, but FP2 ran to its usual one-hour limit.

Nyck de Vries led the pack out of the pits for AlphaTauri – the early running conducted on the C1 hard and C2 medium tyres.

Several drivers had a short stint in the top spot as they registered their opening laps before Perez established the first-place benchmark at 1m30.014s.

Verstappen then came through to move well ahead on a 1m29.550s – a time that stayed as the quickest for the next phase of the session.

As the opening 10 minutes came to a close, Perez was able to complete the medium running the two Red Bull cars with a quicker 1m29.451s.

But that did not stay as the top time for long, with Sainz also ending his initial laps on the mediums with a flier – a 1m29.083s that put him in front of Perez.

After a short lull in action ahead of the session’s middle third, the leaders re-emerged on soft tyres to complete the typical mid-FP2 qualifying simulation efforts.

Verstappen was the first of the frontrunners to head out on softs, which he used to blast to the quickest time in all three sectors and a new best time of 1m28.078s.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

Perez followed him through, 0.264s slower, before he was shuffled back to fourth – first by Alex Albon setting a softs flier so good it seemed to surprise Williams team principal James Vowles watching on the pitwall, then by Sainz.

The Spaniard could not move back to the top soft with his first run on softs, but he did register a 1m28.100s that was just 0.022s adrift of Verstappen.

The pack then switched the typical high-fuel running that closes out FP2, during which the only moment of note was a late puncture for de Vries and Lance Stroll reporting being hit by a stone on one of his fingers, which left him “[hurt] pretty bad” but vowing to “keep going”, which he did.

Behind Perez in fifth came Logan Sargeant – backing up a strong opening day of track action for Williams.

Sixth was Aston Martin’s Stroll, who had his qualifying simulation run interrupted by having to pit so his left-side wing mirror could be worked on, the part having worked loose as the Canadian traversed the Silverstone layout on the softs.

Then came Nico Hulkenberg in seventh, which registered a much better result for Haas compared to his last place in FP1, when the team was checking its front suspension and beam wing upgrades.

Pierre Gasly took eighth for Alpine ahead of Oscar Piastri, while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10.

Alonso also had his soft tyre lower fuel run interrupted, as Aston order him to quickly slow after he crossed the line following his flying lap as it had detected debris causing “a problem”, although it did not report this as a puncture.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The three home heroes – bar London-born, Thai-British driver Albon – ended up outside the top 10, with George Russell ending up in the highest position, 12th for Mercedes.

His team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished 15th behind the other Brit, Lando Norris – with this pair also having a less-than-straightforward end to FP2.

Hamilton aborted his first softs flier, which meant he had to complete his run on slightly worn tyres and he ended up 1.205s adrift of Verstappen, 0.045s slower than Russell, while Norris’s McLaren had to undergo considerable front-end work ahead of Norris’s soft tyre run.

Charles Leclerc, however, had an FP2 disaster – the Monegasque driver unable to take part in the session.

Ferrari had detected an electrical issue on his car ahead of FP2 and had been working on it during the session’s early stages, but this did not lead to a fix that meant Leclerc was able to enter the running.

De Vries’s puncture ended the session, which was a dramatic tyre blowout as he braked for the Village right-hander in the first sector, the Silverstone track’s first real braking point, at the conclusion of his high fuel running.

The Dutchman was able to avoid a major incident and returned to the pits after stopping inside the next turn, The Loop.

F1 British GP - FP2 results

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Time Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Red Bull 1'28.078    
2 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari Ferrari 1'28.100 0.022 0.022
3 Thailand Alex Albon Williams Mercedes 1'28.296 0.218 0.196
4 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Red Bull 1'28.342 0.264 0.046
5 United States Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 1'28.766 0.688 0.424
6 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1'28.866 0.788 0.100
7 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 1'28.880 0.802 0.014
8 France Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 1'28.889 0.811 0.009
9 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 1'28.926 0.848 0.037
10 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes 1'29.134 1.056 0.208
11 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'29.225 1.147 0.091
12 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes Mercedes 1'29.238 1.160 0.013
13 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1'29.242 1.164 0.004
14 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1'29.260 1.182 0.018
15 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'29.283 1.205 0.023
16 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'29.378 1.300 0.095
17 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1'29.439 1.361 0.061
18 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Red Bull 1'29.483 1.405 0.044
19 Netherlands Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Red Bull 1'29.571 1.493 0.088
20 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari      

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