Mercedes set the pace in second practice at the British Grand Prix as Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc not too far behind in third (Bottas 7/2, Hamilton 4/7 – British GP Fastest Qualifier – Driver).

Bottas just edged home hopeful Hamilton by 0.069 seconds, with Leclerc just 0.197secs further back.

Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fourth ahead of the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris of McLaren.

Leclerc is 7/1 to qualify on pole and Gasly is a 50/1 chance.

Gasly set the pace in the morning session but the Red Bulls were less impressive in the afternoon as Max Verstappen, who won in Austria last time out, could only post the seventh quickest time.

The pressure is on Gasly as he has been consistently outperformed by his team-mate this term, forcing team boss Christian Horner to deny claims Red Bull are considering demoting him to sister team Toro Rosso recently, but he was encouraged by his two sessions at Silverstone on Friday.

“I’m happy because it was a really good day on our side and the best Friday of the season,” Gasly said. “We made some changes after Austria and we have a good plan on how I can improve things.

“There are still a few improvements I can make and my lap wasn’t perfect in FP2, so I can still extract a bit more, but overall I’m happy.

“It’s only Friday so we won’t get excited but we need to keep going in this direction.

“It will be important not to make any mistakes and perform tomorrow when it’s important, but the feeling I have today is a lot better.”

Renault had a particularly tough day as Daniel Ricciardo was only 14th fastest, one place ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, after the Australian was forced to stop midway through the second session with an engine failure.

Hamilton is 4/6 to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday and Bottas can be backed at 7/2.

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