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Formula 1

British GP practice one: Albon stars behind Red Bulls

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Formula 1 world championship leader Max Verstappen took his customary first place in opening British Grand Prix practice at Silverstone, with Williams a shock closest challenger to Red Bull.

Key moments:

> Alex Albon third for Williams
> Red Bull 1-2, Verstappen fastest for majority of session
> New Pirelli construction underwhelms

Verstappen held a commanding margin over the field in the early running on hard tyres with a 1m29.863s lap that no one got near until they started running softs.

Both Ferraris and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine had turns in front when that happened, but not for long before Verstappen went nearly half a second clear of them all by lapping in 1m28.836s. He later got that benchmark down to 1m28.600s.

F1 Grand Prix Of Great Britain Practice

Team-mate Sergio Perez’s first soft-tyre run was half a second off Verstappen’s equivalent and he was dropping down the order before a second attempt gave Red Bull its usual 1-2 formation. But Verstappen’s improvement in the final three minutes left Perez 0.448s adrift within it.

And that Perez time was just 0.041s faster than a stunning effort from Albon for underdog home team Williams.

That put him ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, Leclerc and Ocon’s upgraded Alpine.

Both McLarens now have the upgrade package that Lando Norris debuted in Austria last week and both got into the top 10 – Norris (also now running a further upgrade on the front wing, but one that might not stay on all weekend) eighth and Oscar Piastri 10th behind Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship British Grand Prix Practice Day Silverstone, England

Mercedes also has a new front wing for this weekend but has yet to show its hand as it didn’t run soft tyres in this session. Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell also had a few trips over run-offs areas on their way to 12th and 14th respectively.

Pirelli has a revised tyre construction this weekend, brought forward from a planned introduction next year in response to “the increased performance of the cars seen since the start of the season” in terms of outright speed and loadings.

Early feedback was not positive, with Verstappen complaining of “zero grip” over team radio.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m28.6s
2 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m29.048s +0.448s
3 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m29.089s +0.489s
4 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m29.268s +0.668s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m29.28s +0.68s
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m29.319s +0.719s
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m29.357s +0.757s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.441s +0.841s
9 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m29.471s +0.871s
10 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.658s +1.058s
11 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m29.691s +1.091s
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.768s +1.168s
13 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m29.828s +1.228s
14 George Russell Mercedes 1m29.874s +1.274s
15 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m30.09s +1.49s
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m30.092s +1.492s
17 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m30.124s +1.524s
18 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m30.321s +1.721s
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m30.385s +1.785s
20 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m30.591s +1.991s
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