Carlos Sainz quickest in second practice for British GP with encouragement for Lewis Hamilton

·22 min read
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG Petronas in action during the practice session of the Formula One Grand Prix of Britain at the Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - CHRISTIAN BRUNA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG Petronas in action during the practice session of the Formula One Grand Prix of Britain at the Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - CHRISTIAN BRUNA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Carlos Sainz ended second practice for this Sunday’s British Grand Prix fastest, but there was encouragement for home favourites Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

Ferrari’s Sainz's best time of 1:28.942sec was 0.163sec faster than the Mercedes of Hamilton, with fellow Briton Norris just 0.010sec off the seven-time champion.

Mercedes have struggled for pace and with porpoising and bouncing issues throughout the season, but after bumpy weekends in Monaco, Azerbaijan and Canada, the Silverstone track is likely to be more kind to their car and their drivers’ bodies.

Hamilton did, however, complain of bouncing in high-speed sections of the Northamptonshire track in his first run in second practice, but managed to put in a seemingly competitive time on his later run, ending up nearly seven-tenths quicker than team-mate George Russell.

Red Bull looked a little off the pace with championship leader Verstappen in fourth, 0.207sec off Sainz and Sergio Perez in seventh, eight-tenths off the pace.

Mercedes’ pace on the long runs appeared decent, too, though given the limited dry running it is hard to take too much from Friday’s times. Nevertheless, Mercedes have certainly had worse opening days.

"It has been a good day," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 after second practice.

"Feeling pretty good. It's bouncing still, not necessarily in a straight line but through the corners it's pretty harsh. Not physically harsh but in the car. It feels like a small step forward."

"The upgrades were for downforce. It's difficult to feel it because it's two massively different tracks [Canada and Silverstone]. It's much smoother this track, which is a bit more like Barcelona."

"It is still hair-raising and epic to drive," the Briton said of the challenges of Silverstone in the new regulation cars.

"Our long run pace isn't as good as the other guys but it isn't miles off. We've definitely made an improvement. I am sure overnight we can work and improve the car a little bit more."

Earlier in the afternoon, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was fastest in a first practice session that was disrupted as rain fell heavily before the session’s start and intermittently throughout. Only  Hamilton registered a lap count in the double figures.

By the time track conditions were fit for slick tyres there were only a few minutes remaining on the clock. The session was then brought to a premature close as Lance Stroll spun his Aston Martin at Copse, bringing out a red flag.

Heading into the 10th race of the season in Great Britain, defending champion Max Verstappen comfortably leads the standings by 46 points over Perez and by 49 points over Leclerc.

With four races in the next five weeks before Formula One’s summer hiatus, Leclerc and Ferrari need to start to claw back some of that lead this weekend or face another season without seriously competing for titles.

British Grand Prix second practice, classification

  1. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari 1:28.942

  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes+0.163

  3. Lando Norris, McLaren+0.176

  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull +0.207

  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +0.462

  6. Fernando Alonso, Alpine +0.753

  7. Sergio Perez, Red Bull +0.811

  8. George Russell, Mercedes +0.857

  9. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +0.960

  10. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +1.000

  11. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo +1.058

  12. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +1.115

  13. Esteban Ocon, Alpine +1.296

  14. Alexander Albon, Williams +1.321

  15. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo +1.329

  16. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +1.396

  17. Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1.538

  18. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +1.568

  19. Mick Schumacher, Haas +1.667

  20. Nicholas Latifi, Williams +2.384

British Grand Prix, Friday practice: as it happened

05:28 PM

Okay, that is it from me today

I'll be back tomorrow for qualifying, which begins at 3pm BST. What chance of Hamilton in the top three? Or evem on the front row? A repeat of that top three for qualifying would be something, wouldn't it?

05:05 PM

I will say it again

Hard to know what to make of that. A second (exactly) separates the top 10 and then it's 0.667s between 10th and 19th with Latifi 2.384s off the pace in last. It could leave us with a few surprises tomorrow. It's all to play for, with a fair few teams in the mix. Strange day for Red Bull, they look to be behind Ferrari and maybe will have Mercedes to contend with. But, then again, maybe not.

05:04 PM

FP2 - Classification

  1. SAI 1:28.942

  2. HAM +0.163

  3. NOR +0.176

  4. VER +0.207

  5. LEC +0.462

  6. ALO +0.753

  7. PER +0.811

  8. RUS +0.857

  9. RIC +0.960

  10. STR +1.000

  11. BOT +1.058

  12. VET +1.115

  13. OCO +1.296

  14. ALB +1.321

  15. ZHO +1.329

  16. TSU +1.396

  17. MAG +1.538

  18. GAS +1.568

  19. MSC +1.667

  20. LAT +2.384

05:01 PM

FP2 ends - Sainz ends quickest

That's it for the running today. I'll have a full order coming up shortly. Encouragement for Mercedes and McLaren? Possibly...

04:58 PM

FP2 - Russell told he is matching the Ferraris on his long run

His qualifying simulation wasn't brilliant though, again, hard to really know at this point.

04:57 PM

FP2 - Six different teams in the top 10

Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull, Alpine and Aston Martin. AlphaTauri not doing much today, nor Haas. Those two teams make up four of the bottom five.

04:54 PM

FP2 - An intriguing set of times so far

Hard to know what to make of them. You wouldn't expect Mercedes and McLaren to be quite that quick, but this is the first session of dry running, and with the new parts that many teams have perhaps the set-ups aren't all that dialled in. Perez languishing eight-tenths off the pace, too.

04:48 PM

FP2 - Vettel told to stop as the floor is damaged

He says he didn't go off or run wide, so a problem with the floor itself, then.

04:48 PM

FP2 - Updated top 10 after those soft tyre runs

  1. SAI 1:28.942

  2. HAM +0.163

  3. NOR +0.176

  4. VER +0.207

  5. LEC +0.462

  6. ALO +0.753

  7. PER +0.811

  8. RUS +0.857

  9. RIC +0.960

  10. STR +1.000

12 minutes remain.

04:44 PM

FP2 - Not a great lap from Verstappen

It's fine, but is slower than Norris by a small margin and a couple of tenths off  Sainz.

Hamilton, meanwhile, has gone second with a fine lap, 0.163s off Sainz, who remains quickest.

04:41 PM

FP2 - Alonso with a good lap, too

Fourth from the Spaniard, 0.753s off Sainz's best time.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso during the first F1 practice session of the British Grand Prix 2022 at Silverstone, Towcester. Picture date: Friday July 1, 2022 - PA 
Alpine's Fernando Alonso during the first F1 practice session of the British Grand Prix 2022 at Silverstone, Towcester. Picture date: Friday July 1, 2022 - PA

Time to see what Verstappen and Hamilton have on the soft tyres.  

04:38 PM

FP2 - Leclerc on his first push lap on the soft tyres

Sainz leads the way with a 1:28.942. Leclerc not looking like beating that as it stands, down after two sectors. He finishes the lap nearly half a second down and in third, behind Lando Norris. Norris's lap is looking a bit... well, could be a glory run? He's eight-tenths quicker than team-mate Ricciardo.

04:36 PM

FP2 - 25 mins remain

Hamilton has not yet come out for a run on the soft tyres. Seems like his car is receiving some attention on the suspension. He earlier complained of bouncing in the high-speed. They wouldn't have got much of a sense of that in the first session.

04:32 PM

FP2 - Sainz now on the radio

He has just gone quickest by a tenth over Norris, but says he lost a lot of time in the high speed with bouncing. Ferrari have suffered with that this season, though it doesn't appear to have cost them as much lap time as teams like Mercedes.

04:31 PM

FP2 - Norris now fastest

His lap of 1:29.118 on the soft tyres is 0.344s quicker than Leclerc. Runs on the soft tyres only just beginning so let's look at where Norris ends up. Russell's lap on the softs is still nearly seven-tenths off the McLaren driver, though...

04:26 PM

FP2 - Russell down in 17th at the moment

But he is on a quick lap on the soft tyres. How quick is it? It's quick enough for seventh but a couple of tenths off Hamilton in fifth.

04:22 PM

FP2 - Top 10 and gaps

  1. LEC 1:29.462

  2. SAI +0.081

  3. VER +0.423

  4. PER +0.633

  5. HAM +0.954

  6. ALO +1.336

  7. ALB +1.511

  8. OCO +1.764

  9. NOR +1.863

  10. TSU +1.921

38 mins remain. 

04:18 PM

FP2 - Leclerc goes faster still

He improves to a 1:29.462 to move 0.423s ahead of Verstappen. Sainz on a good lap too but he can't beat Leclerc, though only 0.081s behind his team-mate.

04:15 PM

FP2 - Hamilton on the radio

Bouncing a lot in the high speed.

