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Drivers take the start of the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 9, 2023. Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, Red Bull, McLaren

Verstappen wins British GP after split strategy shootout

After a chaotic qualifying session, the grid is mixed up with surprises all around the grid, which is a cause of a lot of excitement before the start of the British Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen wins the British Grand Prix for Red Bull ahead of British duo Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton after a split strategy shootout.

Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, Red Bull, McLaren, Formula 1, British Grand Prix
Norris took the lead of the British Grand Prix, passing Verstappen into Turn One (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)

Lots of excitement was visible going into today’s British Grand Prix. A mixed up grid, including both McLaren drivers in the top three and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez in 15th, offers for a potential exciting race.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claimed his fifth consecutive pole yesterday in a chaotic qualifying session. The Dutchman will have both McLaren’s just behind – Norris in second and Piastri in third.

Alex Albon managed to get into Q3 once again, meaning the Thai driver will be starting the race in eighth for Williams. Whilst Perez will start the race from 15th – the Mexican was knocked out in Q1, but gained a position due to Valtteri Bottas’ disqualification in qualifying.

All of the top 10 drivers opted for the medium tyre. However, George Russell – in sixth – opted for the soft compound tyre.

Lights out

Norris pointed his car towards Verstappen on the front row. When the lights went out, the Dutchman had a poor start, allowing the Briton to pass him going into Turn One.

Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton dropped two places after running wide. Alex Albon also had a tough start, losing two positions also, dropping down to 10th.

Lap two saw Norris briefly break out of the DRS gap to Verstappen, being as high as 1.2 seconds ahead of the Dutchman. However, the reigning world champion quickly managed to get back within the DRS range.

After a few laps of pushing the McLaren driver, Verstappen breezed past the Briton on lap five to take the lead, passing him going into Brooklands.

Meanwhile, on the same lap, George Russell attempted a move on Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. However, the Monegasque would move under braking, going into Stowe.

After a poor start, Hamilton managed to pass Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso on lap seven at Brooklands, sending the British crowd wild.

Lap eight saw Verstappen eventually break DRS to Norris behind, as Norris teammate Piastri was still sticking with the Briton.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, British Grand Prix
Ocon was forced to retire at the end of lap nine (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)
Esteban Ocon retires from the race

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon retired from the race at the end of lap nine. The 26-year-old experienced a mechanical failure with his Alpine car. It was found that the Alpine driver suffered a hydraulic leak.

Meanwhile, race leader Verstappen was reporting “pulling” on his car. The wind was very strong, causing many driver’s cars to be unstable.

By lap 15, Verstappen found his groove and pulled out a three second gap over Norris. Whilst Norris’ teammate Piastri was a further 1.8 seconds back from the Briton.

First pitstops

Leclerc was the first driver of the frontrunners to make a pitstop at the end of lap 18. The Monegasque had been struggling to keep up with the McLaren’s and had Russell right behind him. The Ferrari driver switched to the hard tyre after a 2.4 second stop.

Up at the front, Verstappen set the fastest lap of the race on lap 20. The Dutchman set a time of a 1:32.295, whilst extending the gap to Norris to 4.5 seconds.

Whilst the other frontrunners have stayed out, Leclerc needed to cut his way through the field. The Monegasque managed to pass Lance Stroll on lap 26 going into Stowe.

Meanwhile, Leclerc’s teammate Sainz was the second frontrunner to pit for the hard tyre on lap 26. The Spaniard re-joined behind his teammate in 12th.

Despite having soft tyres, Russell eventually pitted at the end of lap 28 for medium tyres. However, the Briton was stationary for 3.9 seconds, losing out on track position to Leclerc, re-joining the track ninth.

A lap later saw Piastri make his pitstop at the end of lap 29. The Australian driver switched to the hard tyre, coming back out on track in sixth, comfortably ahead of Leclerc.

After setting the fastest lap of the race, Russell was flying. On lap 31, the Briton produced a fine move, going round the outside of Leclerc at Luffield. Meanwhile, Piastri made progress on his hard tyre, passing Pierre Gasly going into Stowe.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas
Magnussen had to pull to the side of the track after an engine failure (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)
Safety Car

Kevin Magnussen’s car stopped on the Wellington straight, initially bringing out the virtual safety car. However, a full safety car was eventually brought out.

Lots of drivers instantly pit, including Verstappen and Norris. However, the pair differed to their tyre options with Verstappen on the softs and Norris on the hard tyre. Hamilton benefitted from the safety car, coming back out on track on softs in third.

Piastri lost out to Hamilton during the pitstops, whilst the Australian has Russell behind him on the medium tyre.

After a lengthy time under the safety car, the race finally went green on lap 39. McLaren drivers Norris and Piastri found themselves surrounded by soft runners – including Verstappen, Hamilton and Alonso.

Hamilton managed to fire his softs up brilliantly. However, the seven-time world champion could not get past Norris after some stellar defending from the McLaren driver.

Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, Mercedes, McLaren
Norris defends Hamilton (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)

Perez managed to get past Sainz at the final corner on lap 43. However, it would get worse for the Spaniard as he would lose out places to Albon and Leclerc seconds later.

Perez continued his charge on the soft tyre on lap 47, passing Alonso going into Stowe. Further down the field, Gasly was squeezed out by Stroll at the final corner, which damaged the French driver’s suspension.

Whilst all drivers are pushing, Norris received a black and white flag for track limits on lap 48.

By the end of lap 52, Verstappen reached the chequered flag to comfortably win the British Grand Prix. British duo Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton rounded up the podium places.

Red Bull wins their first race at the British Grand Prix since 2012 and has equalled McLaren’s record of winning 11 races in a row.

Results
  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Lando Norris
  3. Lewis Hamilton
  4. Oscar Piastri
  5. George Russell
  6. Sergio Perez
  7. Fernando Alonso
  8. Alexander Albon
  9. Charles Leclerc
  10. Carlos Sainz
  11. Logan Sargeant
  12. Valtteri Bottas
  13. Nico Hulkenberg
  14. Lance Stroll
  15. Zhou Guanyu
  16. Yuki Tsunoda
  17. Nyck de Vries
  18. Pierre Gasly
  19. Kevin Magnussen
  20. Esteban Ocon

Full results can be found here

Feature Image Credit: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images

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