On a weekend F1 is experimenting with a new format, Verstappen led the way from the Ferraris in FP2, which took place ahead of the new 17-lap sprint race later on Saturday afternoon.

Verstappen’s best lap - a 1m29.902s set on mediums - was 0.375s faster than what Charles Leclerc managed on the same compound, while Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz was third having set his quickest lap on softs.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was fourth ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finishing sixth and seventh.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will start Saturday afternoon’s 100km sprint race from pole after beating Verstappen in qualifying on Friday evening, was eighth-fastest ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas as they focused on long-runs.

Completing the top-10 order in FP2 was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.

With parc ferme conditions locked in, meaning teams can no longer make major changes to their cars, the sixty-minutes of running was fairly meaningless and effectively resembled warm-up sessions of years gone by.

The only real value for the teams in FP2 was getting the chance to conduct longer runs to better understand tyre life heading into the sprint, which will determine the grid for Sunday’s showpiece event, the British GP.

Full results from second practice for the 2021 F1 British Grand Prix.