F1: Max Verstappen nudges out Lando Norris in 'crazy' British Grand Prix qualifying | Inquirer Sports

F1: Max Verstappen nudges out Lando Norris in ‘crazy’ British Grand Prix qualifying

/ 11:06 AM July 09, 2023

Max Verstappen Lando Norris British Grand Prix

Pole position winner Red Bull Racing’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen (R) and second placed McLaren’s British driver Lando Norris interact after the qualifying session for the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 8, 2023. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)

Max Verstappen showed his relief at surviving tricky and changeable conditions on Saturday when he outpaced friend and rival Lando Norris to take pole position for the British Grand Prix.

The defending double world champion and runaway series leader outpaced McLaren’s Norris with a late final lap to secure pole in one minute and 26.720, beating Norris by two-tenths.


“It’s been a crazy qualifying,” said the 25-year-old Dutchman, who is seeking his first British Grand Prix win at the eighth attempt.


“Really quite hectic and also quite slippery in some places, but we did our laps and in Q3 I was surprised to see those two (McLaren) there.

“I mean, it’s great for McLaren to be here and from our side I am very happy to be on pole.”

McLaren claimed their first front row start at their home British Grand Prix since 2008 through Norris with his team-mate Australian rookie Oscar Piastri taking third behind him ahead of both Ferraris.

Verstappen added that the changing conditions had been a challenge “especially in Q1 and Q2 and there were a few little damp spots so we had to be a bit careful in Q3.

“Of course, you push close to the limit, but obviously we have a quick car so we didn’t need to go to 100 percent.”


“It wasn’t a very big gap today, but for us it has been a great day and I am looking forward to the race already.”

Verstappen’s pole was his fifth in succession, his seventh of the season and the 27th of his career as he leads Red Bull’s bid for a record-equalling 11th consecutive race victory, drawing level with McLaren’s 1988 achievement.

Piastri was third fastest ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes of George Russell and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton.

As Verstappen celebrated, his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and nearest championship rival, who trails him by 81 points in the drivers’ title race, suffered a fifth early exit this season, this time from Q1.

‘Max ruins everything!’

Norris who briefly held provisional pole position claimed his third front row start.

“I was close,” he said. “I was P1 in Q1, pretty sure I was P1 in Q2 and just a couple of tenths off being P1 in Q3. Pretty insane! My last lap was a good lap.

“I could hear Zak (team boss, Zak Brown) on the radio on the last lap. For us to be second and third is great for the team, but it’s always Max – and he always ruins everything for everyone!”

Piastri was also delighted.

“What a qualifying session!” he said. “We were almost out in Q1! But the car was a rocket ship in Q2 and Q3 and it felt like I put a pretty good lap together.

“It’s a massive result for the team as well. To have both of us up here is a mega result and we have got to try and stay there for tomorrow.”

Williams’ Alex Albon was eighth ahead of two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly of Alpine.

Qualifying began after heavy rain and the first session was red-flagged with three minutes remaining when Kevin Magnussen parked his Haas on track, close to the pits entry.

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This led to a delay before, with Perez and Albon at the head of a queue, a re-start was scheduled – during which Verstappen pulled out, but hit the pit wall and damaged his car’s front wing.

After repairs, he was back out and en route to the 27th pole of his career.


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TAGS: British Grand Prix, F1, Max Verstappen

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