Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in FP1 of F1 British GP from McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, as McLaren has new investment.

It was a mixed bag in FP1 of F1 British GP, as teams had just one session to be ready for qualifying and also the races to come. While majority started with hard and medium tyres for their runs, towards the end were the soft compound was in play, as well.

As per the new format, teams can only run the soft tyre in Friday’s qualifying, leaving them to save few sets for the session. The early lap from Red Bull’s Verstappen on the soft compound was unbeatable, though, with a 1m27.035s against his name.

He was 0.779s quicker than McLaren’s Norris (1m27.81s), who set his best time on the medium tyre, finishing 0.001s ahead of Mercedes’ Hamilton (1m27.815s), who set his best on the soft compound. The latter was surprised by the gap to Verstappen.

The Mercedes duo were separated by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (1m27.828s), who was fourth from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m27.897s), with Carlos Sainz (1m27.923s) in sixth. The Spaniard had a half-spin earlier in the session, but managed to continue on unharmed.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (1m28.062s) was seventh from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (1m28.163s), who couldn’t improve whole lot on the soft tyre running. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m28.211s) was ninth, on the medium compound.

The Top 10 was rounded out by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who had a new chassis and some further new parts after Austria struggles. He led the AlphaTauri duo of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda in 11th and 12th, who set their best time on the medium compound.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was 13th with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso 14th after the Spaniard had his best time on the medium tyre. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was 15th from Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, with Haas’ Mick Schumacher in 17th.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was 18th on the medium tyre, where he aborted his soft tyre run, with Haas’ Nikita Mazepin 19th and Williams’ George Russell was 20th after his quick lap was deleted due to track limits.

New McLaren investment:

After the investment from Bahrain’s Mumtalakt last year, McLaren has found a fresh long-term investment, raising £550m, to enhance its step into the electric world. About £400m of it comes from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Ares Management.

It makes them a minority shareholder alongside Bahrain’s Mumtalakat, which pumped in £150m as private investors. The fresh investment solidifies McLaren’s financial position as amid COVID-19 pandemic, which hurt its automotive business hugely.

As it moves to electric route, the British car maker required investment to sustain its current business too, especially the racing side with F1 and IndyCar. McLaren’s chief financial officer Kate Ferry told Financial Times that this puts them with a good capital structure for the next five years.

Meanwhile, Paul Walsh, McLaren Group’s executive chair, added: “McLaren has taken a number of significant steps to put the company on a stable footing for the long term, with the close support of its advisers and existing shareholders.”

At the same time, Zak Brown, noted: “Positive news for our major shareholder McLaren Group with £550m of new investment as part of long-term financial plan.”

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