Sport

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

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

After Sergio Perez was tested positive for COVID-19, Racing Point was racing time to get former charge Nico Hulkenberg into the vehicle for first practice.

The two Mercedes men were separated by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in an unexpectedly mixed-up practice order that gave Hamilton some pleasure.

"But it will be very different weather and conditions tomorrow".

A vehicle failure prevented Sebastian Vettel from completing any running on Friday morning, and, despite returning to the track for the second session, the four-time world champion could manage only 18th of the 20 runners, 1.58 seconds off the front.

"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 keep developing and bringing new parts to the auto and they seem like they are working a bit better, so I'm happy with that and the direction".

Albon, just 0.080 seconds slower than Stroll before his accident, suffered damage to both the left-rear and left-front of his vehicle following the high-speed smash. "We will figure it out so it is not a disaster, but it has been a hard day".

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Perez had flown home to Mexico by private jet to visit his mother in hospital following the Hungarian Grand Prix and had shown no symptoms.

The Canadian finished top, with Nico Hulkenberg, deputising for Perez, seventh in the running, six tenths behind his team-mate.

The German acquitted himself well, setting the ninth best time despite reporting some discomfort from the seat - and having to wear his team-mate Lance Stroll's spare overalls. "The vehicle is massively quicl".

Stroll, whose billionaire father owns the team, lapped the former World War Two airfield with a best time of one minute 27.274 seconds - marginally quicker than Max Verstappen's best effort of the morning for Red Bull.

"The rear went quite quickly and I struggled to correct it", said Albon. "The wind made it really tricky with the vehicle and the balance is not as good as I would have liked so we are going to work on it and figure it out". We expected worse, to be honest coming into Friday but the auto was hooked up straight away the first time we drove it in FP1.

"That was less than 24 hours ago, so it feels a bit surreal for me right now, but I like a good challenge and this is certainly one", said the 32-year-old.

Behind the leading five, Carlos Sainz was sixth for McLaren ahead of Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri, Daniel Ricciardo of Renault and Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo.



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