British GP Sees Picture-perfect Finish for Norris and Hamilton as Verstappen Extends Lead

The 2023 British Grand Prix, the 800th Formula 1 race, did not disappoint! With McLaren and Williams performing better than a certain fan-favorite scarlet team, and Mercedes’ upgrade not seeming like much of an upgrade…there was a lot to talk about! Of course, Max Verstappen won for what is his sixth win in a row.

Lights Out

Verstappen started the race from pole position and led for the majority of the race, but not without home hero Lando Norris powering forward at the start! Norris then led the British Grand Prix for FIVE WHOLE LAPS, and the two remained in close battle throughout the race. Russell and Sainz went wheel-to-wheel through Stowe, almost coming in contact, while Hamilton concentrated on getting past Alonso. And he did! 

The race wasn’t without its fair share of retirements, the first being Ocon on lap 10. With mixed weather reports coming in, and the top 3 holding on to their spots, all the action was in the back. Perez was on yet another recovery drive, and had gained 5 positions by Lap 17. Of course, we can’t dismiss the fact that we wouldn’t have to spend so much time overtaking if he just qualified well…in the fastest car on the grid. 

Track Tactics 

As most teams opted to pit their drivers in the second half of the race, all the pressure for action was on Leclerc — the only one who pitted on Lap 19. Most drivers switched to fresher tires by Lap 33, except Verstappen, Norris, Hamilton, Alonso and Albon. When Magnussen came to a smokey halt on lap 33, the pit-stop frenzy began. From Albon to Alonso, all of them pitted for softs, except for Norris who McLaren pitted for hard tires. Leclerc stopped for a second time. And yet again, Ferrari's strategy came into question.

When 15 laps remained, and the safety car was still on its rounds, the McLarens began to struggle with the hard -compund tires. Post the safety car period on lap 38, the order changed. Hamilton jumped Piastri for P3, and looked like he’ll stay there. But the 7-time World Champion did what champions do and hunted Norris down. A proper clean fight for the position, with the younger Brit remaining on top. 

Chequered Flag

The closing laps were all sorts of interesting as Perez continued on his charge, Verstappen extended his lead and caught the chequered flag in first position, and Williams fought the Ferrari of Sainz on merit. Norris and Hamilton came home - literally - in second and third respectively. Piastri took a fine fourth, with Russell, Perez, Alonso, Alobon, Leclerc and Sainz rounding off our top 10. 

With Hungary up next in 2 weeks, we’re left with a lot of questions:

  1. Will Verstappen get his 7th continuous victory?
  2. Will Perez finally make it to Q3?
  3. Are McLaren’s upgrades here to stay?
  4. Will Mercedes find their mojo back?
  5. What do we make of Williams' new-found pace?

And then some more. See you in Hungary!