Max Verstappen beats Lando Norris to pole at the British Grand Prix.
After Norris set the fastest time and there were still three drivers to set their final times, Verstappen crushed the hopes of the many British fans in the seats.
Verstappen was one of them, and he won pole by 0.241 seconds.
Norris led McLaren to its best qualifying in years, with teammate Oscar Piastri in second place.
The updated McLarens, which Norris drove alone in Austria last weekend, moved the car up the line. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari and George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes came in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Alex Albon in a Williams came in eighth, ahead of Fernando Alonso in an Aston Martin. Pierre Gasly’s Alpine rounded out the top 10.
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The session started out wet and got drier as it went on. It was important to time the runs and get the lap right when it counted.
Sergio Perez, who was on Verstappen’s team, fell on the wrong side of the line and was eliminated in the first practice.
The Mexican will start in 16th place, making it the fifth race in a row that he won’t be in the top 10. It’s been a hard season for him so far.
Even though the race was hard, Verstappen stayed calm. The Dutchman did not go faster than Norris in the first session, which was stopped and started again because it started to rain with three minutes left. Norris went the fastest in this session.
And he made his life harder when, on his way out of the pits, he broke his front wing by hitting it on the wall across from the garage. He was able to laugh about it later.
But Verstappen was the fastest in the second session and again on the first runs of the final top-10 shootout, when he was the only driver with new tires.
On the last runs, Leclerc and Sainz came within a few hundredths of a second of Verstappen’s time, but it was Norris who beat him. The crowd cheered, but the world champion quickly put an end to those hopes.
Norris said: “Pretty crazy. My last lap was a good lap. On the in-lap, I could hear Zak Brown, the CEO, on the radio, which was the best thing ever.
“Max is always there. He always makes things bad for everybody.”
Piastri’s third place was by far the best result of his first season in F1. McLaren took a chance on the Australian after he had a great junior career, and this is his first season.
“What a qualifying session,” Piastri exclaimed. “We were almost out in Q1, but in Q2 and Q3 the car was like a rocket ship.” And I felt like I put a good lap together. Huge win for the team, and it’s great that we’re both up there.”
Piastri’s time was 0.131 seconds slower than Norris’s. This weekend, Norris’s upgrade, which he first used in Austria, was put on Piastri’s car for the first time. Norris, on the other hand, kept using it and added a new front wing.
McLaren had always thought that the upgrade would help their season turn around. At the beginning of the year, they realized that they had missed their development goals and needed to change how they thought about design.
They were happy with how the car ran in Austria, where Norris ended in fourth place, but they didn’t get too excited because Austria has always been a good track for them. Silverstone seems to have confirmed that they have made a big step forward, though.
In Austria, Ferrari was close to Verstappen for pole position, but they expected to be a little behind this weekend because their car is weakest in fast turns.
Leclerc finished 0.416 seconds behind Verstappen and just 0.012 seconds ahead of Sainz. Russell was 0.007 seconds behind him, and Hamilton was 0.056 seconds behind him.