Saturday, 08 August, 2020

Verstappen in with a "fighting chance" of causing BritishGP shock

Red Bull Racing RB16 floor Red Bull Racing RB16 floor
Cary Erickson | 02 August, 2020, 00:53

SILVERSTONE, Aug 1 ― Championship leader Lewis Hamilton said opening practice at the British Grand Prix yesterday had been "quite hard, but not disastrous" before welcoming Lance Stroll's success in topping the times for Racing Point.

Verstappen's hopes of a race win - let alone challenging for a first F1 title - are ebbing away week by week as Mercedes underline their superiority over Red Bull and the rest of the field.

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".

The first session at the famous Silverstone circuit - which is hosting two races in consecutive weeks - may not have taken place in front of the usual fan-packed grandstands, but still provided plenty of talking points.

However, he conceded it would need some overnight home work to improve the balance of his vehicle for Saturday's qualifying session.

"Yesterday, for example, it was really tricky in the low-speed corners".

"We believe we are a little bit closer in race trim - I don't say that I am going to be fighting them, but at least we have a fighting chance from third".

NASA astronauts begin their journey home in SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft tonight
After that is the splashdown: The capsule is expected to land in the ocean some 22 to 175 nautical miles off of Florida's coast. The rocket from Elon Musk's company SpaceX launched Veteran Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the ISS.

Stroll topped the times and showed the full potential of his team's 2020 auto, modelled on the 2019 title-winning Mercedes, as he outpaced Albon, who crashed heavily during the session, by less than a tenth of a second.

"The last 24 hours have been a bit special, insane and wild", said the German, wearing a spare pair of Stroll's overalls.

On a hot and sunny day at Silverstone that was as crowdless as it was cloudless, with Sunday's race the latest to be held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Verstappen lapped with a best time of one minute 27.422 seconds.

"We've definitely made a step as a team".

"I think the lap itself, at the end of Q3, was really good", Verstappen said. "We expected worse coming into today but the vehicle feels good and it was hooked up straight away from the first lap in FP1".

"We will keep working but overall the auto looked and felt better today". I feel like I just didn't extract the lap and that was it.

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz ended the session 12th and 13th for McLaren ahead of the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, while Kimi Raikkonen was the leading Alfa Romeo driver in 16th.