At the end of a frantic qualifying for the British Grand Prix, Max Verstappen pipped Lando Norris to take his seventh pole of the season and fifth in a row.
Rain earlier in the day meant Siverstone was damp for Q1 but by the time the top-10 shootout began, the clouds had parted to make way for full dry conditions.
Verstappen led by more than six tenths from Lewis Hamilton after the first runs, but it was the McLaren duo of Norris and Oscar Piastri that pushed the world champion closest.
But in the end it wasn’t quite good enough as Verstappen‘s last gasp 1:26.720 denied Norris by 0.241s, with Piastri a further tenth behind in third.
“It’s been quite a crazy qualifying,” Verstappen said. “It was quite hectic and slippery in some places. We did our laps and then Q3, I was quite surprised to see them two there.
“It’s great for McLaren to be here and very happy from our side to be on pole.
“Q1 and Q2 there were still a few damp spots. We pushed close to the limit but knowing we have a quick start we didn’t have to go 100% limit.
“That’s why in Q3 when you go for it that’s where we eeked out a little bit. I’m looking forward to tomorrow already.”
Charles Leclerc led the Ferrari charge in fourth ahead of Carlos Sainz in fifth, although there was a little bit of needle between the teammates in Q1 in particular.
George Russell and Hamilton finished sixth and seventh respectively on a disappointing day for Mercedes, who had hopes of a first win of the season at their adopted home race.
Alex Albon impressed throughout but could only manage eighth in the much-improved Williams, ahead of Fernando Alonso in ninth and Pierre Gasly in 10th.
Perez’s qualifying misery continues
On a damp but drying circuit, Q1 was full of drama. Hamilton was one of the first on track on the soft tyres but spun off into the gravel on his opening flying run, putting him at risk of an early exit.
He was able to recover into the top five when Kevin Magnussen‘s Haas broke down and brought out the red flag with three minutes on the clock.
That left Norris and Sergio Perez are at risk of surprise early exits in 13th and 14th as cars queued for the restart.
The Mexican briefly went fastest at the resumption, but such was the track evolution that he was demoted to 16th, continuing his miserable qualifying run.
He already trails Verstappen by 70 points in the world championship and is likely to fall even further behind leaving Silverstone.