Mercedes led the charge in the opening day of running for F1’s 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone, the team including development work and a few experiments in its day’s programs.
Valtteri Bottas set the pace in FP1 before handing the baton to Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, but in both cases the Black Arrows squad enjoyed a comfortable performance margin over its rivals.
“It looks like everyone ran an unusual programme today in terms of tyres but we’re all trying to get enough of the medium and hard into our qualifying and race allocation,” explained trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.
“The soft is a tricky tyre, it’s working quite nicely on a single lap but on a long run it’s not lasting long. We expect most teams will try to avoid that tyre in the race.
“The medium seems more durable and it’s not much slower compared to the soft on a single lap.
“We’ve got a fair understanding of the track from last week, so we were able to use some of the running in free practice to sign off a few development parts and do some experiments.
“It’s been pretty hot today but our pace looks reasonable for a Friday on both short and long runs which is useful as the hot weather looks like it will carry into Saturday and Sunday.”
70th Anniversary Grand Prix Free Practice 2 – Results
Hamilton said the team capitalized on last weekend’s solid base set-up, optimizing its settings during Friday’s sessions.
“We brought a lot of learnings over from last week and with just a few small adjustments to the set-up we’ve been able to fine-tune the car and make some progress, which is positive,” said the six-time world champion.
“Both the Soft and Medium tyres feel very similar out there and there’s not a huge amount of time between them.
“We saw some overheating with the tyres, so they are going to take some nursing to get the best out of them.
“It was great to take the win here last weekend, but I know just how strong Valtteri is and as we saw last weekend, absolutely anything can happen in F1.”
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