Norris and Hamilton star at Silverstone with British GP podiums
Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton starred in front of a record 160,000 passionate fans as the 2023 Formula 1 Aramco British Grand Prix took centre stage yesterday (Sunday 9 July) at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing.
Starting second, Motorsport UK Academy alumni Norris powered his McLaren past championship dominator Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) off the line to rapturous applause from the packed stands.
While it took only five laps for Verstappen to retake the top spot with a move to the inside at Brooklands, Norris was ecstatic to lead – albeit briefly – in front of his home crowd. The 23-year-old, who has historically always performed well at Silverstone, had already been the talk of the town leading up to the race owing to a spectacular performance in Saturday’s qualifying session.
He narrowly missed out on pole position to two-time champion Verstappen, and the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri was also in the fight, qualifying third. An ongoing upgrade package was clearly paying off, with the Woking teams’ cars having also shown strong pace at the previous round in Austria.
Towards the end of the 52-lap encounter, Round 11 of this year’s calendar, Norris was embroiled in a fantastic battle with another home hero, Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.
The eight-time British GP victor was on a charge from his seventh-place starting position, and a lap- 34 safety car further benefitted him as he skipped past Piastri through the pit stop sequence and also found himself on the better tyre compared to Norris: McLaren had opted for the more durable but slower hard tyre while Mercedes bolted the faster softs onto Hamilton’s car.
However, despite a tyre disadvantage, Norris was able to eventually pull clear from the Mercedes and finished just 3.7 seconds behind winner Verstappen. Hamilton maintained his third place, thus making it two Brits on the podium at home, ahead of Piastri.
Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell rounded out the top five, while the only other British driver on the grid, Williams’ Alex Albon, secured a fine eighth and more crucial points for the Grove-based operation.