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Lance Stroll ends second practice on top, Lewis Hamilton finishes fifth

Lance Stroll ends second practice on top, Lewis Hamilton finishes fifth
© Reuters
The Racing Point driver ended second practice on top as the Briton struggled in the sweltering heat in Northamptonshire.

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in second practice for the British Grand Prix as Racing Point’s Lance Stroll ended the day on top of the time charts.

Hamilton is bidding to win his seventh race at a spectator-less Silverstone, but after trailing Verstappen in the early running, he was three tenths down on Stroll later in the day.

Alexander Albon finished second, but his afternoon ended in the barriers after he lost control of his Red Bull through the right-handed Stowe corner.

Albon, just 0.080 seconds slower than Stroll before his accident, suffered damage to both the left-rear and left-front of his car following the high-speed smash.

The London-born Thai walked away unscathed from the incident, but his Red Bull crew will work long into the evening to ensure his machine is ready for qualifying on Saturday.

Valtteri Bottas, who trails Mercedes team-mate Hamilton by five points, finished third ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Verstappen was fastest in the morning running before finishing a distant 14th in the concluding action of the day.

Lewis Hamilton could only finish fifth in second practice
Lewis Hamilton could only finish fifth in second practice (FIA Pool/PA)

A car failure prevented Sebastian Vettel from completing any running on Friday morning, and, despite returning to the track for the second session, the four-time world champion could manage only 18th of the 20 runners, 1.58 seconds off the front.

Hamilton started the weekend as the favourite to win on Sunday, but on the basis of Friday’s evidence, the Briton will not have it all his own way as he chases a third win in four races this term.

Traditionally, the Mercedes cars have struggled in high temperatures and with the mercury hitting the mid-thirties here on a sweltering day, there was little for the all-conquering team to shout about.

“It was quite a difficult day,” said Hamilton. “The wind made it really tricky with the car and the balance is not as good as I would have liked so we are going to work on it and figure it out.

“Hopefully we will make some good changes overnight. It is not a disaster but it has definitely been a hard-day driving.”

Racing Point have modelled their machines on last season’s championship-winning Mercedes, and in the absence of team leader Sergio Perez following his positive coronavirus test, Stroll took on the baton for the Silverstone-based team.

The Canadian finished top, with Nico Hulkenberg, deputising for Perez, seventh in the running, six tenths behind his team-mate.

Hulkenberg has been out of action since he was dropped by Renault last year, but the German, a veteran of 177 grands prix starts, could be back in action again here next weekend if Perez is forced to remain in quarantine.

Elsewhere, British driver Lando Norris finished 11th, five spots behind Carlos Sainz in the sister McLaren. George Russell was 17th for Williams.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States29352791
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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