Valtteri Bottas beat teammate and home favourite Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in both the practice sessions on Friday (14 July) at the British Grand Prix. The Finn, however, can only hope to start the race in sixth place at best after he was handed a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Last time around, Hamilton suffered the same fate in Austria. This will be a big blow to Bottas' hopes of finishing on the podium. The three-time world champion was second in both sessions as the Mercedes cars looked well ahead of the rest of the field in both qualifying and race trim. The Briton, who trails championship leader Sebastian Vettel by 20-points has labelled the race at Silverstone a must win in order to close the gap.
The Ferrari's were in third and fourth in the second session, but the Red Bull cars, who occupied the next two places were almost matching the Italian team's time. The two teams are likely to be battling for a front row spot owing to Bottas' penalty.
The Mercedes team were faster than the rest of the field on the soft compound tyres despite the rest using the super soft compound. They could change strategy for Bottas and have him run the yellow walled (soft compound) tyre in Q2 which will ensure a long first stint and give him the benefit of being on the faster tyre at the end of the race.
The weather is expected to be - classic British - with bouts of rain expected on both days along with intermittent sunshine.
Where to Watch Live
The third free practice session begins on Saturday (15 July) at 10am BST, while the qualifying session starts at 1pm BST. Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD will provide live coverage of both events in the UK.
Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.
Top 10 results of the second practice session from Silverstone Circuit: