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Lando Norris sets pace in British Grand Prix first practice

Verstappen, whose car has an upgraded floor this weekend, said: “On the soft it didn’t go so well. The medium looked a bit better.

“We tried a few things. We just have to analyse a bit what to do better for tomorrow. It will rain a bit so we will all have to take that into account.”

It was an unusual session, with some teams seeming to run different programmes from normal.

Verstappen, in particular, ran the soft tyres early in the session and then had an off-track moment in the Becketts complex when he tried a lower-fuel run later in the session.

The same fate befell Leclerc early on as he complained about the Ferrari’s instability in high-speed corners.

However, the race-simulation runs at the end of the session suggested that Verstappen and Norris are set for another close fight.

Verstappen appeared slightly the faster, but Norris was less than 0.1secs slower on average over a 12-lap run, with Leclerc 0.3secs or so slower.

On the soft tyre, Russell was fastest from Hamilton, and both had a significant advantage over Piastri and Sainz.

Norris also set the pace in the earlier first session, this time from Stroll, Piastri and Verstappen.

Russell, who inherited victory in Austria on Sunday after the clash between Verstappen and Norris, said: “This morning the car was feeling great. We struggled a little bit more this afternoon and we have to understand why. It got a little windier and I don’t think we nailed the tyres. Looks like we’re at a similar level of competitiveness to the last few races.”

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