January 19, 2021

P1: Verstappen leads Hamilton, Hulk returns

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By Matt Morlidge

Last Updated: 31/07/20 12:33pm

Max Verstappen set the pace for Red Bull ahead of Lewis Hamilton in an intriguing British GP first practice, while Nico Hulkenberg impressed on his unexpected return to Formula 1 action in place of Sergio Perez.

Ferrari, meanwhile, endured another troubled F1 2020 session as Sebastian Vettel failed to get out on track at all due to car problems.

The first session at the famous Silverstone circuit – which is hosting two races in consecutive weeks – may not have taken place in front of the usual fan-packed grandstands, but still provided plenty of talking points.

The top of the timesheets, for example, was filled by Verstappen, rather than big favourites for Mercedes – as the Red Bull driver hit the ground running on a sun-soaked Friday morning to boost his weekend prospects.

Verstappen was on the fastest tyre available, compared to Hamilton on the medium – but still beat the championship leader and home favourite by almost half a second.

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Nico Hulkenberg was out on track in the Racing Point during Practice One of the British GP.

Nico Hulkenberg was out on track in the Racing Point during Practice One of the British GP.

Hulkenberg can also take plenty of positives following a whirlwind 24 hours.

The German, who was only called up to drive this weekend on Thursday afternoon following Perez’s positive coronavirus test, finished ninth in his first-ever appearance in the Racing Point car.

And only six-tenths slower than Lance Stroll, who was third in an RP20 that has obvious potential this weekend.

More to follow.