Normally the drivers and teams can quietly explore the track in the 1st free practice. Then they still have enough time before the fast laps really matter. This weekend, however, the format has changed with the sprint races and the drivers can only train for an hour before we qualify for the sprint race. Everyone must therefore immediately get the most out of their car and there is no room for mistakes.
Mercedes brought a number of upgrades to their W12 this weekend. They get off to a good start and set two fastest times. However, Verstappen and Pérez soon show that Red Bull has not been sitting still either. Verstappen improves Bottas’ fast time by more than one second. Then the cars still drive on the medium tires and there seems to be a little more fuel on board.
In the last half hour, most teams switch to soft tires to practice for qualifying which will take place later today. Verstappen remains fastest on the red softs. It is therefore not Hamilton or Bottas, but Norris who sets the second fastest time. Verstappen eventually has a lead of almost eight tenths. Tonight we’re going to see if anyone can beat Max’s time at Silverstone. Hamilton will therefore have to conjure up almost a second from the top hat.
1st free practice of the 2021 Great Britain GP
01. Max Verstappen
02. Lando Norris
03. Lewis Hamiolton
04. Charles Leclerc
05. Valtteri Bottas
Dates and times of the 2021 Great Britain GP
Friday, July 16, 2021
Qualification: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday 17 July 2021
2nd free practice: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
sprint race: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Sunday 18 July 2021
Race: 4 p.m.