British GP: Mercedes' rivals seek improvement after Silver Arrows dominate Friday Practice
Vettel half a second off Bottas' benchmark; Ricciardo expects SIlver Arrows front-row lockout but thinks Red Bull can be ahead of Ferrari
By Pete Gill and Jonathan Green at Silverstone
Last Updated: 31/07/17 11:41am
Mercedes' two closest rivals are confident of improving through the rest of the British GP weekend after being out-paced by the world champions in Friday practice.
Sebastian Vettel was nearly half a second shy of Valtteri Bottas' Practice Two benchmark, having been 1.4 seconds off the pace in the opening session, but hinted afterwards Ferrari had run their newly-upgraded engine on reduced power.
"On Friday you don't run maximum performance," said the championship leader. "The engine has quite a lot of miles to do in its life so we try to save it. It's working.
"We have to do more, we have to improve. If you just look at the raw lap times [Mercedes] have certainly looked quick. No matter which tyres and which conditions."
Mercedes dominated both of Friday's practice sessions with Bottas topping a Silver Arrows one-two in the morning and afternoon. Lewis Hamilton made a mistake on his flying lap in Practice Two but was the quickest driver on the soft tyres and was only fractionally behind Bottas's supersoft benchmark.
While the timesheets listed Ferrari as Mercedes' closest challengers, Red Bull are confident they can topple Ferrari as 'the best of the rest'.
However, with Silverstone a particularly power-sensitive circuit, Daniel Ricciardo has conceded the Renault-engined Red Bulls are unlikely to be able to challenge Mercedes this weekend.
"Mercedes are rapid today and normally they are even quicker in qualifying," said the Australian. "On one-lap pace we can get Ferrari and l think that will translate to high-fuel running.
"Mercedes are very fast but if we get everything right we can fight Ferrari. We can definitely improve from where we are. If we get the car working in the way I know we can, it will be a good fight between us but I think Mercedes will be locking out the front row."
But Max Verstappen was more circumspect, admitting "we are not quick enough".
The teenager was also frustrated at the news both Ferrari and Mercedes have introduced updates to their engines this weekend to further increase their power advantage.
"That's the case the whole year - we are always running a bit behind in that way so we need to work hard on the car to find time," Verstappen told Sky Sports News HQ.
British GP Practice Two Timesheet
|1. Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Supersoft||1:28.496|
|2. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Soft||+0.047|
|3. Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||Supersoft||+0.332|
|4. Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||Supersoft||+0.460|
|5. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||Supersoft||+0.602|
|6. Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||Supersoft||+1.090|
|7. Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||Supersoft||+1.440|
|8. Felipe Massa||Williams||Supersoft||+1.510|
|9. Fernando Alonso||McLaren||Supersoft||+1.742|
|10. Esteban Ocon||Force India||Supersoft||+1.887|
|11. Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||Supersoft||+2.059|
|12. Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||Supersoft||+2.066|
|13. Sergio Perez||Force India||Supersoft||+2.128|
|14. Romain Grosjean||Haas||Supersoft||+2.165|
|15. Lance Stroll||Williams||Supersoft||+2.199|
|16. Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||Supersoft||+2.286|
|17. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||Supersoft||+2.339|
|18. Jolyon Palmer||Renault||Supersoft||+2.383|
|19. Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||Supersoft||+3.120|
|20. Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||Supersoft||+3.433|
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