Lando Norris took an early lead and then led the fight straight into Max Verstappen at Silverstone on Sunday. But the British Grand Prix that provided some early drama ended in the most predictable way: with Red Bull Verstappen in front, and everyone battling for second place.
Verstappen took his sixth consecutive win, and eighth of the season, with another dominant day. The victory extended Red Bull’s record of 10 wins in 10 races this season.
But it was Norris, in a McLaren, who felt he was the big winner of the day after beating Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in an all-British battle for second place, much to the partisan crowd’s delight.
Norris’ result was McLaren’s first podium finish of the season, and a welcome bonus to an impressive performance that beat Hamilton, seven-time world champion, in the final laps.
Hamilton tried everything to get around 23-year-old Norris as the laps fell. But none of Hamilton’s experience or skill could make his car round a spectacular defensive drive by Norris. It was the first time that two British drivers had stood on the Formula 1 podium at Silverstone since 1999. The second McLaren, driven by Oscar Piastri, finished fourth directly.
“McLaren is a rocket ship,” said Hamilton admiringly after the finish.
The most interesting driver at Silverstone that teams and fans alike wanted to catch a glimpse of all week was a fictional one: Sonny Hayes.
This is the name of the character that actor Brad Pitt will play in the new Formula 1 movie Spent the Week Filming scenes and meeting people on the track—even setting up a fake garage and a fake hospitality trailer—as part of an effort to gather intelligence, advice, and race footage.
The teams seemed eager to get closer to the project. Lewis Hamilton is part of the film’s production rig, Red Bull’s Christian Horner met with the filmmakers on Friday, and Mercedes helped design the cars for Pitt’s fictional Apex racing team.
“We were involved very early,” Mercedes’ Toto Wolff told reporters last week. “When we had the first discussions, we sent Brad to a driving school in France, passing Formula 4 cars along the way, and tried to be co-operative with the narrative. Louis is an executive producer, so he wanted to make sure when he came out with the movie, that it was as realistic as possible. “.
Pete and his partner, Damson Idris, have been around the grid all week, and many windows have been cut out of the tight racing schedule to allow filming on the track itself.
Drivers’ Championship standings
Verstappen will carry his points lead into September even if he stops racing. (Note: Points through the Austrian Grand Prix.)
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