First rain slows down Formula 1 at Silverstone, then the world championship leader doesn’t really get going. In training, things are not going well for Max Verstappen. The weather and a possible protest action could cause further turbulence.

World champion Max Verstappen is still looking for his title form in the Formula 1 Mecca of Silverstone. The World Championship leader did not get better than fourth place in Friday practice for the British Grand Prix and complained about strange noises in his Red Bull.

Fastest in strong winds was Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, who relegated record winner Lewis Hamilton to second place in the Mercedes. Third was Lando Norris in the McLaren at his home game.

In between, Sebastian Vettel was slowed down by a damaged underbody on his Aston Martin. In the end, the Hessian finished twelfth. Haas driver Mick Schumacher returned to the pits second to last.

The first training had given the teams little information. When it rained, the drivers mostly stayed in their garages, not wanting to take any unnecessary risks in the daring corners of Silverstone. However, the weather forecasts indicate that it could get wet again on the track in qualifying on Saturday (4 p.m. / Sky).

Before the tenth round of the season, defending champion Verstappen is at the top of the overall standings with a clear lead. The Dutchman has won six of the nine races of the season so far. Second in the world championship is his teammate Sergio Perez ahead of Ferrari star Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen has had a score to settle with Silverstone since last year. After a spectacular duel on the first lap, the leading Red Bull driver and Hamilton touched. Verstappen crashed into the barriers. While he had to go to the clinic for a check-up after the serious accident, Hamilton raced to victory despite a time penalty.

With up to 400,000 spectators, the British Grand Prix could set a record attendance this weekend. However, local police are worried about a possible protest. There are concrete indications that a group of activists are planning to disrupt the race and also want to get onto the slopes, the responsible authorities said.