Verstappen Wins 2023 F1 British GP, Lando Norris Shines
Norris really challenged Verstappen at Silverstone and it made for a refreshingly fun race.
The surprise of the 2023 Formula 1 British grand prix weekend was McLaren, as its drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri qualified second and third on the grid, respectively. Predictably, Red Bull's Max Verstappen started the race in pole position. However, Norris jumped ahead of Verstappen at the start of the race, which is the first time a McLaren driver led at Silverstone since Lewis Hamilton more than a decade ago.
Norris led Verstappen for a few laps, showing off not only his impressive driving but also the new aerodynamic improvements of his McLaren. While Norris's lead only lasted a few laps—which is admittedly longer than most people ever lead Verstappen—his driving impressed everyone watching even after Verstappen retook his usual first place spot. It was enough to earn Norris Driver of the Day.
After a long safety car, with only 13 laps to go, every team swapped onto fresh tires. Norris had to try and catch an impossibly quick Verstappen, while defending a hard-charging Lewis Hamilton. While he never really managed to close the three-or-so second gap from Verstappen, Norris masterfully defended his second place position from Hamilton. And he did so one fresh hard compound tires, while both Verstappen and Hamilton were both on scrubbed soft compound tires, which gave them an advantage right after the green flag.
Hamilton also had himself a helluva day. He started seventh on the grid, left the track a bit early on, but still finished in third, putting two British drivers on the podium in their home race.
This was one of the more exciting GPs of the season and a sign of good things to come. While Verstappen almost certainly has the driver's championship title locked up already, it's always fun seeing new challengers. Earlier this year it was Fernando Alonso in his newly revamped Aston Martin. However, Alonso and company have fallen off in recent weeks. Hopefully, for the sake of F1 fans, McLaren's newly updated aero package, and Norris's recently impressive driving, can continue to keep the two challenging the dominant Red Bulls.
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