Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2021

Verstappen quickest in final practice before sprint qualifying

2021 British Grand Prix second practice

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Max Verstappen was quickest in the second and final practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Verstappen topped the session by three tenths of a second from the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr. Sprint Qualifying polesitter Lewis Hamilton finished the session eighth quickest.

Track conditions were slightly cooler than Friday morning’s first session as the second and final practice got underway.

With cars locked under parc ferme conditions meaning no adjustments were permitted for the teams, longer race simulation runs proved the order of the day.

There was plenty of track action for the tens of thousands of fans around the Silverstone circuit, with teams testing the long run performance of each of the three compounds ahead of the first ever sprint qualifying session this afternoon.

Just over halfway through the session, the Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Sergio Perez sat atop the timing screens with the two AlphaTauris of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda sitting third and fourth after their disappointing qualifying performance on Friday.

Eighth-place sprint qualifying starter George Russell noted how the wind was more pronounced on his way to setting the 11th fastest time of the session.

Valtteri Bottas was called into the pits to remove a suspected visor tear-off that had been caught on his rear-left wheel deflector. After the team removed the debris, Bottas was released to continue his run.

Lando Norris had several lap times deleted for exceeding the track limits at Copse and Stowe corners. Antonio Giovinazzi also had a lap deleted for a similar infraction.

As Verstappen opted for a run on the hard tyres in the closing minutes, the two Ferraris improved to go second and third fastest.

After taking the chequered flag at the end of the session, Bottas spun his Mercedes into The Loop, recovering safely but flat-spotting his tyres in the process.

Esteban Ocon set the fourth fastest time, after doing a long run on soft rubber. That put the Alpine ahead of Peres and the two McLarens of Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. The two Mercedes finished the session in eighth and ninth place, with Hamilton and Bottas respectively.

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2021 British Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’29.90223
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’30.2770.37530
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’30.5070.60529
431Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’30.7070.80531
511Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’30.8000.89827
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’31.0301.12824
73Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’31.0341.13223
844Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’31.1311.22928
977Valtteri BottasMercedes1’31.1801.27827
1010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’31.1881.28631
1163George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’31.2371.33524
1299Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’31.2631.36129
1314Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’31.2891.38727
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’31.3281.42626
156Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’31.3371.43530
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’31.4041.50232
175Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’31.5931.69134
1818Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’32.0412.13931
199Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’32.4742.57231
2047Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’34.0174.11528

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’29.902

+0.375 Charles Leclerc – 1’30.277

+0.605 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’30.507

+0.805 Esteban Ocon – 1’30.707

+0.898 Sergio Perez – 1’30.800

+1.128 Lando Norris – 1’31.030

+1.132 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’31.034

+1.229 Lewis Hamilton – 1’31.131

+1.278 Valtteri Bottas – 1’31.180

+1.286 Pierre Gasly – 1’31.188

+1.335 George Russell – 1’31.237

+1.361 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’31.263

+1.387 Fernando Alonso – 1’31.289

+1.426 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’31.328

+1.435 Nicholas Latifi – 1’31.337

+1.502 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’31.404

+1.691 Sebastian Vettel – 1’31.593

+2.139 Lance Stroll – 1’32.041

+2.572 Nikita Mazepin – 1’32.474

+4.115 Mick Schumacher – 1’34.017

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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23 comments on “Verstappen quickest in final practice before sprint qualifying”

  1. Quite a waste of time this practice session.

    1. Yeah, it seems weird to me. We’ve certainly never had anything like it before. Comes across as largely pointless.

      1. As Webber said, this reminds us of the 30 min session we used to get on Sunday morning, with a few longs runs added to the mix.

  2. Write up saying Hamilton finished in 8th but the times say he’s in 3rd?

    1. The times are from the last race weekend lol

    2. @jamiefranklinf1 Times from an earlier session were appearing by mistake originally, that’s been fixed.

  3. Why are the times 1.04-5? Thought a lap was 1.24 ish

    1. Seems something was wrong and it got fixed now.

  4. Will Bottas get a penalty for spinning his car after the checkered flag?

    1. @jimfromus I wouldn’t have thought so.

      There’s actually nothing in the regulations (That i’m aware of anyway) stating that drivers can’t continue pushing after taking the chequered flag in a practice session so there would therefore be no reason to hand out a penalty for a driver spinning after taking it.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        17th July 2021, 15:33

        Unless Masi sees it as a celebratory doughnut!

  5. Pretty much what I expected from this practice session. Just teams doing long runs for the sprint qualifying and the race itself. They could’ve just added another 30 minutes for FP1 instead of this pointless second session.
    I also don’t expect any excitement in the sprint. No way drivers will take big risks to get higher up the grid, especially not at the front. The risk of losing places on the grid is just not worth it.
    The only interesting feature might be the tire choice. Both, soft and medium, look like decent race tires over a 17-lap stint. Some might be tempted to go for the soft, because of its better grip off the start. We shall see.

    1. @srga91 I expect most will run the sprint on mediums with maybe just 2-3 drivers trying the softs.

