Hamilton fastest in final practice for 70th Anniversary GP
SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) – Six times world champion Lewis Hamilton set his sights on a second successive home pole position after lapping fastest in final practice for Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Mercedes driver set a time of one minute 26.621 seconds at the 5.8-km Silverstone circuit, where he took a pole-to-flag win in last Sunday’s British Grand Prix despite suffering a late puncture.
His Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, fastest in Friday morning’s opening session, was second 0.163 seconds slower.
Briton Lando Norris was third-quickest, 0.581 seconds off the pace for McLaren.
German Nico Hulkenberg, standing in for Sergio Perez after the Mexican contracted COVID-19 and then tested positive for a second time, was fourth for Racing Point ahead of team mate Lance Stroll.
The Silverstone-based outfit have been caught in a rules wrangle this weekend after stewards upheld a protest from rivals Renault and fined the team and docked them 15 points.
Charles Leclerc, who finished a surprise third last week, was the highest-placed Ferrari in sixth ahead of Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon.
The Dutchman, who finished second at Silverstone last Sunday, vented his frustration over the radio after being held up by Stroll while on his fastest lap.
Esteban Ocon was ninth for Renault ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz who completed the top-10 for McLaren.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation amid rumours linking him to a move to Racing Point, was only 13th in his Ferrari.
Hamilton, going for a record-equalling seventh title this year, is 30 points ahead of Bottas after four races.
Sunday’s race commemorates the first world championship grand prix which was hosted by Silverstone in May, 1950.
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