British GP, Practice One: Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg returns

Tanya Simon
August 2, 2020

Hamilton, in imperious form at the last two races, is bidding for a record-increasing seventh home win at Silverstone tomorrow.

"It's windy, as it always is here, but that's a good thing and with the wind coming from different directions it was really tricky".

Charles Leclerc was fifth for Ferrari, who are running particularly skinny wings at Silverstone to counter their lack of top speed.

"The balance of my auto is not as good as I would like so we have some work to do tonight".

The Briton, a six times victor at Silverstone, leads Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, sixth and third fastest in the respective sessions, in the standings by five points after three races.

The 30-year-old returned a positive result on Thursday evening after revealing he visited Mexico to see his sick mother following the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg, back for what may be two races, looked like he'd never been away after lapping ninth and seventh fastest respectively for a team whose auto is subject to an ongoing protest over its legality.

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"Having to find a replacement for Sergio at short notice is no easy task, but in Nico we've got a fantastic supersub who the team knows very well", said team boss Otmar Szafnauer in a statement. "The vehicle is massively quick".

Verstappen managed a 1:27.422 in a sizzlingly hot opening session when Stroll was third fastest.

"We've definitely made a step as a team". "We expected worse coming into today but the vehicle feels good and it was hooked up straight away from the first lap in FP1".

"And if we could give Alex a better-balanced auto, then we all know that he will then stick it straight into Q3 without any bother".

Verstappen might have set his best lap on the speediest soft tyre compound - with Hamilton (below) electing to use the slower medium rubber - but Red Bull will nevertheless be encouraged by the Dutchman's time.

"Obviously I'm pretty sure the Mercedes are hiding a lot so we'll be watching them tomorrow but otherwise on our side the auto feels more balanced and I think we have a better understanding of it".

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.

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