Lando Norris took the lead early. Then he took the fight right to Max Verstappen. But a British Grand Prix that offered some early drama at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday eventually ended in the most predictable way possible: with Verstappen taking the lead back, pushing his Red Bull far out in front, and leaving everyone else racing for second place.
Verstappen earned his sixth straight victory, his eighth win of the season and his first at the British Grand Prix with yet another dominant day. The victory extended Red Bull’s record to a perfect 10 wins in 10 races this season, and, combined with a win on the final day of last season, allowed the team to equal McLaren’s Formula 1 record of 11 wins in a row, set in 1988.
But it was Norris, in a McLaren, who felt like the day’s biggest winner after holding off Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in an all-British battle for second place.
Norris’s result was the first podium finish for McLaren this season, and a welcome reward for his impressive performance of holding off Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, in the final laps.
Hamilton tried everything to get around the 23-year-old Norris as the laps fell away: feints inside; sweeping turns out wide; maneuvering in close quarters. But none of Hamilton’s experience or skills could get him around a remarkable defensive drive by Norris. It was the first time two British drivers had stood on the podium at Silverstone since 1999. McLaren’s second car, driven by Oscar Piastri of Australia, was right behind in fourth place.
The most intriguing driver at Silverstone, the one teams and fans alike wanted to get a look at all week, was a fictional one: Sonny Hayes.
That’s the name of the character the actor Brad Pitt will play in a new Formula 1 film that spent the week shooting scenes at the track as part of an effort at gathering intelligence, advice and race footage.
Teams seemed eager to get close to the project. Lewis Hamilton is part of the film’s production apparatus, Red Bull’s Christian Horner met with the filmmakers on Friday and Mercedes even helped with the design of the cars of Pitt’s fictional Apex racing team.
“We’ve been involved pretty early,” Toto Wolff of Mercedes told reporters last week. “When we had the first discussions, we sent Brad to a driving school in France, going through the Formula cars from Formula 4 all the way up, and we tried to be helpful with the narrative. Lewis is an executive producer, so he wanted to make sure when the movie comes out, it’s as realistic as possible.”
Pitt and his co-star, Damson Idris, were around the grid all week, and several windows were carved out of the tight racing schedule to allow for filming on the track itself.
The Race in Photos
What They’re Saying
“I did what I could. I brought the fight to Max for as long as possible.” — Norris, on taking the lead at the start before surrendering it and focusing his efforts on protecting second place.
“We had a terrible start so we need to look into why that was.” — Verstappen, unwilling to be looking at the back of another car for even a single lap.
“That’s where I started, so to see them back on top warms my heart.” — Hamilton, a former McLaren driver, on seeing his old team on the podium.
Drivers’ Championship Standings
Verstappen’s lead over his teammate Sergio Pérez, who rallied from another poor Saturday (he qualified in 15th) with another strong Sunday (he finished sixth), is now 99 points.
The margin also ensured that Verstappen would carry his points lead into September even if he stopped showing up at races. (Spoiler: He will show up at all the races.)
Season in Review
March 5: Bahrain Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
March 19: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Winner: Sergio Pérez
April 2: Australian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
April 30: Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Winner: Sergio Pérez
May 7: Miami Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
May 21: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Winner: Race canceled.
May 28: Monaco Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
June 4: Spanish Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
June 18: Canadian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
July 2: Austrian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
July 9: British Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
July 23: Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Mogyorod, Hungary.