Valtteri Bottas edges Lewis Hamilton in second British GP practice

Valtteri Bottas in action for Mercedes at the British Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes 1-2 during the second practice session for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Bottas clocked a time of 1:26.732 on the Soft tyres to finish 0.069s clear of Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton, who went off at Becketts on one of his hot laps.

Bottas’ session was not completely plain sailing, however, as his long run programme was interrupted by a precautionary spark plug change.

Charles Leclerc emerged as the biggest threat to the Mercedes drivers as he finished 0.197s down on Bottas, taking third place overall.

Sebastian Vettel was fourth, another three-tenths back, while Pierre Gasly – who topped FP1 – was again the quickest Red Bull driver, sealing fifth spot.

Lando Norris, after an earlier off through Chapel, improved to place sixth, bumping Max Verstappen down to seventh, with the Dutchman failing to improve on his Soft tyre run.

Just three-tenths of a second split eighth-placed Carlos Sainz Jr. from Antonio Giovinazzi down in 17th position.

That gaggle of drivers included the Toro Rosso pair, split by Sergio Perez, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, the Renault pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, along with Lance Stroll.

Ricciardo’s session came to a close 15 minutes from time due to an engine issue with the Spec A unit in his car; he will revert, as planned, to Spec B for the remainder of the weekend.

Romain Grosjean – who crashed exiting the pit lane in FP1 – finished exactly half a second adrift of Giovinazzi, with his session hampered by a hydraulics problem early on.

Williams again finished rooted to the rear of the 20-car field.

Robert Kubica was 19th, 3.2s off the pace and 1.2s down on Grosjean, having had a spin through Club corner.

Team-mate George Russell was another half second adrift in the wake of a gearbox problem hindering his run plan.

Saturday’s third practice session is scheduled for 11:00 local time