F1 British GP practice results: Stroll fastest as Albon crashes

Ruben Hill
July 31, 2020

Lance Stroll put his Racing Point Formula 1 auto to the top of the timesheets to end British Grand Prix Friday practice quickest, while Alex Albon suffered a big crash.

Shortly after, Alex Albon raised tensions further in the Red Bull camp when he lost control at Stowe and hit the barrier backwards, inflicting significant damage to the RB16 but fortunately not to himself. The Anglo-Thai racer spun off during a flying lap and slid backwards into the armco barriers, causing substantial damage to the rear end and front left of his vehicle.

The Mexican's replacement, Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest after being called-up overnight.

Lewis Hamilton had only one clean lap on the softs before the suspension, which left him 0.3s behind Stroll's benchmark.

As a reminder, Albon has a new race engineer from this weekend, the experienced Simon Rennie who was designated to precisely help the 24-year-old improve.

But ironically it was Albon's teammate, Max Verstappen, was most affected by the 10-minute suspension. That led to an amusing sequence of angry radio messages, after Verstappen slowed down and gestured at the Frenchman.

Drivers and teams opted for some qualifying simulations to end the first half of the second practice session.

Sebastian Vettel completed a torrid day at Silverstone with 18th on the time sheet.

McLaren Carlos Sainz enjoyed a solid day, clocking in P6, just ahead of Hulkenberg, while Gasly, Ricciardo and Raikkonen closed out the top ten. Once finally able to get back in the cockpit, Vettel focused on setup work rather than chasing a lap time, leaving him near the bottom of the order.

Long runs became the norm in the final 15 minutes, so there was no overhauling Stroll's best, the Racing Point charger concluding FP2 ahead of Albon, Bottas, Leclerc and Hamilton.

After Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly was eighth for Alpha Tauri ahead of Daniel Ricciardo of Renault and Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo, all three complaining, like most drivers, of the hard hot conditions and a gusty cross-wind at the former wartime aerodrome.

Mercedes Valtteri Bottas was third as the German outfit continued to diligently fine-tune its W11 Black Arrow.

Although Latifi and Albon were the only drivers to suffer high-profile off-track excursions, the hot and blustery conditions were visible on track, with cars twitching through the circuit's most challenging high-speed sections. The weather is forecast to cool considerably on Saturday and Sunday, dropping by as much as 25 degrees F with a threat of rain during FP3.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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