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Verstappen takes Silverstone victory ahead of impressive Norris and Hamilton

Piastri 4th, Russell 5th


By Franck Drui

9 July 2023 - 17:41
Verstappen takes Silverstone victory

Max Verstappen shook off a poor start to overtake early race leader Lando performance and march to a sixth consecutive victory of the season at the British Grand Prix. Norris held on to take McLaren’s first podium finish of the year, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton third.

When the lights went out, polesitter Verstappen got a poor start and front-row rival Norris seized the lead into the first corner. The second McLaren of Oscar Piastri slotted into third place ahead of the Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, while Mercedes’ George Russell held fifth ahead of the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. However, Hamilton, starting seventh, went wide at Turn 3 and dropped to ninth place.

At the front Norris was able to keep Verstappen at bay across the opening laps, but when DRS was enabled the Dutchman closed in and on lap 5 he used the speed boost on the Wellington Straight to power past the McLaren as they went into Brooklands and take the lead.

On lap 15 of the 52, Verstappen led Norris by just over three seconds, with Piastri a further 1.8 seconds back in third, almost four seconds clear of Leclerc. Further back, in thr second Red Bull, Sergio Pérez was making moves and on lap 13 he breezed past Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll to sit on the cusp on the top 10, just over a second behind Williams’ Alex Albon. And the Mexican made it into the points positions at the end of lap 17, powering past the Williams under DRS down the Hangar Straight.

On lap 19 Leclerc was the first of the leaders to pit and he shed his starting Medium tyres for a set of Hard compound Pirellis, emerging in P12, behind Stroll. None of Leclerc’s rivals reacted, however, and the race settled once more as the bulk of drivers targeted a one-stop race.

Fifth-placed Sainz was the next to pit, on lap 27, and he too switched to Hard tyres before rejoining in P12, as his team-mate did, behind Stroll. At the front, at the halfway point, Max led Norris by 7.6s, with Piastri still third. Russell then headed for the pits and he got rid of his starting Softs and took on Medium tyres and emerged behind Leclerc. Piastri also headed in and bolted on a set of Hard tyres before rejoining in P6.

On lap 33, however, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed when Haas’ Kevin Magnussen ground to a halt at the start of the Wellington Straight, with flames licking at the back of his car. And with his Haas car requiring recovery the full Safety Car was released.

That was the cue for those who hadn’t made a tyre switch to pit and after the stops had shaken out, Verstappen, on Soft tyres, led hard-tyre runner Norris, with Hamilton now third on Softs ahead of Hard-shod Piastri and Medium-tyre runner Russell. Fernando Alonso held sixth ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Pérez found himself in eighth place.

The Safety Car left the track at the end of lap 38 and Verstappen controlled the restart well to pull away from the chasing pack. And as Norris became embroiled in a furious battle with Hamilton for P2, Verstappen was able to build a solid gap. With 10 laps left the Dutchman was more than three seconds clear.

Pérez, meanwhile, was putting heavy pressure on Sainz and on lap 44, the Mexican pounced into the Vale chicane. He went wheel-to-wheel with the Ferrari through the first part but drew ahead on the exit and passed the Ferrari through Club to take seventh place. The Red Bull driver’s next target was Alonso and on lap 46 he swept past the Aston Martin to seize sixth.

In the closing stages the order at the front settled but behind Pérez a tight battle was being waged for seventh with Alonso ahead of Albon and Leclerc. The Aston Martin driver was in control, however, and with Albon having to fend off attacks from Leclerc while trying to build enough charge to attack, the Spaniard was able to keep both at bay.

And after 52 laps Verstappen crossed the line to take his eighth win of the season. As well as being Max’s first British Grand Prix win, the victory was Red Bull’s 11th in a row, stretching back to last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The achievement ties them with McLaren as joint holders of the record for consecutive wins.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 52 laps - 1h25m16.938s 1
02 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL60 +3.798 1
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 +6.783 1
04 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes MCL60 +7.776 1
05 George Russell Mercedes W14 +11.206 1
06 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 +12.882 1
07 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 +17.193 1
08 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW45 +17.878 1
09 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 +18.689 1
10 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF-23 +19.448 1
11 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW45 +23.632 1
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 +25.830 1
13 Nico Hülkenberg Haas Ferrari VF-23 +26.663 2
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 +27.483 1
15 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 +29.820 3
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 +31.225 2
17 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 +33.128 2
18 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault A523 DNF 1
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-23 DNF 0
20 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A523 DNF 1

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