McLaren Steals The Show At British Grand Prix (But Red Bull And Max Verstappen Still Won)

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Max Verstappen won a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Still, it was McLaren that really got people’s attention.

But before we get to them, let’s talk about the winners. Verstappen — if you can believe this — had never won the British Grand Prix.

But wait, I thought he won at Silverstone in 2020.

He did, but that was the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Get it straight…

This year’s win was also the 11th straight win for Red Bull, which tied a Formula 1 record held by McLaren.

And speaking of the Mclaren…

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri of McLaren.
McLaren had far and away their best Grand Prix of the season Sunday at Silverstone. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

McLaren Put The Rest Of The Field On Notice

McLaren has had a rough year to this point, though there had been some glimpses of potential as of late.

The team brought new upgrades (and a nifty chrome livery harkening back to the Lewis Hamilton era) to Silverstone, and that turned the MCL60 into a rocket. Drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri managed to qualify P2 and P3 respectively.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical as to whether they’d have the race pace to A). hang on to the back of Verstappen, and B). fend off the Ferraris and Mercedes behind them.

I was wrong on both counts.

Norris jumped Verstappen at the start and held the lead for the first 5 laps. Both cars held on through the first stint, before bolting some hard tires on for the final safety car restart after Haas’ Kevin Magnussen had his Ferrari power unit crap out on him.

That seemed like a questionable decision especially with Lewis Hamilton splitting the two McLarens on soft tires.

However, the McLaren pitwall made the right call and the Norris held off Hamilton while Piastri fended off George Russell on mediums.

Norris P2 was McLaren’s first podium at Silverstone in more than a decade. They also hauled in 30 points, which more than doubles their season total.

They’ll be a team to keep an eye on moving forward.

Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll
Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll will not be too happy with each other after the British Grand Prix. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Pierre Gasly Will Not Be A Lance Stroll Fan

For Alpine, every race is a crapshoot. They could wind up with both cars in the points, or they could go home with a double DNF and there’s no rhyme or reason to it.

This was one of those double DNF weekends.

Esteban Ocon called it a day early with a hydraulic leak, while his teammate Pierres Gasly still had a points finish in the cards.

It started following the restart when Stroll overtook Gasly off the track. The Frenchman was adamant that Stroll gained an advantage off-track. The stewards disagreed and didn’t make Stroll yield the position but did give him. a black-and-white flag for exceeding track limits. The implication being that Gasly didn’t give him enough room (which is true).

Gasly eventually overtook Stroll, but then this happened:

That ended Gasly’s race, completing the double DNF for Alpine.

Stroll got a 5-second penalty, which seems lenient for as blatant as the incident was.

It’s safe to say that these two won’t be buddy-buddy when F1 reconvenes in Hungary in a few weeks from now.

Other Thoughts I Typed Into The Notes App On My Phone.

• Haas might exceed the cost cap this season just based on how many front wing endplates they’ve had to replace. Alright, maybe not that bad, but they go through those puppies like no one’s business. Add the cost of some Ferrari PUs and Guenther will have the unenviable task of telling Gene his wallet will be considerably lighter.

• One of Red Bull’s few weaknesses is starts. It seems like a fairly frequent occurrence that they may get off the line quickly, but struggle in the second phase while climbing through the gears. If that wasn’t a problem, Verstappen would have led this race from lights to flag.

• Sergio Perez came home in 6th. He’s still a force to be reckoned with on Sundays, but he has been putting himself so out of position in qualifying that he completely unraveled his championship hopes. I think he’s going to cost himself his seat at Red Bull too, unfortunately.

• Pirelli brought some robust rubber to Silverstone this year. That track has a habit of eating tires alive, but they held up great this year. Had it not been for the safety car, George Russell’s soft-medium strategy could have put him on the podium.

• Williams had a great weekend. Alex Albon earning points in P8 and Logan Sargeant just missed out in P11. They didn’t top the charts like they did in some practice sessions, but that team looks to be headed in the right direction.

Formula 1 takes a respite the next few weekends but they’re back on July 21-23 for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

I’m looking at Aston Martin to bounce back after a subpar weekend in their home race. The Hungaroring is regarded as Monaco without walls, and that should suit their car rather nicely.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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