F 1

Verstappen quickest in final Silverstone practice

Filed on July 17, 2021
Red Bull's Max Verstappen during practice. — Reuters

Grid positions will be determined by a sprint qualifying race

Championship leader Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the second and final free practice session of the British Grand Prix, at Silverstone on Saturday.

Verstappen’s best lap in his Red Bull was 1 minute 29.902sec, just ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a session which may hold little significance on a weekend when Formula One is experimenting with a new qualifying format.

Grid positions will be determined by a sprint qualifying race later on Saturday.

The new short format race, lasting around 30 minutes for 100km, or 17 laps at Silverstone, is part of an attempt by Formula 1 to reach out to a younger audience.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was the fastest driver in Friday’s “classic” qualifying session and will start ahead of Dutchman Verstappen in a race without a mandatory pit stop.

The winner will be on pole position for Sunday’s Grand Prix and will pocket three points in the championship.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by 32 points in the standings.

Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas only set the eighth and ninth fastest times, both a little more than 1.2 seconds slower than Verstappen in Saturday’s practice.

The main focus of the session was to test the different tyre compounds.

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