Norris, McLaren sweep weather-affected Friday British GP practice

Lando Norris completed a sweep of Friday practice at the British Grand Prix ahead of McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri on a complex conclusion to the first day of track action in Silverstone.

While the drizzle that hung in the air during FP1 had cleared, the forecast reported that heavy rain was due to lash the circuit in the final 15 minutes of FP2, which would have disrupted the crucial single-lap qualifying simulation runs traditionally set of the end of the session.

The rain eventually arrived with just five minutes to go, but by then the teams’ typical Friday evening programs had already been shaken up to compensate, with soft-tire runs taking earlier than usual and seemingly with different fuel loads, shaking up the order. The resultant times were therefore unlikely to be representative of true pace.


Norris was the dominant performer at the peak of the soft-compound laps, setting the benchmark at 1m26.549s. The Briton’s afternoon was smooth on his way to spot bar a wide moment of the curbs at Copse, after which he asked to have the floor checked for damage. Norris is already running a repaired floor this weekend — along with a new McLaren upgrade — following his damaging smash in Austria last weekend.

Piastri followed at 0.331s off the pace, but while McLaren is expected to suit well the high-speed Silverstone layout, less expected was for the struggling Sergio Perez to slot into fourth for Red Bull Racing, 0.434s off the pace but 0.25s faster than teammate Max Verstappen.

Even more unpredictable was Nico Hulkenberg being a further 0.007 back in fourth for Haas, although the American team’s car has been upgraded for drivability this weekend.

Charles Leclerc perhaps could have got himself into the top four but lost time on his fastest lap exiting Becketts into Chapel, where he suffered a big snap over the curbs that will have cost him momentum down the Hangar Straight. He ended up 0.601s off the pace in the Ferrari equipped with a new Silverstone-spec upgrade package.

Lewis Hamilton led the way for Mercedes at 0.653s off the pace and 0.031s ahead of Verstappen, who was the first driver to switch onto the qualifying-spec soft tire and therefore carried the deficit of lapping the track when it was less rubbered in that it would be for the rest of the field.

Carlos Sainz steered Ferrari’s pre-Silverstone update package to eighth and 0.7s off the pace, pipping Lance Stroll, again in the lead Aston Martin, by 0.025s and George Russell’s Mercedes by 0.045s to complete the top 10.

Fernando Alonso slotted into 11th at 0.823s off the pace, beating Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon down to 13th.

Pierre Gasly, who will start the race from the back of the grid after taking a new power unit for this event, also suspected floor damage after running off the road at Copse, with the Frenchman ending the day 14th ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon, the pair closely matched just under 1.2s off the pace.

Yuki Tsunoda was the lead RB in 16th ahead of Logan Sargeant, Zhou Guanyu, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen.

Story originally appeared on Racer