Temperatures at Silverstone were the hottest seen for several years, peaking at 37 degrees ambient and 51 degrees on track, adding to the challenge of this high-speed and high-energy circuit.
Racing Point's Lance Stroll set the fastest time of the FP2 session this afternoon on the P Zero Red soft tyre, around half a second slower than the equivalent time from last year.
As a result of the recent lockdown, the Silverstone track hasn't been used extensively, meaning that the surface that was re-asphalted last year hasn't matured much. The wind and high temperatures today also often made it quite difficult for the drivers to find the right levels of grip and aerodynamic balance.
In these tough conditions, the P Zero White hard C1 tyre - nominated for the first time this year - offered a good compromise between performance and durability.
Mario Isola: "Silverstone is always a tough challenge, but when the track is 'green' on a Friday and in these extremely hot conditions, the job of the tyres becomes even harder. Because weather conditions are likely to become considerably cooler for the rest of the weekend, that makes life a bit harder for the teams: the data they collect today might not be entirely relevant to the expected race conditions. It was interesting to see that 17 cars out of 20 were covered by just 1.5 seconds in FP2, which suggests that we're in for a closely-fought weekend."
Check out our Friday gallery from Silverstone, here.