Verstappen Tops a Very British Podium at Silverstone

Lando Norris took the lead early. Then he took the fight right to Max Verstappen. But a British Grand Prix that offered some early drama at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday eventually ended in the most predictable way possible: with Verstappen taking the lead back, pushing his Red Bull far out in front, and leaving everyone else racing for second place.

Verstappen earned his sixth straight victory, his eighth win of the season and his first at the British Grand Prix with yet another dominant day. The victory extended Red Bull’s record to a perfect 10 wins in 10 races this season, and, combined with a win on the final day of last season, allowed the team to equal McLaren’s Formula 1 record of 11 wins in a row, set in 1988.

But it was Norris, in a McLaren, who felt like the day’s biggest winner after holding off Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in an all-British battle for second place.

Norris’s result was the first podium finish for McLaren this season, and a welcome reward for his impressive performance of holding off Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, in the final laps.

Hamilton tried everything to get around the 23-year-old Norris as the laps fell away: feints inside; sweeping turns out wide; maneuvering in close quarters. But none of Hamilton’s experience or skills could get him around a remarkable defensive drive by Norris. It was the first time two British drivers had stood on the podium at Silverstone since 1999. McLaren’s second car, driven by Oscar Piastri of Australia, was right behind in fourth place.

Verstappen grabbed the lead early and never gave it back. Credit…Ben Stansall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


The most intriguing driver at Silverstone, the one teams and fans alike wanted to get a look at all week, was a fictional one: Sonny Hayes.

That’s the name of the character the actor Brad Pitt will play in a new Formula 1 film that spent the week shooting scenes at the track as part of an effort at gathering intelligence, advice and race footage.

Filming for a new Formula 1 movie has included time on the track for its cars and time in the garage for its stars, Brad Pitt (with George Russell) and Damson Idris.Credit…Christian Bruna/EPA, via Shutterstock
Credit…Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Credit…Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Teams seemed eager to get close to the project. Lewis Hamilton is part of the film’s production apparatus, Red Bull’s Christian Horner met with the filmmakers on Friday and Mercedes even helped with the design of the cars of Pitt’s fictional Apex racing team.

“We’ve been involved pretty early,” Toto Wolff of Mercedes told reporters last week. “When we had the first discussions, we sent Brad to a driving school in France, going through the Formula cars from Formula 4 all the way up, and we tried to be helpful with the narrative. Lewis is an executive producer, so he wanted to make sure when the movie comes out, it’s as realistic as possible.”

Pitt and his co-star, Damson Idris, were around the grid all week, and several windows were carved out of the tight racing schedule to allow for filming on the track itself.

The Race in Photos

Britain’s Red Arrows team, consistently faster than even Max Verstappen.Credit…Ben Stansall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Norris sprinted off the line and, briefly, into the lead over Max Verstappen.Credit…Dan Mullan/Getty Images
If only the Ferraris looked this fast on the track.Credit…Christian Bruna/Pool, via Reuters
Lando Norris and his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri ran near the front all afternoon.Credit…Andrej Isakovic/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

What They’re Saying

  • “I did what I could. I brought the fight to Max for as long as possible.” — Norris, on taking the lead at the start before surrendering it and focusing his efforts on protecting second place.

  • “We had a terrible start so we need to look into why that was.” — Verstappen, unwilling to be looking at the back of another car for even a single lap.

  • “That’s where I started, so to see them back on top warms my heart.” — Hamilton, a former McLaren driver, on seeing his old team on the podium.

Drivers’ Championship Standings

Verstappen’s lead over his teammate Sergio Pérez, who rallied from another poor Saturday (he qualified in 15th) with another strong Sunday (he finished sixth), is now 99 points.

The margin also ensured that Verstappen would carry his points lead into September even if he stopped showing up at races. (Spoiler: He will show up at all the races.)

Season in Review

March 5: Bahrain Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

March 19: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Winner: Sergio Pérez

April 2: Australian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

April 30: Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Winner: Sergio Pérez

May 7: Miami Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

May 21: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Winner: Race canceled.

May 28: Monaco Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

June 4: Spanish Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

June 18: Canadian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

July 2: Austrian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

July 9: British Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen

Next Race

July 23: Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Mogyorod, Hungary.

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