Scroll downfor the latest news

Max Verstappen second in exciting British GP: 'Made the right calls'

Published on 07 July 2024 by Florence Cobben

Max Verstappen has come second in the prestigious British Grand Prix, amid fluctuating weather. After a dry start, Max found his way into P3. As the first drops started to fall, the Oracle Red Bull Racing-driver was passed by the Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri's McLarens. The rain became heavier, and with a well-timed switch onto intermedium tyres, Max was back in P3. The track dried, and all the drivers switched to dry tyres. Max was on the pace, passing Norris to gain P2. The chase was on to catch up to Lewis Hamilton, but the British driver was always just out of reach. Max came second to Lewis Hamilton with a one-and-a-half second gap. Lando Norris' McLaren completed the top three.

After the race, Max explained: "We just didn't have the pace today. I was slowly dropping back when it mattered in the beginning. It didn't look great. At some point, I was thinking "Are we going to finish fifth, sixth?" But we made the right calls. Going from the slicks to the inters, then from the inters back to the slicks, was every time (done on) the right lap. At the end the call from the team to be on the hard tyre, instead of the soft, definitely helped me out. That's why I think we finished second today. It could have been a lot worse, but we're making the right calls, we still got onto the podium. Ofcourse I'm very happy with that."

The changing weather made a difficult race: "When it started to rain for the first time, ofcourse I was already dropping back, I was struggling for grip so I didn't want to take too many risks. (Meanwhile) I saw the guys ahead of me really going for it. So I tried to hang in there, (tried) not going off the track. That was quite tricky. But at one point it really started to come down, and it was quite obvious you had to switch to the inter. Then you had to make the tyre last as long as you could. And suddenly the sun came out and the track really started to dry up quickly. You still feel quite comfortable on the inter, but at one point you have to gamble to go on the slick, but luckily that all worked out." 

Max is however not at ease for the coming Hungary race: "There is work to do. At the moment we're not the fastest."

Despite the threatening clouds, the track is dry at the start of the 52 laps of the Silverstone circuit. Seventeen drivers start the race on the medium compound tyres, while Zhou Guanyu and Esteban Ocon start on softs. Sergio Perez, starting from the pitlane, will drive on the hard compound tyre. After the formation lap, Pierre Gasly retires the car, citing technical problems with his Alpine. At the start of the race, Verstappen comes away cleanly from fourth place and initiates an exciting takeover maneuver on Lando Norris in turn 4, earning him thrid place, behind the Mercedes' of pole sitter Russell and teammate Hamilton. Behind Verstappen the McLarens of Norris and Oscar Piastri complete the top five. 

In the opening phases of the race, Max struggles to keep up with the Mercedes'. The gap fluctuates between two and three seconds. Norris gains on Max, and passes him in lap 16, claiming P3 at the end of the Hangar Straight. A lap later Piastri also passes Max, demoting him to fifth place. In the meantime, rain is beginning to fall and drivers struggle to keep their cars on track. 

At the front of the race, Hamilton takes over the lead from his teammate, but it's not long before Norris has more pace and passes both Mercedes'. The McLaren is clearly the fastest car on track, as Piastri is quick to follow his teammate, cutting past Russell and Hamilton like knife through butter, making the front of the race a McLaren 1-2. Max struggles on his tyres and maintains P5. 

The track quickly dries up, but more rain is on it's way. Halfway through the race the rain starts up again and Max goes into the pits to switch to intermediates. The drivers in front drive one more lap, with Piastri driving two more laps before switching his tyres. By stopping early, Max has been promoted to P3, with Norris leading the race and Hamilton in P2. However, on intermediates Max can't match the pace of the cars in front. 

In lap 34, George Russell has to retire his car due to technical problems. Meanwhile the rain has stopped and the track is drying up. Hamilton and Verstappen go into the pits on lap 39 and reappear on dry-weather tyres. Max has switched to a hard tyre, while Hamilton is driving on soft tyres. Norris switches his tyres a lap later and loses first place to Hamilton. Max is behind Norris in P3. 

Max, driving on the hard tyres, is faster than Norris and Hamilton and passes the orange car in lap 48. The hunt for P1 is on, but Max runs out of laps to close that last crucial gap. He finishes 1.4 seconds behind Hamilton in P2, and Hamilton wins his first Grand Prix since Saudi Arabia 2021. This marks a record breaking number of wins by one driver on a single circuit, with nine wins at Silverstone. Behind Max, Norris claims third place. Piastri finishes P4, with Carlos Sainz claiming P5. Nico Hulkenberg finishes, for the second race in a row, in sixth place, followed by the Aston Martins of Lance Stoll and Fernando Alonso. Alexander Albon and Yuki Tsunoda complete the top ten. 

Results Grand Prix Great Britain:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes521:22:27.05925
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT52+1.465s18
3Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes52+7.547s15
4Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes52+12.429s12
5Carlos SainzSAIFerrari52+47.318s11
6Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari52+55.722s8
7Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes52+56.569s6
8Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes52+63.577s4
9Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes52+68.387s2
10Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT52+79.303s1
11Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes52+88.960s0
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari52+90.153s0
13Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT51+1 lap0
14Charles LeclercLECFerrari51+1 lap0
15Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari51+1 lap0
16Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault50+2 laps0
17Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT50+2 laps0
18Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari50+2 laps0
0George RussellRUSMercedes33DNF0
0Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault0DNS0