F1 British Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Verstappen impressive in practice, Hamilton only fifth – latest updates, build-up – The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON takes centre stage as the British Grand Prix returns to Silverstone.

The Brit star is looking to claim a third-straight GP win after a dominating performance in Hungary and has won his home race a record six times.

Today qualifying is on the agenda, with stars taking to the track first for a final practice at 11am.

Follow all the latest build-up ahead of race day on Sunday…

  • GOOD MORNING, F1 FANS

    Lance Stroll's Racing Point led the way in second practice for Sunday's British GP – as Red Bull's Alexander Albon crashed heavily.

    Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and reigning F1 champ Lewis Hamilton struggled to third and fifth places in windy Silverstone conditions unsuited to softer tyres.

    Albon suffered his smash-up at Stowe but was still second, 0.090 seconds behind Stroll.

    Anglo-Thai ace Albon and team-mate Max Verstappen have regularly lost the back of their car mid-corner, showing the car's new design lacks stability.

    Meanwhile, Damon Hill fears F1's anti-racism message could fizzle out.

    Hamilton has pioneered the 'we race as one' campaigns and, while a pre-race protest is planned for Sunday's British GP, Hill thinks drivers could get fed up with it.

    The 1996 title winner said: “People don't like being told what to do. They also tire of things quite quickly.

    “You don't want to wear out people's sympathies so it is going to be a challenge to keep the flag flying for Lewis' cause.”

    Hamilton had used his social media platforms to criticise three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, 81, and Mario Andretti, 80, after both spoke about racism.

    Stewart said there “was no resistance to change” in Formula One, while American Andretti, the 1978 world champion, accused Hamilton of “creating a problem that doesn't exist”.

    Hamilton, 35, lashed back, calling Andretti “ignorant” and Stewart's comments “disappointing”.

  • BLUE IS THE COLOUR

    It's another beautiful day at Silverstone and we're set to bring you all the drama from what should be a terrific qualifying session this afternoon.

    FP3 is at 11am, before our F1 stars battle for grid position at 2pm.

  • LECLERC: FERRARI MUST TINKER

    Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari's “radical approach” pays dividend in practice but so far is costly in races.

    The Monegasque praised his car's downforce performance in single laps but feel it is “struggling massively” for “race pace”.

    Aftr ending FP2 fourth ahead of Sunday's British GP,the 22-year-old said: “We can still change quite a lot of things, so we’ll try to understand what we can change to maybe sacrifice a bit more the quali pace to be better in the race.

    “The quali pace is a bit better than what we expected to be honest. This is good.

    “The race pace we have been struggling massively, so we definitely need to work on that.”

  • RACING POINT STILL WANT TWO DRIVERS

    Just a reminder that Sergio Perez has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday's British Grand Prix.

    The Mexican, who drives for the Silverstone-based Racing Point team, has been placed into isolation, along with a handful of staff who he made contact with.

    Perez, 30, took a pre-event test that was inconclusive but a second test on Thursday has confirmed the diagnosis.

    The British GP will still go ahead as planned and the team are now weighing up who will replace him.

    A statement from Racing Point said: “Our intention is to race two cars on Sunday. We will communicate the next steps for our British Grand Prix weekend in due course.”

    Perez is the first driver to test positive since the sport returned on July 5th with a double-header in Austria and one race in Hungary.

  • LEWIS BLASTS LEGENDS

    Lewis Hamilton has used his social media platforms to criticise three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, 81, and Mario Andretti, 80, after both spoke about racism.

    Stewart said there “was no resistance to change” in Formula One, while American Andretti, the 1978 world champion, accused Hamilton of “creating a problem that doesn't exist.”

    Hamilton, 35, lashed back,calling Andretti “ignorant” and Stewart's comments “disappointing” and Hill says he needs to be careful in doing so.

    He added: “You have to be very careful with showing respect and slinging accusations around.

    “I don't believe that Sir Jackie Stewart is racist. I don't believe that Mario Andretti doesn't understand the situation at all. Both men are experienced and worldly.

    “Don't forget the Springfield Youth Club in Hackney which Jackie is the President of. Nearly all the families are from a black background so that has been an encouraging and positive endorsement that the Stewart family has been involved with.”

  • STROLL TOPS FP2

    Lance Stroll was the quickest in second practice for Racing Point – a timely boost for the team following Sergio Perez's positive COVID-19 test.

    The Mexican's replacement, Nico Hulkenberg was quickly up to speed and finished the session in seventh. Not too bad at all.

