After a thrilling wet-dry qualifying session at Silverstone, Max Verstappen starts ahead of Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri and the Ferraris for the 2023 British Grand Prix.
The rapidly drying track caught out several drivers in qualifying with both Ferraris initially going out on intermediate tyres to begin with before a quick change, and Sergio Perez missing the cut in Q1.
He qualified 16th after a late red flag for Kevin Magnussen threw the session into chaos, with each driver having just one shot at a final flying lap Red Bull sent Perez out noticeably early to be first driver out of the pitlane.
That backfired though as the track seemed to get quicker with every driver across the line – despite Perez shooting to the top of the timesheets with his effort all but three of the cars behind beat that time to eliminate him – the fifth race in a row he’s missed Q3.
Perez admitted afterwards that those changeable conditions are where he struggles most with the car, so he’ll be hoping for a dry race tomorrow to carve his way back up the field.
A dry race would also mean he could unleash Red Bull‘s freakish DRS on the rest of the grid after he recovered from qualifying 15th to finish on the podium of the Austrian GP.
Up front, Norris was half a second quicker than Verstappen in Q1 and briefly held provisional pole in Q3 before the Dutchman bettered his time – but both drivers are accomplished in the wet and would likely relish rain at Silverstone.
That could also play into the hands of Piastri in third, who’s looked strong in the wet across his short Formula 1 career so far, notwithstanding his crash in Canadian GP qualifying.
So will it rain on the British GP? Well if it’s going to rain at Silverstone, at all on raceday then the grand prix slot is the most likely time for that to happen.
Forecasts offer a 33% chance of rain at the 3pm local time grand prix start, the highest all day, with that number dropping to a one-in-four chance an hour into proceedings.
It’s not set to be as hot as Friday, when teams did their long-runs, with temperatures slated to reach highs of 22 degrees Celsius.
That should help McLaren and Ferrari stay at the front given their tyre degradation issues, Carlos Sainz in particular highlighted the similar weakness for both cars while the Mercedes have suffered less with that in 2023.
However, that’s still reasonably warm while humidity remains around 70% so fans and drivers alike look like they’re in for a sweaty afternoon.
The other thing to note is the wind. Built on a former airfield, Silverstone is pancake-flat and that translates to higher winds than usual blowing across the track.
Alex Albon was one driver who drew attention to the challenge that poses, as the same corner can be noticeably different lap-to-lap.
Winds are expected to be get up to 12mph around 3pm, which is pretty consistent and maybe even a bit stronger than was the case on Friday and Saturday. They’re blowing in a northerly direction so Stowe and Becketts could be two corners particularly affected.