He's on the medium tyres. Quite a lot of high-speed at this track.

04:15 PM

FP2 - 45 mins remain

Leclerc leads the way with a 1:29.639, 0.323s ahead of his team-mate and around 0.849s of Verstappen. Or he was, until Verstappen has just gone faster still but only enough for second. 0.246s off Leclerc.

04:13 PM

FP2 - Top 10

  1. LEC

  2. SAI

  3. VER

  4. PER

  5. HAM

  6. ALO

  7. OCO

  8. BOT

  9. ALB

  10. NOR

04:11 PM

FP2 - 50 mins remain

The conditions are a lot better in this session. Not exactly a brilliant day, but moderately sunny. It wouldn't ruin your BBQ, let's put it that way.

04:08 PM

FP2 - Verstappen on the radio

It's very windy out there.

He locked up into turn three.  He also says he has some vibrations, which he complained of only a few minutes ago.

04:06 PM

FP2 - 53 mins remain

Norris runs wide on the exit of turn one. Russell gets blocked by an AlphaTauri. He says it was dangerous but I am not sure about that. Annoying, yes.

04:04 PM

FP2 - Verstappen committed early on

Gets wide on the kerbs in the first sector. On the medium tyres and looking quick. He crosses the line with a 1:31.438.

04:02 PM

FP2 - 58 mins remain

A real mixture of tyre types out there. And every driver on the track. That's good to see.

04:00 PM

GREEN LIGHT: FP2 begins!

We should see a fair bit of running this session after the rain-affected first session.

03:46 PM

'Dangerous' protest threat hangs over British GP

By Tom Morgan at Silverstone

Police have warned of "credible intelligence" that protesters are considering an "extremely dangerous" invasion of the Silverstone track at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Officers declined to state who was behind the potential stunt, but an appeal comes after four  Extinction Rebellion environmental demonstrators were arrested at the circuit in 2020.

More than 400,000 people are attending the Northamptonshire circuit over three days for the fastest-selling GP in Silverstone's history. Police went public with their concerns as first practice took place on Friday.

Chief Inspector Tom Thompson, the Northamptonshire police event commander, said: “We have received credible intelligence that a group of protestors are planning to disrupt the event and possibly invade the track on race day,” Chief Inspector Thompson said.

“First of all, I want to appeal directly to this group of people and strongly urge you to not put yourselves, the drivers, as well as the many marshals, volunteers and members of the public, at risk. Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous – if you go ahead with this reckless plan you are jeopardising lives.

“Protesting is of course everyone’s human right in this country and we are more than happy to speak with you to help you facilitate a peaceful protest at the circuit, we just please ask that you do not create a situation that puts lives in danger.”

The FIA declined to comment on what protests it was expecting but police added that they "have planned an extremely wide-ranging policing operation which covers contingencies such as these and as such, extra resources will be in place throughout the race weekend should anyone ignore these warnings and try to disrupt the event".

In 2020, a pink banner from Extinction Rebellion was seen being unfurled over sponsorship hoardings at Club Corner - the last turn. Photographs later showed the protestors, dressed in black overalls and wearing T-shirts and masks with the group's logo, being led away from the side of the circuit.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle, said: "We work closely with Northamptonshire Police and the emergency service agencies to put plans and procedures in place to ensure we are fully prepared to handle such situations." He urged fans at Silverstone "to act as our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious to a steward".

03:25 PM

Welcome back

Second practice gets under way in a little over 30 minutes. It should be a much more interesting session than the first one as it has stopped raining and it is definitely conditions for dry tyres.

02:12 PM

Pedal cam is being trialled...

Is it effective? Is it good? I am not sure. Might be good if not overused.

 I'll be back for the build-up to second practice in just over an hour or so. 

02:03 PM

FP1 - Classification

  1. BOT 1:42.249

  2. HAM +0.532

  3. SAI +0.718

  4. LEC +1.552

  5. MSC +1.646

  6. ZHO +3.922

  7. MAG +5.912

  8. STR +8.994

  9. TSU +9.124

  10. VET +16.919

  11. RUS

  12. PER

  13. OCO

  14. ALO

  15. ALB

  16. RIC

  17. GAS

  18. NOR

  19. LAT

  20. VER

Nobody else set a lap time bar those 10 drivers. Not the best session to kick things off... hopefully more this afternoon.

02:01 PM

FP1 ENDS - Bottas quickest

Hamilton had just gone into second with his second hot lap on the soft tyres, 0.5s off Bottas. Almost everyone had switched to the soft tyres but most had to abort their final laps due to the red flag.

