FP2: Sainz pips Hamilton and Norris in competitive session

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz during FP2. Silverstone July 2022.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz enters the pit lane during FP2. Silverstone July 2022.

Carlos Sainz went fastest in FP2 at Silverstone on Friday, with two home heroes lapping just behind in Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc rounded out the top five in FP2, with Fernando Alonso appearing competitive once again by placing sixth in the session.

With rain in FP1 almost entirely wiping out the plans of the teams, many of which having brought various upgrades with them to Silverstone, the dry track was quickly full of Formula 1 cars as they looked to make up for lost time.

Verstappen voiced his concern over team radio about a noise coming from his Red Bull, and he and others were struggling with a different kind of weather early on – with a tailwind catching a couple of drivers out.

Norris had to abort at Abbey with a snap of the steering wheel as the breeze stopped him finding the apex, while Verstappen locked his right-front into the following braking zone at Village, with Hamilton and Leclerc also going awry at the same corner.

Mercedes’ mass upgrade package combined with a smoother track surface at Silverstone led to thoughts that they could be closer to Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend, but Hamilton took to the radio to say he was still experiencing bouncing at high speed.

But a 1:29.462 was the benchmark from Leclerc in the first 20 minutes of running, with Sainz eight-hundredths behind and a further four tenths back to Verstappen in third, with Ferrari appearing on the pace from the start.

Qualifying simulations started shortly afterwards, and Norris was the first to depose the Ferrari drivers’ medium tyre times, putting himself top of the standings on a 1:29.118.

Sainz then pipped his old team-mate to get to the front himself, becoming the first person to dip below 89 seconds by clocking a 1:28.942, which left him at the top at session’s end.

Other drivers’ flying laps came through one by one, Hamilton being one of the last to do so – and shot up behind Sainz just 0.163s off the Ferrari driver, in what will be an encouraging sign for Mercedes.

Norris had an uncomfortable moment in his pit box, though, when the rear jack collapsed without replacement tyres on, leaving the Briton with a bumpy landing and possibly rear floor damage on the McLaren.

The final 15 minutes saw attention switch to long run simulations for the drivers, as the cars fuelled up and took the chance to get an extended stint under their belts and gather further data.

So Sainz and Ferrari led the way, with five different constructors in the top six places, and all eyes will be back on Silverstone on Saturday for FP3 and qualifying.

FP2 leaderboard

[All fastest times set on soft tyres]

1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:28.942 28 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.163s 21 laps
3 Lando Norris McLaren 0.176s 29 laps
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.207s 18 laps
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.462s 25 laps
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine 0.753s 19 laps
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull 0.811s 17 laps
8 George Russell Mercedes 0.857s 29 laps
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 0.960s 26 laps
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1.000s 17 laps
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Racing 1.058s 29 laps
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1.115s 20 laps
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1.296s 12 laps
14 Alex Albon Williams 1.321s 14 laps
15 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Racing 1.329s 27 laps
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1.396s 29 laps
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1.538s 27 laps
18 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1.568s 28 laps
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 1.667s 29 laps
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 2.384s 27 laps