Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (13/2 Race Winner) showed signs that he could be in contention at the British Grand Prix, although Carlos Sainz (15/2) topped the timesheet during second practice at Silverstone.
Hamilton was competitive throughout practice on Friday, finishing just behind Valtteri Bottas in first practice, which was hampered by rain.
Ferrari were able to celebrate their performance as Sainz finished 0.176 seconds ahead of Hamilton, with McLaren’s Lando Norris third.
Championship leader Max Verstappen secured fourth, but the headlines belonged to Mercedes, who have struggled all season having failed to win a race so far.
Mercedes have introduced several aerodynamic upgrades this weekend, and they will hope they can compete in qualifying on Saturday.
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Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says his team were pleased with the progress, but nobody will be getting carried away until the conclusion of Sunday’s race.
He told Sky Sports: “It seems like we have taken a step forward because we are not normally near the top on a Friday.
“Now, I expect there will be more to come from Ferrari and a bit more to come from Red Bull, but the long run work was quite encouraging as well, and those were overlaying quite nicely.
“There is certainly a lot to work on, there is some bouncing around, and it is tricky in the high speed at the moment, but hopefully, the updates pushed us in the right direction.”
Hamilton echoed those comments, suggesting Mercedes have made “small steps” of progress, but it will still be up to the seven-time world champion and teammate George Russell to try and end Red Bull’s strong run of form.
Verstappen is 5/4 to win Sunday’s British Grand Prix, while Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is available at 9/4.
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