After an inconclusive, rain-affected opening practice on Friday morning, FP2 took place in dry and sunny conditions as Sainz ended the day fastest, 0.163s ahead of home hero Hamilton. 

The seven-time world champion demonstrated an encouraging show of speed at Silverstone in his upgraded Mercedes during the soft tyre runs to take second spot for the second consecutive session, though he did set his lap later than most of his rivals. 

Mercedes are hopeful of a more competitive showing this weekend at Silverstone, thanks in part to the track’s smoother characteristics and a host of new updates that have been introduced to the W13. 

"It has been a good day," Hamilton said after FP2. "I wish that we could get more running in FP1, but that beautiful weather that we get at Silverstone is what makes it so special, because it can be raining on half the track and dry elsewhere. It was just wet through Turn 6 and 7, Turn 9 and then it was pretty much dry everywhere else, so that made it difficult to stay on the inters because they were getting destroyed and then it was too wet for slicks.

"But we got some good running still. I got about 10 laps, which I was really happy with. I don’t think many people got that. And then in P2, feeling pretty good.

"It’s bouncing still, quite a bit. Not necessarily in a straight line but through the corners it’s pretty harsh. Not physically harsh. So we’ve still got work to do but it feels like a small step forwards.

"You can’t drive the tracks the same as you used to with this car, with how stiff it is, the ride characteristics and the porpoising that we do get, a lot of which is from the ride stiffness.

"It’s not the same but still having fun through Maggotts and Becketts. It’s not so great through 9 but Turn 1 is great. Maggotts and Becketts are still pretty mega, and Stowe. They are my favourite corners."

Behind Sainz and Hamilton, McLaren’s Lando Norris was a strong third, just 0.176s off the pace, with Max Verstappen two-tenths down in fourth place for Red Bull. 

Charles Leclerc ended up nearly half a second adrift of Ferrari teammate Sainz in fifth, ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

George Russell was eighth-quickest and 0.857s off the pace in his Mercedes, while Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll completed the rest of the top 10 for McLaren and Aston Martin.