British GP: Review

Published on 17 July 2023 at 13:00

Nathan Hartley


Formula 1 returned to one of its most iconic tracks on the calendar in Silverstone. It would host round 11 of the 2023 World Championship, as all teams across the paddock looked to put an end to Red Bull's 100% winning record this season.


Lando Norris took the lead of the race into Turn One (Image Credit: Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)




The Silverstone circuit has plenty of variety in corners, making it a great circuit to test whether upgrades are working - whether it is in the low or high-speed corners.


Therefore, plenty of teams brought upgrades going into the British Grand Prix. McLaren were able to apply upgrades to Oscar Piastri's car after Lando Norris had them in Austria.


The first practice session was topped by none other than Max Verstappen. The Dutchman was clear at the top by over four tenths from his teammate Sergio Perez. 


A surprise at the top was Williams driver Alex Albon. The Thai driver was able to end the first practice session with his Williams car up in the top three - only 0.489 seconds off Verstappen's ultimate time.


The second practice session was a similar story with Verstappen, once again, topping the timesheets. However, the reigning world champion would only be ahead of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz. Also, Albon managed to go third quickest again, making people wonder the actual pace of the Williams car.


The final practice session was on Saturday with different conditions from yesterday's heavy winds. There would be a bit of rain to the point where drivers would go out on intermediate tyres. However, there was never any heavy rain.


Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc would top the final practice session ahead of Alex Albon - still finding himself at the sharp end of the grid - and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso




With all three practice sessions completed, it was time for qualifying. Q1 would see some light rain hit the track, leading to drivers heading out of the pitlane on a mixture of soft and intermediate tyres. However, the intermediate runners quickly regretted their decision, instantly coming back into the pits to bolt on the soft tyre.


A scare for Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton as the seven-time world champion lost the rear of his Mercedes W14 at Stowe, spinning into the gravel. However, the Briton was able to keep the car going and carry on to the home fan's delight.


Going into the later stages of the session, the track was quickly improving, leading to a quick flourish of improving lap times. Perez would be the first driver to cross the line, going to the top of the timesheets. However, due to the track's evolution, the Mexican was knocked out of Q1, making it five races in a row not making it to Q3.


Perez was joined by Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, Nyck de Vries and Kevin Magnussen - who had to retire from qualifying to an engine issue - in the drop zone. However, there would only be 14 cars in Q2 as Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas stopped on track with a technical issue. It would get worse for the Finn as he would be disqualified from qualifying later on for not providing a sufficient amount of fuel.


Q2 saw many of the same drivers at the top in Q1, including McLaren driver Lando Norris, who was showing brilliant pace in his McLaren MCL60. However, the drivers who did not make it to Q3 were: Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Logan Sargeant.


That left us with Q3. All drivers had the same conditions with it not being a perfect track. It would be Verstappen pipping McLaren duo Norris and Piastri to pole - showing that McLaren had excellent pace with their new upgrades. Albon also managed to achieve an impress eighth for Williams, confirming their excellent pace also.





After an exciting qualifying session, much anticipation was present going into Sunday's race. Could Norris achieve his first Formula 1 victory by beating the unstoppable Verstappen?


Well, the McLaren driver would take the lead of the race going into Turn One, capitalising on Verstappen's poor start. Piastri also almost managed to jump the Dutchman.


However, by lap five, the Red Bull driver was able to re-take the lead of the race from Norris. Which would stay the same until the safety car came out due to Kevin Magnussen's Haas, once again, coming to a halt.


The safety car made many drivers pits. However, there was a mixture of soft and hard tyres being bolted on to the cars. Race leader Max Verstappen opted for the soft tyre, whereas Norris opted for the hard tyre, hoping that the soft tyre would fall off a cliff towards the end. Lewis Hamilton was also on the soft tyre - right behind Norris in third.


The safety car would come in on lap 39 to start the split strategy shootout. Hamilton was all over Norris' car, utilising the soft tyre. However, after some excellent defensive work from the McLaren driver, he was able to hold off the seven-time world champion.


Ultimately, it would be Max Verstappen winning the race by three seconds from Lando Norris. Lewis Hamilton managed to reach the chequered flag in third, despite the 38-year-old's soft tyre losing lots of performance towards the end. The full race results can be found here.

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