The Dutchman was able to finish first with almost half of a second of advantage over Lewis Hamilton, over the opening free practice session in Silverstone. Verstappen set the fastest time of 1:22.422s on softs, 0.474 clear of Hamilton. However, the six times Formula 1 World Champion set his best lap on the medium compound.
Racing Point continued to show its recent impressive performance, with Stroll ending third, almost one second clear of its teammate Hulkenberg. The German driver entered the paddock only 10 minutes before the start of the practice to replace Perez, who tested positive for COVID-19. Hulkenberg managed to run the RP20 for 15 minutes, finishing the session ninth overall.
Albon followed Stroll with the fourth-fastest time, seven-tenths of the second slower than his teammate, while Leclerc took the fifth position. By contrast, Sebastian Vettel managed to complete only two laps with its Ferrari due to an issue with the intercooler of his SF1000.
Valterri Bottas ended the session sixth with his Mercedes, followed by the two Renaults of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo, respectively 7th and 9th. Hulkenberg and Kyviat completed the top 10, with the Russian beating his AlphaTauri teammate by only 0.041.
McLaren, differently from the previous races, displayed a disappointing performance with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, ending the session 12th and 13th, ahead of the Haas pair Kevin Magnussen and Roman Grojean.
Kimi Raikkonen was the leading Alfa Romeo driver and finished 16th, followed by George Russell, who was seventh tenths of a second faster than his teammate Latifi, 19th. Instead, Antonio Giovinazzi, with the other Alfa Romeo, ended 18th, before spinning at the exit of Becketts, causing him to flat-spot all four tyres and damage the floor of his car.