09 July 2023

Max Verstappen continues winning streak at British Grand Prix

09 July 2023

Max Verstappen delivered another crushing performance to win the British Grand Prix as Lando Norris held off Lewis Hamilton in a brilliant fight for second place.

A late safety car put Norris’ runner-up spot in doubt after McLaren elected to put the British driver on the harder, more durable tyre, rather than the speedier soft compound.

But Norris, 23, managed to keep Hamilton, 38, at bay in a tantalising battle between the two home favourites at a sold-out Silverstone.

Norris’ McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri finished fourth, one spot ahead of George Russell, with three British drivers finishing in the top five.

Verstappen’s sixth consecutive victory sees the Dutch driver move 99 points clear at the summit of the standings.

“We had a terrible start so we need to look into that,” said Verstappen. “Lando and McLaren were super-quick. It took a few laps to past them and then everything was okay.

“I am very happy that we won again and 11 wins in a row for the team is incredible but it was not straightforward today.”

McLaren have been desperately short of form this season but a major upgrade at the British team’s home race worked wonders.

Indeed, Norris briefly led Sunday’s 52-lap race after he gazumped pole-sitter Verstappen following a supreme start in his McLaren to cheers from the British grandstands.

It marked the first time a McLaren car has led the British Grand Prix since Hamilton led here for the Woking team in 2012.

However, Norris’ time at the top lasted only four-and-a-half laps after Verstappen, in his superior Red Bull machine, drew alongside the Briton on the Wellington Straight before making the move stick into Brooklands.

Piastri was running in third with Russell trying, but failing, to find a way past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton started seventh but dropped to eighth at the end of the first lap before regaining the position when he nailed Fernando Alonso on lap seven.

A tedious race came alive on lap 33 when Kevin Magnussen spluttered to a halt in his Haas. Flames briefly engulfed the rear of his machine before turning to smoke.

With Magnussen’s Haas in a precarious position at the start of the Wellington Straight a full safety car was deployed and Hamilton, who had yet to pit, was the main beneficiary, turning a net seventh into third when the order shuffled out.

Verstappen and Hamilton bolted on the soft rubber, but Norris, despite pleading with his McLaren team to follow suit, was given the hard compound.

When the safety car peeled in at the end of lap 38, Norris’ mirrors were suddenly occupied with Hamilton’s black Mercedes.

Hamilton sensed his opportunity racing around the outside of Norris through Brooklands and then Luffield, only for the McLaren man to hold position.

A third chance arose for Hamilton on the run down Copse but Norris expertly defended the position, leaving Hamilton with nowhere to go.

Hamilton backed out and tried again on the following lap but Norris kept his elbows out and the elder Briton was unable to find a way past.

From there, Norris was able to keep Hamilton at arm’s length, crossing the line 2.9 sec clear of the Mercedes car.

“That McLaren is a rocket ship,” said Hamilton as he crossed the line.

Piastri finished fourth on a fine afternoon for McLaren, one place ahead of Russell, with Sergio Perez sixth after he started a lowly 15th.

Alonso took the flag in seventh with Alex Albon enhancing his reputation with a fine eighth for Williams.

Verstappen crossed the line 3.7 sec clear of Norris to maintain Red Bull’s unbeaten streak this season.

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