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Verstappen dominance continues as McLaren roars back into life

The championship leader was provided a much sterner challenge by Lando Norris at the British Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen secured a sixth-consecutive F1 victory after fending off a McLaren charge at the British Grand Prix. Lando Norris continued his fine form from qualifying to finish second, having led briefly following a stunning start. Lewis Hamilton claimed his 14th Silverstone podium for Mercedes, finishing ahead of the luckless Oscar Piastri, who was denied a podium in his rookie campaign by an ill-timed Safety Car.

Safety car intervention

Norris made a flying start to jump ahead of Verstappen off the line, with Piastri trying to follow suit into the first corner. The race avoided the threatened on-track protest as the Briton led the field around the opening lap, whilst down the order Lewis Hamilton had run wide, falling to ninth. Norris' salvo in the lead secured his first laps at the front of the pack since his Russian Grand Prix heartache in 2021, but Verstappen set his Red Bull back to the top on lap five with a simple move into Brooklands, assisted by DRS. Russell had been hounding Leclerc for fourth, though the Ferrari driver put up a robust defence. The Monégasque was the first frontrunner to pit on lap 18, but was left on the back foot as the Mercedes driver stopped 10 laps later. Piastri had been driving superbly in third but was dealt a blow when the Safety Car was deployed four laps after the Australian had pitted for Hard tyres - Kevin Magnussen's Haas suffering from an expiring engine. That sent the top of the pack into a pit stop frenzy in order to secure a free tyre change, shuffling the pack. Verstappen would now lead Norris and Hamilton, who had stayed out, with Piastri fourth and Russell fifth. But with the Red Bull and Mercedes' seven-time World Champion on Softs and the second Silver Arrow on Mediums, the two Hard-tyre clad McLarens were left on the back foot.

Sprint to the end

Norris predictably struggled to get his tyres up to speed when racing resumed on lap 39, with Verstappen pulling two seconds clear by the end of the first sector. Hamilton attacked his fellow Briton, though Norris' robust defending kept the Mercedes at bay into Brooklands, Luffield and Copse in a ferocious battle. On the following lap, Hamilton tried to slither up the inside as Norris ran wide at Luffield. But with better drive off the corner, and the memories of his 2021 tussle with Verstappen likely on his mind, the third-placed driver yielded once more. Sainz was another on the back foot, finding himself at the mercy of Sergio Perez's Red Bull for seventh. The Mexican made the move into Vale and Club, leaving the Ferrari driver fending off Alex Albon into Abbey. The Williams driver swept past into the high-speed right-hander, allowing Leclerc to mug his teammate into the loop complex. Pierre Gasly picked up rear-right corner damage in a battle with Lance Stroll, confirming a double retirement for Alpine after Esteban Ocon retired with a hydraulic leak early in the race. Perez continued his fightback from 15th on the grid by scything past Fernando Alonso for sixth into Stowe in the closing stages. Up front, Norris held firm to finish second behind Verstappen - an 11th win in a row for Red Bull to move level with McLaren in the F1 record books. Hamilton lost grip in his Softs but stayed ahead of Piastri and Russell who was far enough ahead of Perez to secure a top five. Alonso was seventh for Aston Martin, whilst Albon again impressed for Williams. Leclerc and Sainz rounded out the top 10 on a tricky weekend for Ferrari. Logan Sargeant narrowly missed out on his maiden F1 points in the second Williams, with Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg behind. Stroll was handed a five-second penalty for his collision with Gasly and finished 14th, ahead of Zhou Guanyu and the two AlphaTauri's - Yuki Tsunoda ahead of Nyck de Vries.

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