(Silverstone) Max Verstappen rebounded from a slow start to claim the British Formula 1 Grand Prix and claim a sixth victory in a row on Sunday at Silverstone.
In what he himself later described as a “terrible” start, Verstappen was quickly overtaken by Briton Lando Norris, who had started the race from second place in his McLaren, directly behind the Dutch.
Verstappen reclaimed the race lead on lap five, however, and held it until the end, en route to an eighth victory in 2023, from 10 races.
Everyone was expecting Norris to slip in the standings during the race after his astonishing second place in qualifying on Saturday. However, he remained Verstappen’s toughest rival throughout the event.
After a restart in the race following the safety car’s on-track presence, Norris battled wheel-to-wheel with fellow Briton and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton who, in theory, was shod on more efficient tyres.
Norris held on, however, and he finished the race second ahead of Hamilton, giving McLaren its best result since 2021.
“It was a fantastic fight,” Norris described.
Hamilton started from seventh place and paid tribute to the spectators for this 14th career podium at the race contested on home soil.
“I didn’t, the crowd did. I felt the energy, I felt the support. This is the reason why we were able to return [to the podium]. »
Oscar Piastri, a rookie driver and team-mate of Norris at McLaren, finished fourth, ahead of George Russell’s Mercedes.
For the fourth time in five races, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez missed out on the podium, finishing sixth after starting from 15th on the grid.
Starting from ninth place, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso, driving his Aston Martin, gained two places and finished the race in seventh position.
“We maximized the race today and finished seventh on a tough weekend for the team. I think we managed our strategy well and made the right decisions during the race. We need to analyze the weekend as a whole, but we are not worried about the result,” Alonso said in Aston Martin’s official statement.
His Quebec teammate Lance Stroll had finished the race in 11th place, a gain of one position compared to his position on the starting grid. However, he was penalized five seconds for causing a collision with Pierre Gasly which dropped him to 14th place.
“It just wasn’t our day today. As we anticipated, the characteristics of this circuit didn’t really go well with our car, and we struggled to get the rhythm on the track,” remarked the Quebecer.
“On two occasions I was forced out by Pierre [Gasly] and the second time we made contact. We will check tonight if there has been any damage to the car,” added Stroll, who believes the next stopover in Hungary might be better for his car.