Max Verstappen was the fastest driver during the second free practice session at Silverstone, where an experimental format for the GP is being tested. He set the lap time of 1:29,902s, and was followed by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz with the times of 1:30.277s and 1:30.507s respectively. The other drivers that completed the top 10 were: Ocon, Perez, Norris, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Bottas and Gasly.
An FP2 on a Saturday is not a usual occurrence in Formula 1. It is all due to the testing of the sprint race weekend format, which F1 hopes could improve the spectacle of the GP. Just to remind, this format consists of a FP1 and Qualifying on Friday, out of which the qualifying sets the grid for the sprint race, then FP2 and sprint race on Saturday, that then further determines the grid for the race on Sunday. Although it is not really the format of the weekend that has been criticised by many, F1 decided to experiment and see if those changes would improve the racing and the quality of the GP’s. Later today we will have our first glimpse of the sprint race, which we will see a comeback of at 2 more racing weekends this season.
Before the FP2 started, with the full house at Silverstone (not a single ticket left), the conditions were dry, sunny and with the air temperature of 24C and track temperature of 41C. The first drivers on the track were Schumacher, Mazepin, Leclerc, Vettel, Tsunoda, Ocon, Latifi, Sainz, Stroll and Gasly. The first driver to top the leaderboard with a significant time was Ocon, with 1:32.220s which is way below what we have seen the day before in FP1 and quali, but with more laps and the track evolution we will definitely see better times fast enough.
After the first ten minutes of the session, the top 10 was: Ocon, with 1:32.220s; Norris, Raikkonen, Vettel, Sainz, Leclerc, Schumacher, Tsunoda, Gasly and Mazepin. By that time, drivers like Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Perez, Verstappen and Russell didn’t set a lap time yet. Many drivers have reported winds stronger than the day before on the track. Soon enough Ocon was swapped at P1 by Perez, with his time 1:31.362s. He was then replaced by his teammate Max Verstappen with the time of 1:30.428s. During this time, Hamilton was able to climb onto 6th place and Bottas onto 4th. George Russell continued the incredible performance from the day before, and kept cruising in top 10, on the 9th place to be exact.
Half an hour into the session the top 10 was: 4 Red Bulls of Verstappen, Perez, Gasly and Tsunoda respectively; Latifi, Ocon, Hamilton, Bottas, Mazepin and Russell. During this time, Valtteri Bottas had to visit his mechanics in the pits, due to a potential damage to his car after what team suspected was running wide into the curbs. At that point of the session Ricciardo was only 16th, but was able to get out of the rut and get into p4, which is a more promising pace for the Aussie after an unfortunately pretty weak streak in the previous races (highest finishing position so far was 6th).
15 minutes before the end of the FP2, the top 10 was: Verstappen, Leclerc, Sainz, Ocon, Perez, Norris, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Bottas and Russell. The drivers in the top half run on different tyres, with a mix of some on mediums and some on softs, with only Bottas in the top 10 on hards. The session was not really eventful, as it seems every driver was on a different programme, some of them trying to run a race one, others just testing the grounds before the sprint race.
The final classification after the second free practice session at Silverstone for the British GP was: