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Leclerc quickest as the rain arrives at Silverstone


Ahead of today's sole practice session the air temperature is 23 degrees C, while the track temperature is 28 degrees.

While yesterday's weather was glorious, there was rain overnight and the threat of further downpours today, indeed Race Control predicts a 90% chance in this session, though currently it is quite bright.

One thing both days have in common is the wind, which is notorious here and caused problems for several drivers.

While it was business as usual for Red Bull yesterday, for their rivals life wasn't quite as uncomplicated.

An electrical issue meant that Leclerc got no running in FP2, however teammate Sainz looked strong. At Mercedes, the race pace was good but as for single lap pace the German team struggled.

On race pace the Brackley outfit was around fourth quickest, only marginally ahead of Aston Martin, but sixth in terms of single-lap pace.

Haas has the opposite problem, strong single lap pace - hence Hulkenberg's performances in recent sessions - only for it to fall apart come Sunday.

McLaren had a mixed day, with Piastri missing much of the first session, while the big surprise was Williams which had both drivers in the Top 5 in FP2.

The lights go green and Alonso leads the way, the Spaniard followed by Norris. However, before he has actually left the pitlane the McLaren driver is ordered to stop the car.

He eventually gets going again, as Stroll, Verstappen, Gasly, de Vries and Perez head out.

As more drivers head out it is mostly mediums though the Ferraris are on softs.

The stewards have noted that Norris appeared to cross the pitlane line yet a mechanic still worked on the car.

Seemingly, Williams detected an electrics issue with Albon's car ahead of the session but is confident that this has now been fixed.

Verstappen posts a 28.836 and Perez a 29.786, before Leclerc splits them with a 29.000.

Tsunoda reports smoke from his front brake but is assured that it is not an issue.

Sainz goes third with a 29.044, ahead of Perez, Norris, Ocon, Gasly and Tsunoda.

Quickest in S3, Norris improves to fourth with a 29.071, only to be demoted when Russell goes fourth and Hamilton second (28.966).

The Mercedes pair, like the Ferraris, are on softs.

Piastri gores seventh with a 29.437 on hards.

Verstappen improves with a 28.266 but Sainz claims the top position with a 27.964, the quickest lap of the weekend thus far.

"Smashing the ground into Turn 9, quite a bit with the right," reports Ocon.

Russell goes third with a 28.766 but is demoted when Leclerc stops the clock with a 28.068. Though both are on softs, the Briton is 0.8s slower.

Albon goes eleventh with a 29.120 as teammate Sargeant goes thirteenth.

A 27.948 sees Hamilton go top, but the Ferrari pair are on quick laps. That said, Sainz aborts his lap, while Leclerc improves to 27.419, the Monegasque quickest in all three sectors.

"Where's that half-a-second?" asks a bemused Hamilton of the gap to the Ferrari. "Looks like straight-line," he is told.

Alonso is warned that rain is expected in ten to fifteen minutes. Piastri is warned of "lightning towards Turn 15".

Sargeant complains of a stream of hot air in his cockpit. "Man, it's no hot!" he cries as he reports that something "blew off" in the cockpit.

With 36 minutes remaining Race Control declares a wet track, just as Albon goes second with a 27.592.

Alonso goes third (27.784), ahead of Gasly, as people in the stands begin to raise their umbrellas.

Perez is told that rain is about to hit Turn 15.

The drivers head back to the relative comfort of the pits as Leclerc warns that it is "raining a lot at Turn 18".

Nonetheless, he opts to remain on track... though he is alone.

The Ferrari driver eventually heads back to the pits, and after a couple of minutes of inactivity Norris heads out on Inters.

He is subsequently joined by Albon, Sainz, Sargeant and Piastri.

"Not that bad anywhere," reports Norris, "Turn 7 is the wettest."

More and more drivers head out on the Inters, aware that it may well rain during qualifying... this is a British summer after all.

"More rain expected in 4 to 5 minutes," Sainz is told.

A frustrated Russell admits: "It's not slicks and its not wets!"

"If this was qualifying I'd be slicks," reports Albon as Norris heads out on softs.

Running wide in Turn 15, Norris admits that there's still "a little bit of rain".

"Raining in the pitlane again," Perez is warned.

Following a little skirmish with Ocon, Norris opts to pit.

As the rain returns silence falls over the Northamptonshire track.

That said, Verstappen heads out on Inters. He is subsequently joined by his teammate and the Ferraris.

"Tyres will be good for two laps in these conditions," Verstappen is told. "No, just one," he replies.

"My front left is quite gone already," reports Leclerc, "but I'll give it a try."

Verstappen crosses the line at 41.176.

Zhou is the only driver not to have posted a time, Alfa Romeo confirming an unspecified technical issue for the Chinese driver.

As more drivers head out, the rain increases in intensity.

Hamilton posts a 42:514 and Alonso 42.133, however Perez manages a 40.421.

Along with the rain, Alonso is informed that the wind is picking up.

"It's raining more," reports Stroll as the first rooster tails appear.

A big wobble in the Turn 16/17 complex for Hamilton.

"I wouldn't mind some rain this afternoon," admits Gasly as Leclerc spins at Turn 18.

The session ends. Leclerc is quickest, ahead of Albon, Alonso, Gasly, Hamilton, Sainz, Sargeant, Verstappen, Russell and Tsunoda.

de Vries is eleventh, ahead of Norris, Stroll, Perez, Magnussen, Ocon, Piastri, Bottas, Hulkenberg and Zhou.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone here.


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