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Mercedes worryingly crush their rivals in Silverstone heat

Mercedes worryingly crush their rivals in Silverstone heat

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Mercedes worryingly crush their rivals in Silverstone heat

Mercedes worryingly crush their rivals in Silverstone heat

Mercedes revelled in the hot conditions at Silverstone as Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas split the one-twos in practice ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

The team's Achilles heel in recent years has been the heat, and when temperatures rise, so the performance of its car falls away, allowing Hamilton and Bottas to drop into the clutches of their rivals.

Across both sessions on Formula 1's return to Silverstone, though, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees centigrade, whilst on track it varied from 43 in FP1 down to 36 in FP2 when there was some cloud cover, Mercedes was never troubled.

In the first session, Bottas finished 0.138secs clear of Hamilton with a lap of one minute 26.166s; in FP2, it was Hamilton out in front by 0.176s with a time of 1:25.606.

On both occasions, the rest of the field was virtually nowhere to be seen, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen 0.727s down in third in FP1, replaced by Daniel Ricciardo in his Renault in FP2 by 0.815s.

Across both sessions, though, the challenge for the teams has been the tyre choices for this weekend, with Pirelli nominating a step softer across the three compounds in comparison to last weekend's British Grand Prix.

The soft tyre for this weekend is not one any team will want to use to start the race given its very short life, which means all teams heading into the top-10 in qualifying on Saturday will be doing their utmost to do so on either the medium or hard rubber.

At least behind Mercedes, there is a battle for position, with Verstappen finishing just 0.016s behind his old Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo followed closely by Lance Stroll in his Racing Point.

Nico Hülkenberg, back in the RP20 again following a second positive Covid-19 test for Sergio Perez, and hoping to race on Sunday after a mechanical issue forced him out of the British GP prior to the start, was sixth quickest, a quarter of a second down on Stroll.

Next up was Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, 1.2s adrift, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel a lowly 14th, almost 1.6s off the pace, and with his FP2 session ending six minutes early with an engine failure.

Vettel endured a miserable British GP weekend, with this latest issue certain to be another blow to his confidence in a car that has not been to his liking this season.

McLaren pair Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, along with Renault's Esteban Ocon completed the top 10, the latter 1.322s behind Hamilton.

At the rear was Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi, who brought out a red flag three minutes from the end of the session as a failure of his own led to him parking his car in a dangerous position on the inside of Becketts.

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