Max Verstappen made it six wins in a row as he recovered from a poor start to seal a comfortable British Grand Prix victory from Lando Norris.
The Dutchman was unusually sluggish off the line to concede first to the McLaren of Norris but it was a matter of time until the superiority of the RB19 told, with Verstappen needing just a few laps to regain top spot.
And as has been the case for the majority if the 2023 season, that proved the key moment as the Dutchman cruised to the finish to extend his championship lead.
“We had a terrible start so we need to look into that why it was,” Verstappen said.
“Even after that, especially Lando, well both McLarens, were super quick. It took a few laps to pass him but then I could ease out a gap.
“After the safety car, on the softest compound round here it was a little bit more tricky for us to keep them alive.
“Very happy we won again and 11 wins in a row for the team is pretty incredible. But it wasn’t straight forward today.
“The [bad start] made it a bit more exciting having to push for it. Lando was very nice to me but he came back at me with the DRS. He did very well today.”
Norris briefly held the lead to the delight of the Silverstone crowd before assuming second place when Verstappen blasted past
And the race looked set to play out in rather processional fashion until Kevin Magnussen‘s Haas came to a smoky halt on Lap 33 and brought out the safety car.
That sparked a flurry of pit-lane activity, with Lewis Hamilton the biggest beneficiary. The seven-time world champion dropped to ninth at the start before recovering to seventh but emerged from the pits in third ahead of the restart.
With McLaren opting to put the hard tyres on Norris, Hamilton on the softs appeared to have a gilt-edged chance to snatch second from his younger countryman.
The seven-time world champion applied immediate pressure when racing resumed but Norris was immense in defence to hang on to second as Hamilton cooked his tyres in pursuit and had to settle for a 14th Silverstone podium.
Like his teammate, Oscar Piastri was punchy off the line and almost passed Verstappen before settling into his rhythm. The rookie Australian barely put a wheel out of place to finish fourth and can count himself unlucky to have missed out on third.
George Russell was another who was on the wrong side of the safety car, having pitted just before its arrival and expressed his frustration over team radio. In the end, fifth place was the best he could do on a better day for Mercedes.
Sergio Perez recovered from 16th to sixth, aided by the late safety car, but once again leaves a GP further in arrears to his teammate in the world championship.
Fernando Alonso took a nondescript seventh on an underwhelming day for Aston Martin, ahead of Alexander Albon in eighth, with the Ferraris rounding out the top 10.
Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz lost out massively under the safety car and will be left to rue yet more poor decision-making.
|1.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|6.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin|