After dominating the British Grand Prix on Sunday, Max Verstappen saw McLaren’s Lando Norris finish in a surprising second place.
After a poor start, Verstappen was passed by Norris for the lead. After passing Norris, Verstappen was able to pull away and open up a substantial lead before the race’s lone safety car period, which was caused by Kevin Magnussen’s stalled vehicle.
When the safety car came out, Verstappen and Norris were still on the track, having made their pit stop while everyone else was going slower than usual.
After passing Oscar Piastri at the McLaren pit stop before the safety car came out, Lewis Hamilton was able to maintain his lead and win the race.
After the safety car came out, the race went on for 15 laps, and Verstappen won by more than three seconds, with Norris in a close second place behind Hamilton. George Russell, Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, finished fifth, while Piastri scored the highest finish of his career in fourth.
Red Bull has now won every race this season, and this is Verstappen’s ninth win in the first 10 races. On Sunday, Red Bull won the British Grand Prix for the first time since 2012, extending their winning streak to 11 races stretching back to last season.
This qualifying performance by McLaren was no fluke. Although it came as a surprise to see both McLaren drivers finish in the top five for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix last season, the team’s qualifying performance was not a fluke.
Before the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers, Norris qualified second and Piastri third. Both McLaren drivers appeared to be the best of the rest before the pit stop sequence, even as Verstappen sped away from Norris after passing him for the lead.
On a similar pair of hard tyres, Norris was able to hold off Hamilton in the latter stages of the race. After getting started on mediums, McLaren pitted for the harder compound tyres, while Hamilton and Verstappen opted for the softer tyres.
Hamilton’s hard tiers were a fantastic fit for the McLaren, but he was unable to mount a sustained bid for second place despite the fact that those tyres should have left him in a strong position to pass Norris.
While George Russell was on medium tyres, Piastri was able to hold him off in the closing circuits by switching to hards during his pit stop. Despite starting on the soft tyres, Russell surprised everyone with his speed and consistency.
Let’s cut to the chase: the 2023 season is Verstappen’s finest hour and a year in which Red Bull reigns supreme. But if you can look past the weekly leaders, you’ll see some interesting developments.
With Sunday’s results, McLaren has joined the already heated battle between Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari for the position of second-fastest team.
Despite Aston Martin’s good start with Fernando Alonso, Mercedes has moved up to second in the constructors’ rankings due to its consistency and race performance on Sundays.
Ferrari’s performance has been inconsistent, and the team was once again penalised by poor strategy errors on Sunday. Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz made early pit stops because they wanted to take advantage of undercuts if the race went green.
However, there was no assurance that Sainz and Leclerc would have been able to stay ahead of the Mercedes cars even if the safety car hadn’t intervened.
McLaren’s sluggish start has put it far behind the other three teams in the constructors’ rankings.
The time has not yet come to compete for second place. The race for the remaining podium slots should be a lot of fun, though, assuming the team’s pace on Sunday was indicative of things to come.
1. Max Verstappen
2, Lando Norris
3 Lewis Hamilton
4, Oscar Piastri
5. George Russell
6, Sergio Perez
7, Alonso, Fernando
8, Alex Albon
9, Charles Leclerc
10, Sainz, Carlos
11, Sergeant Logan,
12, Valtteri Bottas,
13, Nicolai “Nico” Hulkenberg
14, Lance Stroll
15, Zhou Guanyu
16, Tsunoda, Yuki,
17, Nyck De Vries
18, Pierre Gasly
19, Kevin Magnussen,
20, Esteban Ocon