Austrian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas has sustained his recent form by staying on top of the timesheets as Friday practice drew to a close at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver, quickest in Friday morning’s practice session, repeated the feat in the afternoon’s running at the Silverstone Circuit by once again outpacing teammate Lewis Hamilton.

In fairness to Hamilton, however, the Briton threw away a shot at snatching top spot from the Finn with a mistake on a qualifying-style run. Attempting to respond to Bottas’ session-topping time of 1:28.496 posted on the Super Soft rubber, Hamilton carried too much speed through the second part of Becketts and had to correct a sudden slide at the rear of his car.

While unable to improve on his fastest time on his Super Soft tyre run, Hamilton’s best lap of the session – which was less than one-hundredth slower than Bottas’ – came on the less grippy Soft compound Pirelli tyre.

Behind the Silver Arrows, Ferrari managed to reduce the deficit to Mercedes in this session, with both Kimi Räikkönen  and Sebastian Vettel leapfrogging the Red Bull Racing team on the timesheets to lap within half a second of the Constructors’ Championship leaders.

Fifth and sixth went to the RB13s, with Max Verstappen once again half a second off Bottas’ pace and a similar margin ahead of his own teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Verstappen had a near-miss late in the session when he narrowly avoided collecting the rear of Felipe Massa’s Williams, which appeared to inexplicably slow under braking for Club corner. The incident is currently being reviews by the FIA Stewards.

A surprise seventh-fastest was Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg, who dramatically improved from his 17th place on the time sheets in FP1. The German was a full second faster than teammate Jolyon Palmer, whose poor season was underscored by a spin during the session – the Englishman finished the session 18th-fastest to mirror his effort earlier in the day.

Eighth-fastest was the under-investigation Massa, with the Brazilian veteran finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren and Force India’s Esteban Ocon.

The two Toro Rosso runners finished eleventh- and twelfth-fastest, with Carlos Sainz Jr – who had a wild spin at Becketts – outpacing teammate Daniil Kvyat. The pair headed an extremely tight midfield that saw Sergio Pérez (Force India), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Lance Stroll (Williams), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren), Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and the aforementioned Palmer coverede by barely three-tenths of a second.

The two Saubers were once again in a distant battle at the bottom of the timesheets, although this time Pascal Wehrlein outpaced his teammate Marcus Ericsson in the session.

Saturday’s final practice session at Silverstone will begin at 10:00 local time (GMT +1).

Driver Team / Entry Time Tyre Laps
1. Valtteri Bottas fi Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:28.496 Pirelli Super Soft 30
2. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:28.543 Pirelli Soft 34
3. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:28.828 Pirelli Super Soft 35
4. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:28.956 Pirelli Super Soft 35
5. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:29.098 Pirelli Super Soft 31
6. Daniel Ricciardo au Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:29.586 Pirelli Super Soft 34
7. Nico Hülkenberg de Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:29.936 Pirelli Super Soft 36
8. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:30.006 Pirelli Super Soft 35
9. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:30.238 Pirelli Super Soft 27
10. Esteban Ocon fr Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:30.383 Pirelli Super Soft 41
11. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:30.555 Pirelli Super Soft 25
12. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:30.562 Pirelli Super Soft 33
13. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:30.624 Pirelli Super Soft 42
14. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:30.661 Pirelli Super Soft 32
15. Lance Stroll ca Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:30.695 Pirelli Super Soft 36
16. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:30.782 Pirelli Super Soft 30
17. Kevin Magnussen it Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:30.835 Pirelli Super Soft 32
18. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:30.879 Pirelli Super Soft 25
19. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:31.616 Pirelli Super Soft 26
20. Pascal Wehrlein de Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:31.929 Pirelli Super Soft 29

Images via LAT Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.