    Alex Albon was second-quickest in his Red Bull but made another high-profile mistake and crashed out.

    Bottas third, Leclerc fourth and Hamilton down in fifth.

    Vettel? Only 18th quickest in FP2.

  • VETTEL'S NIGHTMARE CONTINUES

    Someone Tweeted me the other day asking if I thought Vettel would walk out of Ferrari before his contract expired at the end of the season.

    “No way,” I thought. He is not a quitter, plus this is Ferrari. And it could be the last time he drives and F1 car.

    But…after today and seeing his face in the garage as his mechanics tried to fix his car, I am not too sure.

    He looked fed up, and who can blame him? The team have turned their backs on him and gone for Carlos Sainz, and that Ferrari is an absolute dog.

    The on-board video footage shows you just how bad it is. It is slow on the straights and the handling in the corners is shocking.

  • I HOPE HAMILTON KEEPS FIGHTING

    Damon Hill added:“It is entirely appropriate for Lewis to carry on.

    “Everyone is behind him, everyone gets what he wants to do and the support is there in helping black people achieve their goal of being rid of prejudice and injustices.

    “That is a constant battle but there are other causes, too. Does Sebastian Vettel have an initiative to support, for example? Teams want to support charities also.

    “For it now onwards to all be about Black Lives Matter is wrong.

    And if it just becomes about Lewis' campaign I fear it will be bound solely on him. I would hate to see that happen.”

  • WORD ON RENAULT

    They don't feature too much in these blogs, and there is a good reason.

    Despite promising so much; two solid drivers, their own engine plant… they under deliver. Massively.

    A lacklustre ninth place for Daniel Ricciardo and 12th for Esteban Ocon at the moment.

    Mid-table mediocrity with a top-four budget.

    Shame.

  • DAMON: WE RELY ON LEW TOO MUCH

    Damon Hill fears F1's anti-racism message could fizzle out.

    Lewis Hamilton has pioneered the fight behind F1's 'end racism' and 'we race as one' campaigns and while a pre-race protest is planned for Sunday's British GP,

    Hill thinks drivers could get fed up with it.

    The 1996 title winner says the current F1 champ could be forced to carry the banner alone.

    He said: “People don't like being told what to do. They also tire of things quite quickly.

    “The support can be there initially but how do you go forward with this? You don't want to wear out people's sympathies so it is going to be a challenge to keep the flag flying for Lewis' cause.”

  • VETTEL IS OUT

    The German now has some laps on the board are a frustrating few hours. 11 laps at the moment with a time that puts him down in 18th place.

  • WE ARE GO AGAIN

    Albon's Red Bull has been recovered and the crash barrier has been checked over.

    The pitlane is now open again. It will be a busy 35 minutes.

  • ALBON CRASHES

    Another mistake from Alex Albon and his Red Bull is in the barriers.

    Session is red-flagged.

    That is another blow to Albon, who has already been criticised for his performances this season. That said, he goes well on Sundays.

  • DING DONG

    Grosjean and Verstappen come close with the Frenchman blasting the Red Bull star as “childish”.

    It looked six of one and half-a-dozen of another.

    In other news, Lance Stroll is now the quickest man on track for Racing Point.

  • RISE OF THE No.2 DRIVER

    At the top of the timesheets we have Bottas, Albon, Verstappen then Hamilton.

    A little more than a hour of second practice to go.

    Hulkenberg again ninth in the timesheets.

    Vettel still to set a lap time.

  • VETTEL WOE

    After missing most of FP1, Vettel is now ready for FP2 – or is he?

    Slight issue with an intercooler, which is being fixed.

  • GREEN LIGHT IS GO FOR FP2

    And Renault's Daniel Ricciardo is first out on track.

  • NIC OF TIME

  • F1 2020 WINNERS

  • SPIN CLASS

  • FUN IN THE SUN

    It's a baking hot day at Silverstone – and there were certainly fireworks in FP1.

    Here's how the drivers ranked after that exciting first session…

  • VERSTAPPEN TOPS FP1

    Max Verstappen leads the way from Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll.

    Alex Albon is fourth-quickest in a decent display from Red Bull.

    Then Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas – the Finn well down behind his Mercedes teammate.

    Nico Hulkenberg a respectable ninth place in the first practice session. Good job.

  • NHS WORKERS THANKED

  • WILLIAMS' REVIVAL

    Could be a tough weekend for Williams as this track really does show up the difference in pace between the cars.

    That said, it is not looking too bad for the team right now.

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