      My biggest concern with this is still that even if we have a fair bit of action in the sprint which ends up been quite exciting, Is that not just going to be action taken away from the GP which results in a less exciting GP. If that is the case then I don’t see that as a positive thing.

      The thing i’m hearing though is that most teams are going to instruct drivers to be cautious. If there’s an easy opportunity with DRS then go for it but if an overtake is more marginal then back out early. General consensus seems to be we will likely get the usual action at the start & see some battling over the 1st 2-3 laps but that beyond that everyone will settle into a rhythm & it will be pretty static. Anyone starting on soft’s may make up places at the start but will likely have to go into management mode after 3-4 laps.

      1. @gt-racer
        I don’t think it will take action away from the main race, but rather add some for Sunday (get fans excited).
        Yes, the drivers will be very cautious on overtaking moves they aren’t 100% sure about. It’s better to stay where you are than losing multiple positions after a failed overtaking maouver or at the worst case, crashing your car and starting from the pitlane.

        Regarding the soft tires, I don’t think they will be such an unpopular choice. Every driver from P11 downwards has got at least one fresh set of softs available. Even the used softs didn’t look too shabby on the runs in FP2 (Sainz in particular did very consistent and pretty fast times on that tire). It might not be all 10 drivers outside the top-10 to choose that tire, but I’d be amazed if it were not at least 6 or 7 of them.
        Considering Sainz’s used softs (I think they were 3 laps old) had decent degradation, I don’t think that drivers on fresh softs would need to manage them too much.

        1. someone or something
          17th July 2021, 14:43

          Yeah, especially if the strategy consists of a couple of laps in attack mode before settling down and only going for easy overtakes. Softs sound like a logical choice in the midfield. Better traction at the start, more grip in the phase that counts. Unless you’re pushing them too hard, you should be able to see the end of the not-a-race without becoming a sitting duck for the cars behind you, that aren’t overly interested in taking any risks.
          That might be different if we were truly dealing with a sprint, but I don’t think there’s any reason to push all the way to the end. Push at the start, grab any position that may be up for grabs, then let dirty air and an unfavourable risk-reward calculation do their work.
          The C3 easily lasted 13-14 laps with starting fuel loads in last year’s Anniversary Grand Prix, and even up to 25 laps for some. 17 laps with 35 kilos of fuel on board should be manageable.

          1. We’ll have to see. There’s 3-2-1 points up for grab for one thing, and as well this will be an opportunity for them to push their tires on 1/3 the fuel they would normally start on.

            As to the race, drivers often settle in anyway and play the long game and observe tire wear and relate it to a pit stop strategy.

          2. someone or something
            17th July 2021, 16:32

            @robbie

            There’s 3-2-1 points up for grab for one thing

            Of course, but for whom?
            Hamilton, Verstappen, Bottas – sure. Leclerc? Well, maybe he finds himself running in the top 3 after the start, but his pace deficit should prove too significant. If anything, the gaps between the front and the midfield tend to explode in the race at Silverstone.
            Pérez? If he gets past Leclerc quickly, maybe.
            Everyone else won’t be thinking about points, unless there’s contact among the front-runners.

            As to the race, drivers often settle in anyway and play the long game and observe tire wear and relate it to a pit stop strategy.

            Well, that’s exactly my point. How much overtaking do we get between lap 2 of a race and the pit stops? Virtually zero, except for cars that are still out of position after the initial laps. And it’s not like they don’t want to, it’s rather the case that they simply can’t, at least not before the tyres start degrading. Which will be less of an issue with less fuel on board and little reason to push too hard.

          3. Don’t forget, and I realise that at this time probably the sprint race already ended, but I watch them delayed, a thing are 17 laps in austria, a thing are 17 laps at silverstone, it’s a lot longer lap.

        2. pastaman (@)
          17th July 2021, 15:12

          What you describe does not sound very exciting lol

  6. This whole thing with everyone trying (And often failing) not to call the sprint a race is just silly.

    I know that F1 don’t want to call it a race because they don’t want to take anything away from the GP & so want to differentiate the sprint from the GP as much as possible. However the sprint is a race, Everyone can see it’s a race so just call it a race. And let’s be honest if they are so worried that the sprint is going to take anything away from the GP, Cause confusion or whatever then maybe they shouldn’t have introduced it to begin with.

    1. @stefmeister I didn’t mind the Sky people calling it the Sprint because if they called it the race it would automatically make me think they were talking about Sunday. ‘Sprint’ automatically made me understand they were talking about Saturday.

  7. So pointless and boring session. With the upcoming sprint and race, there’s hardly anything to be gleaned from the times either. And where is the AWS supercomputer fancy graphics where you need it? Nothing of interest was shown.

    Together with the sprint, that’s a lot of race practice meaning there will be no surprises for the race now.

  8. Also funny (and slightly sad) how they wanted to make out that Bottas was lying not going over the kerb and causing some damage by immediately playing the message from Bonnington to Hamilton how he should stay off the kerbs as Bottas had gotten damage there, only for the whole ‘story’ to fail when it later turned out to be a tear-off blockage. 100% sure this would not have been done if the drivers had been reversed.

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