Max Verstappen wins his 6th grand prix in a row at the British Grand Prix, in a dramatic race that sees Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton join him on the podium.
Max Verstappen had a bad start off the grid, suffering from a lot wheelspin as he built up speed. This allowed the hometown hero Lando Norris to take first place in a move that was adored by his home fans.
The poor start also saw Verstappen put under threat by the other McLaren of Oscar Piastri, though he was able to fend the challenge off well.
The dream start for Norris was only short lived however, as Verstappen was able to make his way past on lap 5. Despite this, Norris was able to stay within the DRS of Verstappen for a few laps afterwards, and demonstrated that their pace in qualifying yesterday was not just a one off, with the McLarens able away from Charles Leclerc in fourth.
Lap 10 saw the first retirement of the race, as Esteban Ocon was forced to come into the pits following a hydraulic leak.
There was some intrigue with the weather at one point. Red Bull had reported that light rain would appear at one point, and 35km/h winds made things tricky for the drivers. The rain however did seem to just miss the circuit and ultimately did not factor into the race.
George Russell was keeping pace with Leclerc well, as the Brit looked to gain fourth place. He was able to stick within the Ferrari’s DRS zone well, even as the stint continued and his softs should have been getting worse. Despite being on a harder tyre, it would be Leclerc who would pit first at the end of lap 18, going onto the hard compound. Russell would be able to utilise the clear air he now had and was able to drive faster than Leclerc on his old tyres. He was able to stretch his stint out to lap 28 where he would eventually pit though a slow stop would put him behind Leclerc once more.
Russell was not kept behind for long though, overtaking Leclerc just three laps later around the outside of Luffield.
The longevity of Russell’s first stint, as well as the relative lack of pace demonstrated by Leclerc on the hards, suggested a move onto softs for the medium runners was a viable option. Even so, McLaren chose to play it safe with Piastri and put him onto hard tyres on lap 29.
However, the timing of the pitstops for the likes of Russell and Piastri couldn’t have been worse. On lap 33, the power unit inside Kevin Magnussen’s Haas had started to smoke, and he had to retire the car on the Wellington straight. The stewards would bring out a virtual safety car as a result, eventually upgrading to a full safety car.
Hamilton was able to pit at this time, and was able to jump Leclerc, Russell and Piastri into 3rd place as a result. Alex Albon was also a big beneficiary of the safety car, being able to preserve his top 10 spot. Sergio Perez’s recovery drive also received a big helping hand with the cars now being bunched back up because of the safety car.
Ferrari had taken this time to pit their drivers once more, taking the hards off each one and putting on mediums to go to the end. Most others in the top 10 had opted for softs, though McLaren still went with hard tyres for Lando Norris, even though the Brit wanted to go onto softs like those around him.
Norris was predictably put under a lot of pressure by Hamilton behind once green flag running resumed on lap 39, with the Mercedes on much grippier tyres. Norris however was able to mount a strong defence, and was able to start building a gap once more after a couple of laps.
On lap 44, Sainz went deep into Vale corner, allowing for Sergio Perez to pass for seventh with a nice switchback. Sainz’s poor exit opened the door for Albon to pass into 8th at turn 1, and then Leclerc would overtake him for 9th at Village.
Sainz would also briefly lose 10th to Pierre Gasly, though was able to win it back at Copse.
Gasly had tangled with Lance Stroll a couple of times in the dying laps. Firstly, Stroll had overtaken Gasly round the outside of Stowe, though had left the track to do so. Then, the two made contact a few laps later at the end of lap 46, causing damage to Gasly’s car that forced him to retire.
Perez would overtake Fernando Alonso on lap 47, moving up to 6th place. Alonso was then under pressure from Albon, who himself was being pressured by Leclerc. In the end, Alonso was able to retain 7th whilst Albon was able to keep 8th.
Max Verstappen moves 99 points clear of Sergio Perez in second place. It also sees Red Bull win 11 races in a row, tying the record of most consecutive wins by a constructor with McLaren back in 1988. The podium was McLaren’s and Norris’ first since the 2022 Emilia Romagna grand prix, and the team’s best overall result since the 2021 Italian grand prix.
The next race is the Hungarian grand prix, taking place from 21-23 July.