Mercedes continued its dominance of Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend as Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in Saturday morning’s final practice session.
Formula 1’s pacesetters completed a 1-2 practice sweep at Silverstone with Hamilton registering a time of 1:26.621 on Soft tyres, finishing 0.163s up on Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton currently leads Bottas in the standings by 30 points.
The marque has taken pole position at Silverstone on every occasion since 2013 and looks odds-on to head qualifying at the circuit for the ninth time in a row.
Norris boosts home hopes
Pirelli has moved one step softer with its tyre compounds this weekend and on Friday teams noted little difference between the C4 Soft and C3 Medium.
McLaren driver Lando Norris adopted a different approach to his opponents and used the Medium compound for his quickest effort.
It left him third overall, 0.581s down on compatriot Hamilton, suggesting that the quickest qualifying times later on Saturday may be achievable on the Medium rubber.
Racing Point – the subject of much discussion this weekend after the verdict of the stewards was delivered – finished fourth and fifth, with stand-in Nico Hulkenberg ahead of regular Lance Stroll.
Friday challenges off the pace
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo emerged as best of the rest on Friday but in third practice he finished down in 14th position.
Ricciardo was baulked by a McLaren on one fast lap and when he put it together he was unable to advance into the top 10.
However in a closely-contested midfield bunch he was only half a second down on fourth-placed Hulkenberg.
Mercedes’ perennial challenger Max Verstappen was seventh as his flying lap was interrupted when he came across the dawdling Stroll through Becketts.
An angry Verstappen backed off from his effort and finished the session eight-tenths down on Hamilton.
Charles Leclerc was sixth for Ferrari, in front of Verstappen and the other Red Bull of Alexander Albon, as Renault’s Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. capped the top 10.
Sebastian Vettel placed 13th in the session as his difficult season continued.
Alfa Romeo slowest again
The usual three backmarkers occupied their place at the rear of the field.
Romain Grosjean again kept Haas narrowly ahead of Williams though this time it was Nicholas Latifi leading the charge, two-tenths clear of George Russell.
Alfa Romeo finished further adrift, three-tenths down on Latifi, as its C39 looks set to be bringing up the rear in qualifying once more.
Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen finished ahead of only Kevin Magnussen, who made a mistake on his Soft tyre push lap.
Qualifying for Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix will take place at 14:00 local time.
|4||N. Hulkenberg||Racing Point||1:27.256||+0.635||15|
|5||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:27.263||+0.642||15|
|7||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:27.455||+0.834||12|
|8||A. Albon||Red Bull||1:27.474||+0.853||14|
|18||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:28.468||+1.847||12|
|19||K. Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:28.538||+1.917||11|