Stroll fastest in FP2, Albon crashes out heavily as Vettel finishes in P18

31-07-2020 16:30 | Updated: 31-07-2020 16:44
by Matt Gretton
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Stroll fastest in FP2, Albon crashes out heavily as Vettel finishes in P18

Lance Stroll was the quickest driver during the second free practice session at Silverstone ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix. The Racing Point driver set a 1:27.274 to keep up the pink Mercedes' strong start to the 2020 F1 season. Alex Albon, who crashed heavily, finished in P2. Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top three. 

Stroll, equipped with a new teammate for the weekend, touched the grass on his fastest lap proving the Racing Point can go quicker. Stroll managed to record his lap before Albon brought out the red flag. The Red Bull Racing driver crashed heavily at Stowe. He walked away from the car. 

The tyres struggled to cope with the hot temperatures, but they aren't forecast to be replicated again this weekend. For the first time this season, Lewis Hamilton didn't trouble the top of the timesheets. The British driver finished in P5 with a 1:27.581, one place behind Charles Leclerc

Sebastian Vettel drove more laps than he did this morning, but the problems haven't been removed. The German could only record a time of 1:28.860, placing him in 18th. 

McLaren's Carlos Sainz had a decent second practice session finishing sixth. While Nico Hulkenberg, who makes his return to F1 by replacing Sergio Perez, finished in P7. 

How it happened

The lights went green with the track temperature at 49 degrees. The first five minutes were quiet but Daniel Ricciardo was the first to venture out.

After a flurry of laps from most of the field, Leclerc posted the fastest time of 1:28.773 after the opening 15 minutes. A couple of laps after, the man from Monaco spun at turn four to bring the first set of yellow flags out.

Meanwhile, the Ferrari mechanics managed to fix the issues which kept Vettel inside the garage this morning. The German's first time of the weekend placed him in P13, but he soon dropped to the bottom.

Max Verstappen took the number one spot, but his Red Bull Racing teammate managed to record a quicker time. Albon didn't stay at the top for long with the Mercedes drivers hitting the track.

With one hour remaining, Bottas set purple times in sector one and two before seemingly lifting a little through the final section.

On the soft tyres

Drivers and teams opted for some qualifying simulations to end the first half of the second practice session. Stroll topped the timesheet with a 1:27.274 before Mercedes opted to push hard on the red stripped tyre.

Verstappen was flying on the soft tyres, but a slow running Romain Grosjean blocked the Dutchman. Grosjean received some physical and verbal actions from Verstappen. Things were about to get much worse for Red Bull Racing.

Albon lost control of the rear and slammed into the barriers at Stowe. The British-Thai driver managed to walk away from the incident, but he was winded. All before Mercedes managed to showcase their speed. 

Back to green

Long-runs dominated the final part of FP2. Though around a very hot Silverstone, many drivers were reporting tyre heating issues.

Luckily for them, the 35c air and 48c track temperatures won't be matched on either Saturday or Sunday. No driver was quick enough to beat Stroll fastest time. 

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