British GP, Practice Two: Valtteri Bottas ahead of Lewis Hamilton
Bottas 0.069s ahead of Hamilton with Leclerc two tenths back; Verstappen bemoans "worst Friday"; McLaren impress again
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 13/07/19 2:18pm
Valtteri Bottas out-paced home favourite Lewis Hamilton to top the Practice Two timesheets at the British GP, with Mercedes just ahead of Ferrari as the pecking order for the showpiece event took shape.
Bottas, without a victory since the Azerbaijan GP and trailing Hamilton by 31 points in the championship, was 0.069s faster than his team-mate in Friday's close afternoon session, continuing his strong start to a crucial weekend.
But while Ferrari were some way off the pace in first practice, Charles Leclerc was within two tenths of Bottas in third in P2 as the in-form youngster beat Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel - one of many drivers to drift wide onto the grass with the windy conditions and lack of grip less than ideal at Silverstone - finished 0.4s behind Bottas in the lead Mercedes.
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Mercedes did appear to have a bigger advantage when it came to the race runs, with Hamilton in particular shining while Ferrari struggled to keep their front tyres alive.
"Hamilton's pace has been fantastic on the long runs," said Sky F1's Jenson Button as he tipped the Englishman for a record sixth British GP victory.
Pierre Gasly, the surprise pace-setter in first practice, was only fifth and half a second off the pace in P2, though he was three tenths ahead of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who struggled with his tyres and finished down in seventh.
"I would say this Friday was one of the worst I've had all year," admitted the Dutchman.
McLaren looking strong again
Lando Norris split the Red Bulls for the impressive McLaren, while team-mate Carlos Sainz was eighth.
For the third race in a row, McLaren appear to be the midfield team to beat.
That isn't it to say it's not close again in that pack. Daniil Kvyat, in 11th, was was just 0.021s slower than Sainz, yet Alex Albon and Sergio Perez separated him from that McLaren.
Renault would have hoped to be challenging for the top-10 at least this weekend but struggled again in second practice, with Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg 14th and 15th.
And towards the end of the session, Ricciardo's car came to a stop as he reported the car had "switched off" - while his team confirmed an engine issue.
Romain Grosjean also had mechanical issues as a hydraulic problem confined the under-pressure Haas driver to the pits for most of the session, while George Russell's running was limited by gearbox trouble in his Williams.
British GP Practice Two Timesheet
|1. Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1:26.732|
|2. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.069|
|3. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.197|
|4. Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+0.448|
|5. Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||+0.517|
|6. Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.814|
|7. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.830|
|8. Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+1.255|
|9. Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso||+1.265|
|10. Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+1.270|
|11. Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+1.276|
|12. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+1.327|
|13. Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+1.394|
|14. Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+1.396|
|15. Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+1.485|
|16. Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+1.508|
|17. Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1.562|
|18. Romain Grosjean||Haas||+2.062|
|19. Robert Kubica||Williams||+3.203|
|20. George Russell||Williams||+3.782|
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