Formula 1 Racing

Norris tops FP2 ahead of Piastri, Perez

Norris tops FP2 ahead of Piastri, Perez

Lando Norris completed a clean sweep of Friday’s free practice sessions ahead of the British Grand Prix, having beaten McLaren Formula 1 team-mate Oscar Piastri by 0.331 seconds in FP2.

Norris posted a 1m26.549s among the mid-session soft-tyre runs to go top in preparation for qualifying on Saturday, chiselling Piastri off the top of the charts as the Australian briefly held the fastest time.

Max Verstappen had produced the fastest lap of the opening runs, a 1m27.831s set amid the flurry of laps on mediums in the first 10 minutes.

Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton got close on their medium-tyre runs, but neither could break below the 88-second barrier on their initial laps.

Verstappen made an early start to the customary soft-tyre running with a 1m27.233s, although Carlos Sainz managed to do a lap just 0.523s behind his ex-Toro Rosso team-mate on the mediums.

Russell found more time on the mediums, getting within three tenths of Verstappen’s lap, before the soft-tyre runs got started properly across the middle part of the session – as it became increasingly evident that Verstappen was running off-sync with everyone else.

Verstappen’s time was dislodged from the top by Charles Leclerc, who saved his Ferrari from a precipitous slide in Maggotts/Becketts to briefly stand fastest. The Monegasque was supplanted by Nico Hulkenberg’s 1m26.990s, the first time in the 1m26s all weekend, who in turn conceded his position to Oscar Piastri.

Piastri had clocked a 1m26.880s, but this was put in the shade by Norris’ 1m26.549s, who landed at the top as the soft-tyre runs drew to a close.

This coincided with radio traffic explaining that rain was expected to fall in the final 5-10 minutes of the session, prompting the switch to a range of compounds to log the usual long runs in preparation for the grand prix.

The timesheets were thus left largely as-was, ensuring that Norris headed both Friday sessions and kept Piastri in second overall; with five minutes to go, rain started to pepper the Silverstone circuit to dampen the teams’ desire to continue their long runs up to the clock.

Although a few drivers later emerged on intermediate tyres to explore the circuit in moderately damp conditions, this unsurprisingly made little difference to the timing order.

Sergio Perez, who did not take part in FP1 after giving up his seat for Isack Hadjar, was among the last few drivers to set a lap on softs and launched himself up the order into third….

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