F1 conclusions: a new hope? McLaren, Norris wake up as threat to Red Bull, Verstappen – News Block

Max Verstappen took his sixth consecutive race victory and eighth of the season when he took the checkered flag at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

A pair of Brits joined the Red Bull driver on the podium, with McLaren’s Lando Norris finishing second and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crossing the line third at their welcome event at the Silverstone track.

Here’s what you need to know about the British GP.


It should come as no surprise that a driver named Lando inspires Star Wars references. After a miserable start to the season, McLaren looks like a force awakened following its recent upgrade packages that target aerodynamic efficiency and feature a completely revised floor.

Norris had the British crowd roaring during qualifying on Saturday when he was briefly on provisional pole only for them to quickly fall silent as Verstappen snatched P1 moments later.

Still, Norris was on the front row and the start provided his best opportunity to attack Verstappen, whose Red Bull car is notorious for being slow to warm up its tires. In fact, Norris moved ahead of Verstappen and led for the first few laps to send the fans into a frenzy once again.

However, just like in qualifying, it would not last long and Verstappen would have his revenge. With Verstappen’s tires warming up and DRS engaged, the double defending champion hit back on Lap 5 to pass Norris and never relinquish the lead again.

A late safety car period helped to group the field and Norris finished less than four seconds behind Verstappen and also held off Hamilton.

It wasn’t a solo effort either, as his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri also made great strides. Piastri missed his first podium finish by less than a second, but the rookie from Australia still set a new personal best by finishing fourth.

Let’s not forget that Piastri is catching up as he just got the upgrades to his car that Norris got in Austria. Also, we haven’t even seen the final form of it, as McLaren expects additional updates to come.

Sure, McLaren has a lot of ground to cover in the standings, but this comeback looks more like the eight-time constructors’ champion we’re used to seeing.

Here’s hoping McLaren’s rise is the real deal and not a Ghost menace (sorry, fellow prequel fans.)


Even if Verstappen wasn’t playing Easy Mode this week, he’s still at the top of the class as his assault on the record books continues.

Verstappen became the fifth driver to win six Grands Prix in a row, joining Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. For the record, pardon the pun, Vettel has that mark by winning nine consecutive races in 2013.

It was also the 11th consecutive win for Red Bull, dating back to last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi, which tied the record set by McLaren in 1988.

Verstappen also completed a hat-trick qualifying on pole position and also setting the fastest lap. Fortunately for Verstappen, he had the bonus point in the bag, as there was not enough time advantage for him to pit late for soft tires and try to warm up the last lap this time.


Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez finished sixth but failed to reach the final round of qualifying for the fifth consecutive Grand Prix. This time Perez missed the cut in Q1 and moved to 15th on the grid after Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas received a disqualification.

Although Pérez was able to make up nine places from his starting position, one has to wonder where he would have ended up had he been able to resolve his qualifying woes.

Perez is the only driver on the grid who has shown he can beat Verstappen this season by taking two wins, which disappoints him when he starts closer to the back of the field rather than the front.

He’s still bringing home results when it counts and has a bit of security from second in the championship, so don’t expect Red Bull to start doubting Perez until his qualifying woes bleed to death on race day.


Yes, it was a Williams car fending off a couple of Ferraris and no, it’s not from 1997.

Williams’ resurgence continued with Alex Albon scoring points for the second time in three races. Albon passed Carlos Sainz for eighth place and repelled Charles Leclerc to maintain his position on the other side of the finish line.

Albon might even have challenged Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso for seventh place (only .685 seconds separating the two at the finish line) had he not had Leclerc breathing down the back of his neck.

The British-born Albon brought Williams out of the cellar and placed him seventh in the constructors’ championship in short succession.

His rookie teammate Logan Sargeant has also improved of late and finished 11th at Silverstone, just one place shy of earning his first F1 point.


As usual, one team’s gain is another team’s pain. While Mercedes and two of its customer teams (McLaren and Williams) are able to hold their heads high, another team they supply to, Aston Martin, has lowered its head.

Alonso, who accounts for roughly 75 percent of the team’s points, tied his season “low” for seventh, while Lance Stroll finished 14th. The Canadian rider actually crossed the 11th line, therefore out of the points regardless, however his run-in with Alpine’s Pierre Gasly resulted in a five-second penalty that dropped him further down the order.

Aston Martin’s gap to Mercedes for second in the constructors’ championship was three points before this weekend and has now been extended to 22.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s follies returned as Leclerc and Sainz finished ninth and 10th, respectively. While McLaren excelled on the hard tire, the Scuderia team struggled. Sainz saw a caravan of cars, Pérez, Albon and even his own teammate Leclerc, zip by as his pace dropped significantly.

On the plus side, Sainz’s finish in the final points-paying position helped him stay one ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell for fifth in the drivers’ championship.

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