Hamilton’s Mercedes team has struggled badly this season, but there is reason to expect a better show at Silverstone, where the British driver is an eight-time winner. Unlike recent races on the street circuit, the British track has a smooth surface which can reduce the tendency of a Mercedes car to bounce at speed, causing back pain to Hamilton.
Hamilton said the team has done an “unprecedented” job upgrading the car for this week’s race, where he will look for a second straight podium finish after finishing third at the Canadian GP.
The seven-time world champion also spoke this week about improving F1’s record on diversity and inclusion, and was backed by F1 and fellow drivers when former champion Nelson Piquet, the only black driver in the series, scolded Hamilton with a racial slur. was described.
Series leader Max Verstappen, who is in a relationship with Pickett’s daughter Kelly, said Thursday that the man he calls his “father-in-law” used a word that is “very, very offensive” but He did not obey Pickett. a racist. He said Piquet’s lifetime paddock access to the former F1 champion should not be revoked.
Fastest in Sainz Practice
Still without a win ahead of his 150th race, Carlos Sainz was the fastest in practice.
In the second session, Sainz was .163 seconds ahead of Hamilton and .176 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Verstappen was fourth fastest and Sainz’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc was fifth.
Sainz has yet to win a Grand Prix, although he has five podium finishes this season. He came close when he finished second to Verstappen in Montreal.
Valtteri Bottas was the surprising leader in the rain-hit first practice. Hamilton and Sainz followed. Most of the drivers did a few laps and the timing was very slow due to the wet track. A red flag halted the session about a minute before the scheduled finish after Lance Stroll drove his Aston Martin into the gravel.
Rain is likely to be a frequent factor during race weekend, soaking up the expected crowd of around 400,000 and potentially shaking up the grid, as was the case in Canada.
Hamilton has indicated that a solution has been found in his standoff with the governing body, the FIA, over his piercing.
The FIA has an old rule banning piercings and jewelry on safety grounds, but it was not enforced for years. With a new FIA president, Mohamed Ben Sulayem, and new race directors this season, the FIA said it would implement the rule.
Hamilton initially said he would continue to wear piercings – specifically a nose stud that would be difficult to remove – but indicated he would find a solution.
“We have such a big fish to fry,” Hamilton said. “So I will work with Mohamed and his team so that we can move forward.” The British Press Association reported that Hamilton removed his nose stud before the first practice.
British police said on Friday they had information that protesters may “attempt to reach the track” during Sunday’s race.
“Going to a live racetrack is extremely dangerous – you are putting lives at risk if you proceed with this reckless plan,” Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said in a statement. Northamptonshire Police, whose jurisdiction covers the Silverstone circuit, did not identify any individual or group.
Vettel refreshes F1 history
Sebastian Vettel is reaching into F1’s past to offer a glimpse of its possible future.
The four-time world champion will drive a British Racing Classic before the race on Sunday, showcasing a Williams car driven by British driver Nigel Mansell when he won the 1992 title.
Vettel bought the car in 2018 for his memories of watching F1 as a kid in the early 1990s – he and Mansell both won the title with No 5 – and set it up to run on eco-friendly fuels .
“I’m using carbon-neutral fuel on Sunday to demonstrate that we can still hang on to our history and heritage and culture and motorsport, but do it in a more responsible way,” Vettel said, adding that the new The fuel mix promises won’t change the sound of the V10 Renault engine.
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