Red Bull’s Max Verstappen overcame an early attack from McLaren rival Lando Norris to triumph in an action-packed 2023 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, marking his first-ever victory at this event and extending his current winning run to six races.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
Norris jumped Verstappen for the lead at the start, with teammate Oscar Piastri almost following him through, meaning it was a Red Bull in a McLaren sandwich over the first few laps – but the reigning double world champion soon fought back.
By Lap 5, and with DRS at his disposal, Verstappen reclaimed P1 from Norris and never looked troubled, pulling away from the home favourite as the race developed and then managing a late Safety Car period – caused by Kevin Magnussen’s smoking Haas – that saw the leaders go for different tyre strategies.
While the majority of the front-runners chose soft tyres under the Safety Car, Norris went for hards, meaning he had to pull off some impressive defending to remain P2 over fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton, who jumped Piastri when the race was neutralised.
Piastri had held third for the majority of the 52-lap encounter, only to pit just before the aforementioned Safety Car, but fourth – a couple of seconds up on the other Mercedes of George Russell – still represented the best result of the Australian rookie’s burgeoning F1 career.
Sergio Perez delivered another solid recovery drive to sixth after the Red Bull driver’s latest qualifying woes, making a series of late moves to finish ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, Williams’ Alex Albon and the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Williams almost had two cars in the points on home soil, with Logan Sargeant a personal best 11th, followed by the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, who started at the back after being excluded from qualifying, and Nico Hulkenberg, who dropped to the rear early on when he picked up front wing damage on his Haas.
Lance Stroll wound up 14th after being penalised for causing a collision with Pierre Gasly, who was forced to retire thereafter, joining teammate Esteban Ocon, who pitted early on amid apparent technical trouble – and Magnussen on the sidelines.
Zhou Guanyu was 15th in the other Alfa Romeo, having made three pit stops (one more than anyone else), with AlphaTauri pair Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries the final drivers to cross the line after Gasly’s aforementioned dramas.
After the chequered flag, there was no hiding Verstappen’s excitement as he not only moved 99 points clear of Perez in the drivers’ standings but also gave Red Bull a record-equalling 11th successive F1 win.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
First of all, well done to the amazing crowd at Silverstone: 480,000 is an impressive record, a sign of the incredible popularity Formula 1 is experiencing right now.
From a tyre point of view, this weekend delivered interesting answers. The introduction of the new construction went according to plan, and the initial analysis of the data is in line with our expectations. The feeling that all three compounds could be used in the race was confirmed this afternoon. Certainly, the considerably cooler temperatures, when compared to Friday, allowed for the Soft to be pushed harder for longer. But apart from that, the fact that all three compounds were valid choices meant the teams could choose the tyre combination that best suited their cars. Finally, a word about degradation, which was lower than expected for all three compounds, even though this track is one of the toughest on tyres. It meant the teams were able to extend their stints without any significant drop-off in performance.
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
Another win for Max Verstappen, the reigning world champion now clearly the dominant force, along with his Red Bull Racing car, in 2023. This was Max’s second win at the Silverstone circuit, following on from the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix held here in 2020. He was never really troubled, even if he was surprised at the speed of Lando Norris’ start in the McLaren from the spot alongside him on the grid. Once back in front, the Dutchman had a trouble-free time of it, even after the restart on lap 39, as the race had been neutralised while Kevin Magnussen’s Haas was removed from the side of the track. Much to the delight of most of the 480,000-strong crowd – a record for this track, Verstappen was joined on the podium by two British drivers, the aforementioned Norris and Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes driver has been the main beneficiary of the appearance of the Safety Car.
Red Bull’s win puts the team equal with McLaren for the most consecutive race wins (11.) The last time a driver for the Austro-British team did not win a race dates back to George Russell’s victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix last year.
One-stop was the most common strategy, but the Soft proved far more popular than our earlier predictions. The only cars not to run the C3 were the two Ferraris and two McLarens.
The most used compound during the Grand Prix was the C2, which ran 485 laps, 50% of the total completed. The C3 was second (337 laps, 34.74%), followed by the C1 (148, 15.26%).
Russell’s 28 laps were the longest stint on the Soft, while for the Medium, Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris and Alonso did 33 and Bottas ran 32 on the Hard.
The fastest laps for each compound were all set on tyres that had done ten or more laps. For the C1, the best time (1.30.543) was set by Norris on lap 43 with a set of tyres that were 10 laps old. Russell was quickest with the C2 (1.31.124) on lap 13 of his second stint, while the fastest race lap fell to Verstappen in 1.30.275 on C3 on lap 11 of his second stint. It should also be noted that after pit stops for Russell and Verstappen, the race was neutralised for five laps.
The next Formula 1 round is the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest from 21 to 23 July. The softest compounds in the range (C3, C4 and C5) will be used at the Hungaroring, and the event will trial the Alternative Tyre Allocation, a format which means that only Hard tyres can be used in Q1, Medium in Q2 and Soft in Q3. The use of ATA reduces the number of sets of dry weather tyres available for each car to 11, two fewer than on a traditional race weekend. The test will then be repeated at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
2023 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:25:16.938||26||255|
|2.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+3.798s||18||42|
|3.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+6.783s||15||121|
|4.||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+7.776s||12||17|
|5.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+11.206s||10||82|
|6.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+12.882s||8||156|
|7.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+17.193s||6||137|
|8.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+17.878s||4||11|
|9.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+18.689s||2||74|
|10.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+19.448s||1||83|
|11.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||+23.632s||0||0|
|12.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+25.830s||0||5|
|13.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+26.663s||0||9|
|14.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+27.483s||0||44|
|15.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+29.820s||0||4|
|16.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+31.225s||0||2|
|17.||21||Nyck De Vries||Netherlands||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+33.128s||0||0|
|9.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||16|
|12.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||31|
|19.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||DNF||0||2|
2023 Constructor Standings
Here are the team-by-team highlights: