Max Verstappen fastest at Silverstone as Nico Hulkenberg returns

Red Bull Racing RB16 floor

Max Verstappen said that Red Bull's RB16 "felt better" after the troubled vehicle was updated with a few new aero parts, but a botched lap ruined the Dutchman's best effort in FP2.

But overall, Verstappen was happy with his opening day of running.

The Dutchman was only 14th after lunch when he was blocked on his sole attempt at a quick lap. In the second free practice session, Albon crashed into the wall and there was little improvement in qualifying.

"We've definitely made a step as a team", said the British-born Thai. We expected worse to be honest coming in to Friday but the auto was hooked up straight away the first time we drove it in FP1.

Max Verstappen set the pace for Red Bull ahead of Lewis Hamilton in an intriguing British GP first practice, while Nico Hulkenberg impressed on his unexpected return to Formula 1 action in place of Sergio Perez. It's looking good obviously I'm sure the Mercs are hiding quite a lot so we'll watch them tomorrow.

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.

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

Ferrari, meanwhile, endured another troubled F1 2020 session as Sebastian Vettel failed to get out on track at all due to auto problems.

"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. We will figure it out so it is not a disaster, but it has been a hard day".

The German was then 18th after lunch, when Ferrari chose to change his car's pedals.

"It's been a special, insane and wild 24 hours, but it's all worth it", said the German driver. I thought I caught it and then I just got sent into a tank slapper. "Seat fitted until 2am tonight, 8am this morning into the simulator for an hour... so it was a short night but all worthwhile".

Perez was ruled out by a positive Covid-19 test on Thursday and is self-isolating.

Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi brought out red flags at the half hour mark after spinning at the exit to Becketts in the morning, leaving debris across the track.

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