SILVERSTONE, England — Lando Norris sailed across the finish line, posted the fastest time of the day and set off a roar from the British crowd, delighted by the return of what was once a familiar sight: a British driver on pole position at the British Grand Prix. . And then Max Verstappen screamed across the line close behind Norris and took the top spot away.
“It’s always Max,” Norris joked. “He always ruins everything for everyone.”
Will the smiles of Norris and his teammate Oscar Piastri, who qualified third, last until Sunday afternoon? Verstappen will have a lot to say about that. He will start on pole for the fifth race in a row, and has his eyes firmly set on his sixth straight victory, and eighth of the season. If he gets it, Red Bull will extend its unbeaten start to 10 wins in 10 races.
How to Look
Time: The British Grand Prix starts at 10 a.m. Eastern time. (Global start times are here.)
Television: The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 in the United States. Streaming is available on ESPN+. Pre-race coverage starts at 8:30 am Not in the US? Full list of Formula 1 broadcasters can be found here.
Sunday Start Grid
Not even surrendering the pole to Verstappen could spoil what was undoubtedly McLaren’s best day of the season. Norris will start second, one row ahead of his teammate Piastri.
The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and the two Mercedes drivers, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, are right behind the two McLarens. So expect the relatively inexperienced Norris, 23, and Piastri, 22, to play defense almost immediately.
The most interesting driver at Silverstone this weekend that teams and fans alike wanted to watch was a fictional one: Sonny Hayes.
That is the name of the character that the actor Brad Pitt will play in a new Formula 1 movie that was filming scenes and meeting people as part of an effort at gathering intelligence, tips and race footage.
Teams were eager to approach the project. Lewis Hamilton is part of the production team, Red Bull’s Christian Horner met with the filmmakers on Friday, and Mercedes even helped with the design of the fictional Apex racing team’s cars.
“We were involved quite early,” Mercedes’ Toto Wolff told reporters this week. “When we had the first discussions, we sent Brad to a driving school in France, going through the Formula 4 cars all the way, and we tried to be helpful with the story. Lewis is an executive producer, so he wanted to make sure that when the film came out , it’s as realistic as possible.”
Pitt and his co-star, Damson Idris, were around the grid all week, and several windows were carved out of the tight racing schedule to allow filming on the track itself. To fully immerse the fake team in the real race, Silverstone officials even let the manufacturers set up an 11th team garage next to Ferrari.
Race Week in Photos
This week’s Story Lines
Can anyone catch Verstappen? There is currently no reliable evidence for this theory.
Can McLaren cash in? Not even surrendering the pole to Verstappen could spoil what was a banner day for McLaren on Saturday. But even Norris admitted he didn’t expect to stay on pole even after setting the fastest time. “There are a lot of TV screens around the circuit,” he said. “I tried to look at every possible one. I was surprised how long I stayed in the top four. It just depended on when Max crossed the line. I guess I’m a little surprised, I didn’t expect us to be here, or myself to be here anyway.”
Protests against climate? Lewis Hamilton has said he will support “peaceful” protests by climate campaigners, who have already disrupted matches at Wimbledon and the Ashes cricket series this summer. But a repeat of last year’s British Grand Prix, when demonstrators ran onto the track and sat down while cars were still running is not acceptable, he said. “We believe in what people are fighting for and we make those changes as a sport,” Hamilton said Thursday. “But safety is key. We don’t want to be put in harm’s way and we don’t want to put anyone else in harm’s way.”
What They Say
“It was more if Max made a mistake rather than if we were faster than him.” – Norrisabout how he posted the fastest time in qualifying and then waited for what he assumed was the inevitable moment Verstappen would beat it.
“I think it was a pretty good day for us.” — Verstappenevery day
“No one is stopping the other teams from being better.” — Mohamed Bin Sulayemthe president of the governing body of motor racing, when asked about suggestions that rules should be changed to bring the dominant Red Bull team back to the pack.
“We were almost out in Q1 and Q2, but the car was like a rocket ship in Q3.” — Oscar Piastriafter driving his McLaren on the second row.
Last Time Out: Austrian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen won his fifth straight race at the Austrian Grand Prix on July 2. Pretend to be surprised by this revelation.
Drivers’ Championship standings
At this point, Verstappen will carry his point lead into September even if he stops appearing at races.