Verstappen dominates first practice ahead of British GP

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Silverstone

Red Bull’s Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen was fastest by a hefty margin in practice for a new-look British Grand Prix on Friday with home hero Lewis Hamilton only third on the timesheets.

On a sunny afternoon, with fans filling the grandstands on a day of action as Formula One experimented with a fresh format, the 23-year-old Dutchman produced a best time of one minute 27.035 seconds.

That was 0.779 quicker than McLaren’s second-placed Lando Norris, who pipped Mercedes’ seven times world champion by 0.001 in a big boost for a youngster still shaken by a mugging last Sunday at the Euro 2020 final.

“Seven-tenths? Where does that come from?” Hamilton asked his engineer over the radio when the team, who have brought some car upgrades to Silverstone, informed him of the gap to Verstappen.

Hamilton is seeking a record-extending eighth British Grand Prix victory this weekend but Verstappen and Red Bull have the momentum, with the youngster 32 points clear in the standings after nine rounds.

While Silverstone has been a fortress for champions Mercedes in recent years, Red Bull are on a roll and chasing a sixth successive win. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest with Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas fifth.—AP

 

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