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British GP: Are McLaren drivers of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri the team to beat at Silverstone? | F1 News

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Lando Norris thinks McLaren must improve despite making a perfect start to the British Grand Prix as he topped both of Friday’s practice sessions.

Norris was over three tenths clear of the field in second practice, with McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri being his closest challenger.

Sergio Perez was the first non-McLaren car in third but 0.434s behind, while Max Verstappen was only seventh in the sister Red Bull car.

Intriguingly, Norris pointed out the pace of Mercedes when discussing his day.

“A good start to the weekend. It wasn’t like the cleanest. It didn’t feel that comfortable this morning but through the sessions we made some tweaks and I got in a much nicer window, which is important around here,” said Norris.

“It’s quite on the nose and quite sketchy and pretty high-speed. Tricky, but I’m happy. I think we made some good progress.

“I think we’re pretty tight and even with Mercedes, they seem probably just as quick as us. They just didn’t turn up the engine and do as much in the final run. So I think we’re in a good place but we probably have a little bit more to find.”

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Karun Chandhok takes a look at the top laps from practice from Lando Norris and Max Verstappen to determine if the Red Bull driver is as behind Norris as he seems

Mercedes looked good on the medium and hard tyres but Lewis Hamilton was in a group from sixth to 10th that were around seven tenths off Norris’ blistering pace on the softs.

Hamilton, who has won the British Grand Prix a record eight times, doesn’t seem to agree with Norris’ comments.

“I felt fine, generally felt good, just not as fast as the guys ahead, like the McLarens,” he said.

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Norris says McLaren are ready for any weather but hopes its stays dry for his home race after topping both Friday practice sessions at Silverstone

“We don’t have upgrades this weekend. We have some small tweaks to things, but not necessarily upgrades.

“Every time we add something to the car we are going in the right direction, but the others bring upgrades at the same time.

“We were six and a half tenths off in that session. I don’t know if it’s truly exactly six tenths, but we’ve got some work to do.”

Norris open to wet weather

Rain is forecast throughout the weekend at Silverstone, which could change the already-mixed pecking order completely.

Norris is one of the best drivers in the wet as he showed in the first half of last month’s Canadian Grand Prix and when he took Sprint Qualifying pole in Shanghai earlier this year in the rain.

“I always enjoy both conditions. I would prefer if it was one or the other. And honestly, on a home race, I would probably prefer if it was just dry because we seem like we’re in a good place and I wouldn’t want to go too far away from that,” he said.

“But it’s Silverstone, it’s England, so I’m ready for everything, but my preference would probably be to stay dry.”

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Here’s what you can look forward to during coverage of this weekend’s British Grand Prix

There has been talk of whether the three British drivers of Norris, Hamilton and George Russell can all stand on the podium this Sunday.

Russell comes into the weekend on the back of winning in Austria but thinks Mercedes are a little behind McLaren and Red Bull.

“First practice was really good. The car was feeling great. We struggled a bit more this afternoon,” he said.

“It got a bit windier and I don’t think we quite nailed the tyres. We are probably similar competitiveness to the last few races.”

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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell reflect on Friday’s practice sessions at the British GP

Verstappen seemingly relaxed

Not for the first time this year, Red Bull appear to be on the backfoot after the Friday of an F1 weekend.

Verstappen finished second practice in seventh but set his best lap much earlier than his rivals, so had the worst of the track conditions.

“On the soft it didn’t go so well in FP2, the medium a bit better, so a bit of work to do,” said Verstappen.

“We tried a few things on the car from FP1 to FP2, so just have to analyse a bit what to do better for tomorrow.”

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Ted Kravitz brings updates of the RB20’s floor changes from the pit lane

Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory is just a half an hour drive from Silverstone, so the team will be working tirelessly through the night to work out the best set-up.

Verstappen, who leads Norris by 81 points in the drivers’ championship, has only won the British Grand Prix once but didn’t rule out Red Bull bouncing back come qualifying on Saturday.

“We tried a few things so we just now need to analyse all of that and then that will give us a direction for tomorrow, where naturally with the weather it will rain a bit, so we’ll all have to take that into account,” he said.

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Max Verstappen says he and the team will analyse the performance from practice to direct ahead of Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions

Perez missed out on first practice as Red Bull ran F2 driver Isack Hadjar as part of the mandatory requirement to run a rookie in at least two practice sessions this season.

The Mexican gave more away about Red Bull’s pace and admits they should have more pace to come.

“It was a solid session because we lost the whole morning. It was good. The car is feeling good,” said Perez.

“I think we need to find some balance, especially in the slow and medium speed. In the high-speed, the car feels nice. There should be some nice potential for us later on.”

Sky Sports F1’s live British GP schedule (all F1 sessions on Sky Showcase)

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments throughout the years at the British Grand Prix

Saturday July 6
9.15am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: British GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)
1.10pm: F2 Sprint
2.15pm: British GP Qualifying build-up
3pm: British GP Qualifying
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Sunday July 7
8:15am: F3 Feature Race
9:50am: F2 Feature Race
11:50am: Porsche Supercup
1:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – British GP build-up
5pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
6pm: Ted’s Notebook

F1’s summer triple-header concludes with the big one, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Showcase, with Sunday’s race at 3pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime



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