Gloves off for next round of Lando Norris v Max Verstappen at Silverstone

The gloves are off for the next round of Formula One’s big fight between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen at Silverstone this weekend.

With three home drivers, all race winners, and four winning teams so far this season, the British Grand Prix looks a lot more competitive than last year.

The third race in three weekends comes after McLaren’s Norris and Red Bull’s triple world champion Verstappen collided while battling for the lead in Austria, handing victory to a delighted George Russell.

The Mercedes driver and seven times world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton, who has won a record eight times at Silverstone, will hope to be back in the mix at a circuit where Verstappen won last year.

“I think we’re riding a bit of a wave at the moment,” Russell said. “You always dare to dream for sure. Anything can happen.”

The clash between Norris and Verstappen, hardly a surprise given how the season has been building up, was the biggest incident from 11 races so far with Silverstone marking the halfway point.

While Verstappen extended his lead over Norris to 81 points, his driving and temperament have been called into question.

McLaren team boss Andrea Stella turned up the heat by saying Verstappen had been allowed to get away with too much in the past while Norris made clear he wanted an apology from the champion as their friendship buckled.

The chances of that happening look remote, and Norris will have to steel himself.

Fans would be advised to grab the popcorn and enjoy the fireworks.

“We know we have a fast car that can compete for wins at every type of circuit, which makes us excited for the rest of the season,” Norris said.

“Getting a podium last year in Silverstone was amazing, but I know that winning at a home race would be next level.”

The race is also a home one for Red Bull, celebrating their 20th anniversary with a special livery at the 75th edition of the race since the championship started in 1950.

“We want to make everyone at home back in the factory proud this weekend,” said Verstappen, alluding to “mistakes in the race (in Austria) that really cost us” while highlighting a sprint win and two poles.

“We are analysing what we did right as well as what went wrong … we want to come back fighting in Silverstone,” the Dutch driver added.

Verstappen has won seven times this season and he and Norris had occupied the first two places in five out of six before Austria. The pair were one-two at Silverstone last year.

Max Verstappen of the Red Bull Racing team raises the winners trophy after winning the British Grand Prix 2023.

Australian Oscar Piastri was second for McLaren in Austria and is getting closer to his first F1 win.

“Last year was an incredible weekend for us as a team, kind of the start of our resurgence,” he said. “I think we’ve got a strong car and I think we’ve had a really consistent car wherever we’ve gone.

“So I think we can be pretty confident we’ll be in the fight.”

Ferrari won at Silverstone with Carlos Sainz in 2022, the Spaniard’s first F1 victory, but high-speed corners have been the car’s weakness.

“We know Silverstone is the king of the high speed, so we need to do a step,” Sainz said. “And we are going to … try to find everything we can to make ourselves more competitive there.”

Australian reserve Jack Doohan will take part in first practice with Renault-owned Alpine and Argentine Franco Colapinto will do the same at Williams.

Formula One statistics for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the 12th round of the 24-race championship:

Lap distance: 5.891km. Total distance: 306.198km (52 laps)

2023 pole position: Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull one minute 26.720 seconds.

2023 race winner: Verstappen

Race lap record: Verstappen, 1:27.097 (Red Bull, 2020)

Start time: 1400 GMT (1500 local)

Three UK drivers

Sunday’s race will be the 75th British Grand Prix since the championship started in 1950, and is the fifth longest track on the calendar.

Britain has three drivers on the grid, all now race winners – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell and McLaren’s Lando Norris. The race is also a home one for a majority of teams.

Hamilton has won a record eight times. He shares the F1 record with Michael Schumacher (eight at the French Grand Prix).

The Mercedes driver has been on pole seven times at Silverstone and on the podium 13 times. No driver has been on the podium more at a home race.

Every winner has started from fourth or higher since 2000 and Mercedes have won eight of the last 11.

Four current drivers have won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone: Hamilton (2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021), Fernando Alonso (2006, 2011), Carlos Sainz (2022) and Verstappen (2023).

Verstappen also won what was designated the ’70th anniversary race’ at the circuit in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the first time Silverstone hosted two rounds in a single season.

With Italy, Britain is one of two ever-present races on the calendar. This year’s will be the 58th held at Silverstone.

Ferrari have won the British GP 18 times.

Championship lead

Verstappen has led the championship for a record 50 successive races dating back to Spain in May 2022 and arrives at Silverstone 81 points clear of Norris. He has led 443 laps in total this season.

Red Bull are 64 points clear of Ferrari.


Four teams – Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes – have won a race this season, the first time that has happened since 2021 when Red Bull, Mercedes, Alpine and McLaren won.

Verstappen has won seven of 11 races, with Sainz triumphant in Melbourne, Norris in Miami, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in Monaco and Russell in Spain.

Ferrari are the only team to have had two winning drivers this season.

Hamilton has a record 103 career victories from 343 starts. He has now gone 56 races without a win, a run dating back to 2021.

Red Bull have won 120 races and are fourth in the all-time list of winners. Ferrari lead with 245, McLaren have 184 and Mercedes 126.

Verstappen has won 61 grands prix and is third on the all-time list. Michael Schumacher is second on 91.

Pole position

Hamilton has a record 104 career poles, his most recent in Hungary last year.

Verstappen took the first seven poles of the season, equalling Alain Prost’s 1993 record, and eight in a row including the last race of 2023 – equalling Ayrton Senna’s 1988-89 record.

Leclerc took pole in Monaco and Russell was fastest in Canada with Norris taking the top spot in Spain, but Verstappen was back on pole in Austria last weekend for his eighth of 2024.

Verstappen’s pole margin of 0.404 seconds in Austria was the biggest yet this year.

Verstappen has 106 career podiums, Hamilton 198.

Verstappen has been on the podium eight times this season, Norris six, Leclerc and Sainz five each.


According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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