Lewis Hamilton is firmly on course for the “incredible accomplishment” of Silverstone victories on back-to-back weekends after topping the FP2 timesheets for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
The World Champion and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas were again in a class of their own as no other driver got within half a second of their fastest laps during either of the two Friday practice sessions.
In the British Grand Prix, Hamilton limped over the line to win after suffering a puncture on the final lap. A similar incident moments earlier had forced Bottas into the pits, dropping him to P11.
But early on-track evidence from the second leg of the Silverstone double-header suggested only misfortune can again stop the Mercedes duo, with Hamilton fastest by 0.176sec in FP2 over the Finn.
In his subsequent interview, Hamilton said: “I think it’s been generally a good day. We had good understanding, good findings from last week and made some small adjustments that have cut off a millisecond here and there.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) August 7, 2020
“We haven’t changed anything except the set-up so it’s just small, miniscule things that we can improve – we don’t have an upgrade between the races so it’s still the same car.”
In regard to winning on home turf for the second consecutive Sunday, he added: “I see it as an opportunity, of course. But Valtteri will be strong and you saw last week anything can happen, particularly early on the last lap, so it will take a lot of analysis and nursing the softer tyres to a point where we can stay up ahead.
“But of course it would be an incredible accomplishment for us as a team and for me it would be incredible to have two ‘British Grand Prix’ wins, but there’s a lot of work up until then.”
Bottas, who, on the eve of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Mercedes confirmed will be staying with them for next year, was also encouraged by his day’s work.
“The starting set-up was definitely better than what I had in qualifying or the race last weekend, so that’s a positive feeling,” said the Finn.
“But the tyres definitely don’t last as long. With these temperatures the softer compound is having quite a hard time, especially with high fuel.
“I don’t think there’s much in the lap time between the soft and the medium tyre. It’s something to look at overnight and we need to have the right plan for quali.”