5 issues we discovered from Friday’s observe on the British Grand Prix

England fans kicked off Friday at Silverstone, with 106,000 people braving the rain and enjoying the sun afterwards in motorsport’s hometown. So, after two practice sessions – of which only one was dry – who looks hot, and who has work to do overnight?

1. Ferrari at home before the sweeps of Silverstone

There’s just something about this place that brings out the best of Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver who finished third, third and second in the last three laps of the event – but it was his teammate. there, Carlos Sainz, who shined the most on Friday.

FP2 REPORT: Sainz leads British duo of Hamilton and Norris in second practice session at Silverstone

The Spaniard impressed in FP2 and our ideal lap data suggests he could have an even bigger advantage if he has all his best minor areas together . Leclerc will be second in this metric, with Ferrari emerging as the strongest in all qualifying.

Their race pace isn’t promising, but they’re still second overall, a few tenths ahead of Red Bull and leading in speed in slow corners. If they can get through qualifying well, they are very competitive for their first win since the Australian Grand Prix.

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2. A long night ahead for Red Bull after a tough day

Red Bull are the favorites heading into Silverstone, not only because they have won the last six races on the track, but also because they have a car that has a speed advantage on the straight line over their direct rivals. next.

READ MORE: Red Bull ‘goes miles’ around Silverstone says Perez – while Verstappen says no surprise to see Ferrari lead FP2

But Friday’s training session didn’t go so well. Max Verstappen was not satisfied with the feel of the transparent car, the Dutchman said of a strange noise on the team radio. His teammate, Sergio Perez, struggled even more, saying the car was “miles away” than they predicted based on simulation data.

Despite the difficulties – and lack of correlation – Perez remained optimistic about last weekend, saying Ferrari looked strong “but nothing too special” and that he predicted the championship leaders would be comparable. with the red cars to qualifying.

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3. Upgraded Mercedes seems like a step forward

The good news for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell is that W13 doesn’t bounce in a straight line. The bad news is that it has increased quite a bit through scans.

Overall, though, it’s been a positive day for the reigning world champions – and early signs suggest their updated car is a step forward, bringing them closer to Ferrari and Red Bull, and they’re fastest in high-speed corners.

READ MORE: ‘We’ve definitely made an improvement’ Hamilton said after P2 wowed the crowd in Silverstone second practice

Both riders felt there was work to do in a lap, but their race pace was encouraging. “Usually we see a gap, half a second, maybe even seven, eight tenths for faster teams in the long run – and that’s not like there,” said Mercedes head of racing. , said Andrew Shovlin.

“It’s probably a bit of a circuit, a car circuit. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done, there’s a lot of issues and it’s complicated at high speeds at the moment, but hopefully the updates have us on the right track. “

Our data shows that they are third best in the long run, a difference of about 0.67 seconds – but from the inside of course the final Silver Arrow is a little closer.

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4. McLaren looks handy on home ground

Lando Norris finished fifth British Grand Prix in 2020 and fourth in 2021 but as it heads into the race at home, it doesn’t seem McLaren has enough pace to continue that pattern and win a podium .

The top three may still be a gap, but Norris was in fine form on Friday, displaying such powerful pace that he even surprised himself with how fast on the field. third fastest time. On the straight line, only Williams had a better performance.

READ MORE: Norris laments ‘extremely difficult’ first day of run at Silverstone despite finishing third in FP2

Our data shows they’re fourth fastest in lap speeds, making Q3 a minimal target and while they drop to fifth in the race speed rankings, they can hopefully from the steps they’ve taken from Friday to Saturday this year has helped them put on a better-than-expected performance.

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5. Alpine can be black horses

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were keen to reduce Alpine’s aggressive speed on Friday, but data shows the heavily upgraded package delivered in a big way.

Their qualifying speed puts them in fifth place, but that improves to fourth and best of the rest when looking at high fuel laps, just three tenths of a second per lap first. Mercedes – that’s the closest they’ve come in a whole year. Their straight line speed is still strong and it’s a huge asset around fast and flowing Silverstone.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from an exciting second practice session at the British Grand Prix

The caveat is that they have struggled to hit impressive speeds on Friday, in terms of short and long runs, on weekends in recent events – especially on Sunday when points are awarded. But they can take heed from the early signs that their upgrade is working as expected, and with some good homework overnight, you could hit a good chunk of progress on Saturday.

And with wet weather predicted, maybe even a standout in qualifying, Alonso can feel quite excited, having excelled through those conditions on his way to second in the grid last time out in Canada.

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