02:00 PM

RED FLAG

It's Lance Stroll in the wall at Copse, I think., The session will not be resumed, but there was barely a minute left, anyway. Lost it at the apex and then went backwards into the gravel and then frontwards into the wall. Not an enormous amount of damage. Surprised someone else didn't spin before him.

01:58 PM

FP1 - Hamilton into fifth

Soft tyres giving him back about 2.5s in the final sector, then. He ends up 2.549s off Bottas's quickest lap time. A handful of cars out there now in the final minutes. Including Verstappen.

01:57 PM

FP1 - Hamilton going well after one sector on the soft tyres

The middle sector is quite wet, though. And that leaves him nearly five seconds off Bottas's new quickest time (1:42.249) with one sector to go...

01:54 PM

FP1 - Bottas out now... and Leclerc too

Hamilton comes into the pits and goes out on a new set of soft tyres... brave.

Five minutes remain.

01:51 PM

FP1 - Not a bad lap from Hamilton so far

He is faster than the fastest lap so far today after one sector...

But is three seconds behind after two...

Looks like it has stopped raining with the sun out. Only nine minutes remain as Hamilton crosses the line to go seventh fastest, 6.5s off the pace. 

01:48 PM

FP1 - We have a car on track!

It's Lewis Hamilton. Out on the intermediates for his fourth lap. Will he set a time now?

01:47 PM

Latest: Lewis Hamilton removes nose stud ahead of British GP practice to avoid FIA punishment

Lewis Hamilton removed his nose stud ahead of the first practice session for the British Grand Prix, in a move specifically designed to avoid a ban or a fine by the FIA.

The seven-time world champion has been engaged in a lengthy stand-off with Formula One’s governing body, who have taken an uncompromising stance on drivers wearing jewellery in their cars, claiming that it can interfere with their flameproof overalls and consequently become a fire hazard.

Read more from Oliver Brown here.  

01:43 PM

FP1 - 17 mins remain

Sorry, absolutely nothing to report on currently. Sometimes races are more interesting when we get limited/wet running... so let's hope for that here.

01:38 PM

FP1 - Rain is still lightly falling out there

In fact it is probably getting a bit heavier now.  Not too optimistic of much more significant running. Lewis Hamilton has, however, just gone over to the pit wall to wave to the fans.

01:35 PM

FP1 - 25 mins remain

A grand total of zero cars on the track...

01:34 PM

FP1 - 30 minutes remain

Can't say this is the most gripping session I have ever seen. That's what happens when it rains, though. Not sure we will get anyone out on dry tyres before the session ends.

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the first free practice at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Friday, July 1, 2022. The British F1 Grand Prix is held on Sunday July 3, 2022 - AP
Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the first free practice at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Friday, July 1, 2022. The British F1 Grand Prix is held on Sunday July 3, 2022 - AP

Most drivers have completed just one or two laps. Or, rather, one or three. Only Sainz and Bottas with more than four.

01:28 PM

FP1 - Current order and gaps

  1. SAI 1:42.967

  2. BOT +0.470

  3. LEC+0.834

  4. ZHO+3.204

  5. MAG+5.194

  6. STR +8.276

  7. TSU +8.406

  8. VET +16.201

01:24 PM

FP1 - Sainz now tops the timesheets

As the sun comes out. He leads his teammate Leclerc by 0.834s. Every driver has at least ventured onto track but only eight lap times so far.

01:20 PM

FP1 - Sainz on the radio

"It's getting dry very quickly now so I will box," he says.

01:17 PM

FP1 - A few more lap times now

Not sure that it is really relevant to post an order given the un-representativeness of the times and conditions. But it's Leclerc from Stroll, Tsunoda, and then Vettel. 15 seconds separates the top four...

Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 1, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during practic - REUTERS
Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 1, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during practic - REUTERS

01:13 PM

FP1 - 48 mins remain

Albon was not on the softs. It would have been asking for trouble. Leclerc still the only driver to have set a lap time. Everyone else just doing in and out laps so far. It has, however, brightened up.

01:10 PM

FP1 - It looks like Lewis Hamilton has taken out his nose stud for this session

It was this piece of jewellery that has been the subject of a clampdown earlier in the season, although he was given a few races' grace until the new rule would be enforced.

Out comes Alonso on intermediates. Looks like Albon has gone out on the softs, but that could be an error on the riming screen.

