The Friday in F1 British GP was a mixed bag weather wise as the order was similar at the top but still they did not have the best of days too.
The Friday in F1 British GP was a mixed day after rain affected FP1 but things got better in FP2 in a dry session which helped every team to test some new items and prepare for the weekend ahead. The top half saw a mixed results for the teams.
While Carlos Sainz had a bit better run, Charles Leclerc was a bit behind due to some issues which he hopes will be solved by Saturday. It was similar on Red Bull side, while Max Verstappen was less concerned, Sergio Perez did not have a great outing.
He felt his car was miles off from what was expected on the simulator. The issues for both these teams could bring Mercedes into the podium contention where Lewis Hamilton felt much better, while George Russell thought his long-run pace was better than short.
Perez: “It wasn’t a great session. I think from our preparation that we had and simulator, the car is miles off – so we assume that there’s something going on that we need to understand. And yes, it was a very, very short long run there at the end. So yes, not a great start. We are a bit on the back foot, so we just have to understand what’s going on with it. It’s going to be pretty difficult [to recover] but we’ve done it before and I think as long as we are able to get things in the right place, you need the confidence around these fast corners, so as long as I’m able to get back my confidence, I think things should be alright. We do have, I think, there are some [suspicions] on the aerodynamic side but yes, obviously, we cannot go too much into detail.”
Leclerc: “Yes, a tricky day. I mean, the first session, we didn’t get much data from it, just because of the weather and very few laps, and on the second, in FP2, we had quite a bit of problems on my side, so hopefully tomorrow we can have a bit of a cleaner day and have things going our way. I don’t know if there were radio messages on the coverage but overall, just some power unit things that were making it very difficult to drive. But it’s fine. I mean, it’s small set-ups more than problems, so we will modify it for tomorrow. With the softs, it was very, very tricky again for some reason. It didn’t feel as good as on the medium and again, we’ve had those small issues that weren’t easy also to manage. But overall, I think the performance is in the car, so this is positive, and hopefully again tomorrow we can put everything together and have a good day.”
Hamilton: “It has been a good day. I wish that we all had more running in P1, but that beautiful weather that we normally get here in Silverstone is what makes it so special! It can be raining in one corner, or half the track and dry elsewhere, so it was just wet through [Turns] 6 and 7 and a little bit down to 9, and then it was dry everywhere else. So, that made it difficult. It has been a good day. I wish that we all had more running in P1, but that beautiful weather that we normally get here in Silverstone is what makes it so special! It can be raining in one corner, or half the track and dry elsewhere, so it was just wet through [Turns] 6 and 7 and a little bit down to 9, and then it was dry everywhere else. So, that made it difficult.”
Amid the the Top 3 teams, it was mixed bag in the other part of the Top 10 with McLaren featuring along with Alpine and Aston Martin. Among them, Lando Norris felt the pace was good for them as did his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who was also in the Top 10.
For Alpine, while Esteban Ocon lost time due to cracked sidepod but teammate Fernando Alonso found himself in the Top 10. The Spaniard was felt good with the updated package but noted that they need more time to understand as did Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.
Norris: “It’s been a tricky day, just the wind conditions make it extremely difficult. As good as it looked, it’s still difficult to put things together and to be consistent and so on, especially in the long run. But happy – the car seems to be in a decent place at least, a little bit better than we were expecting, whether that’s good or not, whether that’s because we turned up more than the others. But yeah, as far as we know from ourselves, things are in a good area, and we can find some more improvements into tomorrow. It’s very difficult to get that rhythm and to get into it because every lap the car is doing something different. You have different gusts of wind that can affect the car in a huge way. I think, let’s say, I’m as confident as I can be in these conditions.”
Alonso: “It was very difficult for everyone today because of the rain we had to deal with in FP1, which prevented us from completing useful runs. I think we still have things to learn about this new package that we have here at Silverstone. We would like to have more track time, but it’s the same for everyone! We will have to work a little harder this evening, in order to be in the best possible position when we start tomorrow’s final free practice and qualifying.”
Stroll: “I think we completed some solid running today, despite the weather. I got a good feel for the car and my first experience of the upgrades was positive. I think there are some small improvements to make as we optimise things, but we will keep pushing tonight and tomorrow morning to be ready for qualifying. It is the usual stuff – a bit of understeer here, a bit of oversteer there, but we will try and sort it out ready for tomorrow.”
Outside the Top 10, it was a bit of a tough time for the likes of Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri and Haas pairs who couldn’t extract as much. Pierre Gasly reckoned he damaged his car to not push enough, while Valtteri Bottas thought few tenths separated everyone in the midfield. Alexander Albon with all the updates gave a thumbs up to Williams for positive step.
Gasly: “We damaged some parts of the car quite early on today, which made things even harder for us, but generally we’re just lacking quite a lot of pace. We’re struggling in high-speed corners and unfortunately this is a track that has many of them. Based on these track characteristics, this weekend was always going to be tough, but we’ll work hard tonight and see what we can do to improve. We need to be on top of our game and try to make some steps forward, so that we can be in the best position for Sunday. It’s also maybe raining tomorrow, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for us, we obviously can’t rely on this though, so we’ll work hard tonight to find a bit more performance for Quali.”
Bottas: “It hasn’t been a bad day: the first session wasn’t that useful, with half the track dry and the other half wet, but we were able to do plenty of laps in FP2, as many as anyone else, and try some high-fuel runs. It’s clear that the midfield is very tight once again; a couple of tenths more or less can mean a shift of a lot of places. We’ll need to make a good improvement tonight but I think we can look forward to qualifying. There’s still a bit to do to balance the car, especially in the high-speed corners, but I am confident we can make a step forward.”
Albon: “We had a limited day with the wet Free Practice 1, so didn’t get as much running as we’d like to with the new aero package. As Free Practice 2 goes, we do need track time and despite having pretty much none of it, we’ve got a car we can drive that is a step forward from the previous car, so it’s positive. We have a bit of fine tuning and changes to make but we have a good base so can start from there and see how we go tomorrow.”