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Formula 1

British GP FP2: The laptimes that suggest Red Bull trails McLaren

by Ben Anderson
4 min read

Lando Norris led a McLaren 1-2 in second practice for Formula 1’s 2024 British Grand Prix, giving a stronger indication that McLaren is in contention to beat Red Bull at Silverstone.

Unlike in FP1, there was no tyre offset between the top teams. They all ran the medium and then the soft - and in the qualifying simulations it was McLaren on top.


1 Norris 1m26.549s
2 Piastri 1m26.880s
3 Perez 1m26.983s
4 Hulkenberg 1m26.990s
5 Leclerc 1m27.150s
6 Hamilton 1m27.202s
7 Verstappen 1m27.233s
8 Sainz 1m27.249s
9 Stroll 1m27.274s
10 Russell 1m27.294s
11 Alonso 1m27.372s
12 Bottas 1m27.381s
13 Albon 1m27.645s
14 Gasly 1m27.732s
15 Ocon 1m27.743s
16 Tsunoda 1m27.745s
17 Sargeant 1m27.809s
18 Zhou 1m27.813s
19 Ricciardo 1m27.916s
20 Magnussen 1m28.122s

Norris’s lap in particular looked outstanding, given he was more than three tenths faster than McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, who is noted for his prodigious speed through the high-speed corners of Silverstone.

Having sat out FP1, Sergio Perez was slightly delayed in his run plan compared to the other leading runners, but the fact he was still more than four tenths off the pace bodes well for McLaren.

Max Verstappen set his best lap - only good enough for seventh overall - quite early.

He also did very short runs on each of the medium and soft tyres, front-loading his single-lap work in expectation of rain that did eventually disrupt the final five minutes of running.

The Red Bull - and Verstappen in particular - undoubtedly has more to come once fuel loads and engine modes are adjusted, but seven tenths to Norris is still quite a large chunk of laptime for Verstappen to find.

Nico Hulkenberg, running the upgrade on his Haas for this session, was the major outlier on the soft tyre, suggesting the Ferraris and the Mercedes were either sandbagging on engine modes and/or underperforming.

Charles Leclerc reported potential floor damage on his car after a high-speed off-track moment at Becketts, and indeed both Ferraris appeared to be struggling with stability at high speed.

The other laps of note in those simulations came from Lance Stroll (faster than Fernando Alonso), Valtteri Bottas (quicker than Williams, Alpine and RB), and Alex Albon (also ahead of the Alpines and the RBs).

The Mercedes were only sixth and 10th on the soft tyre, but on the medium compound early in the session they were relatively more competitive, with Austrian GP winner George Russell (helped by running the tyre slightly later than the others) fastest.


1 Russell 1m27.506s
2 Sainz 1m27.756s
3 Hamilton 1m27.822s
4 Verstappen 1m27.831s
5 Norris 1m27.850s
6 Leclerc 1m28.084s
7 Perez 1m28.185s
8 Piastri 1m28.369s
9 Gasly 1m28.473s
10 Tsunoda 1m28.589s
11 Alonso 1m28.694s
12 Ocon 1m28.723s
13 Ricciardo 1m28.834s
14 Zhou 1m29.000s
15 Magnussen 1m29.095s

What is really encouraging for McLaren is Norris’s long-run pace compared to Verstappen’s.

Both of them ran the medium tyre for the final part of FP2 and Norris averaged 1m31.846s over his best seven laps of that run, while Verstappen averaged 1m32.045s over the best six laps of his.

That’s almost two tenths per lap in hand for Norris if it translates to the race.

Red Bull will undoubtedly improve as the weekend progresses, but at the moment it looks to be advantage McLaren.

FP2 times

PosNameCarBest TimeGap Leader
1Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m26.549s
2Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1m26.880s+0.331s
3Sergio PérezRed Bull-Honda RBPT1m26.983s+0.434s
4Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m26.990s+0.441s
5Charles LeclercFerrari1m27.150s+0.601s
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m27.202s+0.653s
7Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPT1m27.233s+0.684s
8Carlos SainzFerrari1m27.249s+0.700s
9Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m27.274s+0.725s
10George RussellMercedes1m27.294s+0.745s
11Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m27.372s+0.823s
12Valtteri BottasSauber-Ferrari1m27.381s+0.832s
13Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m27.645s+1.096s
14Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m27.732s+1.183s
15Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m27.743s+1.194s
16Yuki TsunodaRed Bull-Honda RBPT1m27.745s+1.196s
17Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1m27.809s+1.260s
18Guanyu ZhouSauber-Ferrari1m27.813s+1.264s
19Daniel RicciardoRB-Honda RBPT1m27.916s+1.367s
20Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m28.122s+1.573s
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