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Verstappen wins at Silverstone as Norris holds off Hamilton for second

Max Verstappen eased to a 99-point lead in this year’s Formula One championship with victory at the British Grand Prix, as Lando Norris held off fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton for second place on home turf.

The Red Bull driver held a 3.8-second lead over Norris at the chequered flag, with Hamilton a further 2.9s off in third.

The triumph was Red Bull’s 11th in a row, matching the record set by the dominant McLaren team in 1988, and means Verstappen could finish in second place at all the remaining races and still secure the title. Teammate Sergio Perez, who remains his closest title rival, concluded sixth at Silverstone.

Norris took the lead of the race on the opening lap, passing Verstappen into Turn 1, but was unable to compete with the sheer performance of the Red Bull and had no response to Verstappen when he retook the lead on lap five at Brooklands.

“It wasn’t particularly straightforward,” Verstappen said of his victory. “I had a bad start, lots of wheelspin and so I had to work my way up again and get past Lando — it took a few laps.

“Then it also took a few laps to cool the tyres down again in the lead, so Lando came back at me in the DRS, but once everything settled in we could open up the gap lap after lap to nine seconds.”

McLaren looked set for a double podium finish until Kevin Magnussen’s Haas slowed on the Wellington Straight with flames spewing from the exhaust, resulting in a lengthily safety car period that reset the race for the final 15 laps. The timing of the safety car’s release worked against Norris’ teammate Oscar Piastri, who had been running third in the first half of the race, and helped Hamilton move up the order from seventh to third.

Hamilton switched to soft tires under the safety car period as Norris took on the slower hard compound tire, meaning the Mercedes driver was able to put pressure on the McLaren at the restart.

However, the straight-line performance of Norris’ upgraded McLaren ultimately won out as Hamilton was unable to complete an overtaking move into Copse after two consecutive laps of trying.

The third-place finish was Hamilton’s 11th consecutive Silverstone podium.

Piastri secured fourth for McLaren ahead of the second Mercedes of George Russell in fifth, who also lost out by pitting just before the safety car. Perez recovered to sixth place from 16th on the grid after getting knocked out in the opening session of qualifying on Saturday in changing conditions, and leaves Silverstone with pressure building over his position at the team.

Fernando Alonso was seventh for Aston Martin ahead of another impressive performance by Williams driver Alex Albon. Ferrari suffered the most from the safety car period, with Charles Leclerc’s two-stop strategy being neutralized by other drivers pitting and Carlos Sainz falling down the order as a result of stopping for hard tires six laps before the Haas stopped at the side of the track.

Verstappen’s victory and 99-point lead puts him in a remarkably dominant position in the championship with just 10 of this year’s 22 races complete. 

Steve Carr

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