01:06 PM

FP1 - Sainz says it's greasy out there

It's wettest at the start of the lap it appears. Copse then Maggots/Becketts/Chapel are fairly dry. Only Leclerc out on track at the moment and the only driver to have set a time so far: a 1:44.769.

01:01 PM

FP1 - 58 minutes remain

It's quite wet out there at the moment and Russell is told that it is expected to get wetter. Every driver of the four (two Mercedes and two Ferraris) are on the intermediate tyres.

01:00 PM

GREEN LIGHT: FP1 begins

One hour... and there's a bit of rain about. Not ideal for the teams. Russell is out early and gets a good reception for it.

12:57 PM

To be fair, I got the shuttle bus in too. It was not quick

Confirmed: It is now raining at (some of) the track.

12:52 PM

And, risk of rain for the session is 100 per cent

Okay. I think it looks like there's a bit about tomorrow, too. Just under 10 minutes to go until the session starts.

12:47 PM

From the media centre the view is a bit...

Well, it's cloudy everywhere. Dark clouds in the distance. Are they heading to the circuit? A little different to last year when it was a scorcher.

12:44 PM

Verstappen speaks out

Notable that Nelson Piquet is the father of Verstappen's girlfriend, Kelly.

12:38 PM

Bit of rain in the session?

Hopefully not as it tends to lead to little running.

12:36 PM

A treat for later on Sunday

Sebastian Vettel is going to do a demonstration run in Nigel Mansell's (iconic) Williams FW14B. It's the car he owns himself, which is pretty cool.

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Aston Martin F1 Team looks on as he sits in the Williams FW14B of Nigel Mansell in a garage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on June 30, 2022 in Northampton, England - Rudy Carezzevoli - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Aston Martin F1 Team looks on as he sits in the Williams FW14B of Nigel Mansell in a garage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on June 30, 2022 in Northampton, England - Rudy Carezzevoli - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

12:22 PM

Current constructor standings

Ferrari having such a nightmare recently that Mercedes look quite tidy by comparison.

Haas have failed to deliver on their promise and some excellent qualifying positions. Will that change here?

12:16 PM

Albon's helmet is...

I am not sure I have the word for it.

Bring back classic-looking helmets, I say.

12:14 PM

Current driver standings: Top 10

12:11 PM

Breaking: Nelson Piquet racism row escalates as new Lewis Hamilton slur emerges

The racism row engulfing Nelson Piquet and Formula One escalated on Friday as it emerged he had gone on to make even more offensive comments about Lewis Hamilton on a podcast.

As Hamilton called for action against "older voices" with offensive views, reports in Brazil claimed Piquet called the Briton a "neguinho" a third time and said he was being "f----- in the a--".

Read the full piece here from Tom Morgan.  

11:59 AM

Good afternoon F1 fans

And welcome to our live coverage for first and second practice at the 2022 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. This is normally one of the races of the year on and excellent and challenging track for both the drivers and hopefully also it will be a test of the new regulation cars. It is, however, a shame that little of the pre-race talk at such an historic track like this has been about actual on-track action.

The narrative, unfortunately, has been dominated by comments that Nelson Piquet made about Lewis Hamilton at the end of last year, which have resurfaced. Without going into too much detail, you can read the latest on that sorry saga here. The entirety of F1 - or pretty much - has rallied around and supported Hamilton, which is only right. And Piquet has been banned from the paddock for his comments.

Back to the on-track stuff and this race does feel like a pivotal one for the championship. It seems a long time ago that two DNFs put Max Verstappen in a difficult position in the championship, trailing Ferrari's Charles Leclerc by more than 40 points. Since Melbourne, though (Leclerc's last win), Ferrari have faltered at nearly every opportunity. They have been quick in qualifying but reliability issues and driver mistakes have meant that Leclerc now has a 40-odd point gap to Verstappen, and with Red Bull the faster car.

Yes, it is a long season and there are many races still to go. Red Bull have also had some reliability issues of their own, but with four races in the next five weeks before the summer break, July is either going to be the month where Ferrari fell completely out of contention, or where they got themselves back into it. Let's hope for the latter.

There's a bit of hope around a Mercedes revival, too, which would be nice with two British drivers. I can't see them challenging for victory but podiums could be a possibility. Hopefully the smoother circuit will lessen their bouncing issues.

First practice starts at 1pm BST with second practice at 4pm, which feels like an extremely late time to be finishing on a Friday to me. But that is where we are.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting