Piastri takes victory despite McLaren team order issue

Oscar Piastri achieved his first Formula 1 victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, following a series of radio messages from McLaren to issue team orders on Lando Norris throughout the final stint.

Piastri had led the entirety of the race after taking the lead into Turn 1, opening up a healthy lead over teammate Norris in the opening stint and through the first pitstop.

“In every condition we had the race under control to get the 1-2. I don’t remember when McLaren’s last 1-2 was!” Piastri said.

“The longer you leave [the team orders call], the more you get a bit nervous. But it was well executed by the team, it was the right call, I put myself in the right position at the start.”

Despite McLaren’s intention to manage the race, giving Norris the undercuts but with the express purpose of covering off the cars behind, the situation became interesting when Piastri lost time on the exit of Turn 11 to bring Norris within 1.5 seconds.

Oscar managed to stabilise that lead ahead of the final pitstops and, despite being aware Norris would undercut him in the final round of pitstops, Piastri was told “not to worry” about his teammate with the expectation that McLaren would switch positions.

Norris hence made his pitstop on lap 45 and started to turn in quick laptimes on the medium tyre, with Piastri calling in on lap 47 and – as expected – being undercut by Norris.

Told to switch track positions whenever he had an opportunity, Norris told the team that he would only consider doing so whenever Piastri caught up. Lando had extended his lead to six seconds, initially showing few signs of willingness to comply.

As the orders to Norris eventually became increasingly firm, the Miami race winner eventually relented and slowed down on the start-finish straight at the start of lap 68, giving Piastri the lead and assuming second place.

Lewis Hamilton collected third position after surviving a Turn 1 assault from an increasingly frustrated Max Verstappen, who seemed to be in an angry mood throughout the race.

Verstappen had first been annoyed by the decision to let Norris through after the championship leader ran wide at Turn 1 and stayed ahead, and then sounded off about a strategy that allowed Hamilton to undercut him for third position.

Hamilton had defended hard at the end of his second stint on hards, stymying Verstappen’s progress, and then undercut the Red Bull driver once again – as did Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth.

Although Verstappen got past Leclerc and once again applied pressure on Hamilton, the Red Bull driver struggled to find a way past and eventually resorted to a late braking dive into Turn 1 – which caught Hamilton as he was turning into the corner and sent Verstappen slightly airborne.

Leclerc thus got past once again as Verstappen recovered, while Carlos Sainz attempted to put the irritated Red Bull driver under pressure towards the end of the race – but eventually ran out of pace to challenge for fifth.

Sergio Perez recovered from his Q1 crash to finish seventh with a long stint on the hards, but held just enough over George Russell to ward off the Mercedes driver.

Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll completed the top ten, Stroll once again beating Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso into the points.

So congratulations to Oscar Piastri winning his first race following that sprint success at Qatar. The team orders situation between McLaren and Lando Norris will be a major talking point and yet this is racing. Oscar deserved this victory and yet Lando wants to reduce the points gap to rival Max Verstappen. In the end, the drivers did the switch and the team scored some solid points.

Hungarian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:38:01.989
2 Lando Norris McLaren +2.141s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +14.880s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +19.686s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull +21.349s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +23.073s
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull +39.792s
8 George Russell Mercedes +42.368s
9 Yuki Tsunoda RB +77.259s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +77.976s
11 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +82.460s
12 Daniel Ricciardo RB +1 lap
13 Nico Hulkenberg Haas +1 lap
14 Alexander Albon Williams +1 lap
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 lap
16 Valtteri Bottas Sauber +1 lap
17 Logan Sargeant Williams +1 lap
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine +1 lap
19 Zhou Guanyu Sauber +1 lap
Pierre Gasly Alpine DNF

Norris leads a McLaren front row at Hungary

McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will start the Hungarian Grand Prix on the front row with Lando setting a time just 0.022 seconds faster than Oscar.

Norris slotted in his eventual pole time, with one minute, 15.227 seconds, on his first run in Q3 as an effort to extend that advantage was halted by a late-session red flag caused by Yuki Tsunoda’s Turn 5 crash.

Max Verstappen had earlier set the quickest time at the start of Q3 with one minute, 15.555 seconds on his opening run, although stated that he wanted more front wing for a follow-up lap with new tyres after losing time in the middle sector.

That shortfall was put into perspective as Norris found over three tenths of a second, promoting to the top of the order to claim provisional pole.

Piastri then beat Verstappen’s first time on his next run, 0.022 seconds off of his teammate’s initial effort, and this also put him clear of Max’s next effort with a time of one minute, 15.273 seconds.

Yuki Tsunoda then produced a red flag with just over two minutes remaining, getting on the astroturf on the exit of Turn 5 and smashing his RB into the outside wall.

The session was restarted, although Verstappen did not take to the track as Red Bull did not believe it could improve its time on used tyres. This proved to be the case for those who did run, ensuring a front-row lockout for McLaren.

Carlos Sainz starts alongside Verstappen on the second row, while Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc collected fifth and sixth.

The Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were seventh and eighth, while Daniel Ricciardo moved up to ninth after improving on his post-red-flag lap, leaving Tsunoda in a provisional tenth position.

Hamilton narrowly made the cut into Q3, as none of the late laps from the Haas duo and Valtteri Bottas proved enough to dislodge the Mercedes driver from the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg had managed to get a lap in, despite being tight for time after struggling to find space in the pitlane. Regardless, the Haas driver was just 0.01 seconds shy of Hamilton to collect a Q2 elimination with P11.

Bottas was P12, stating that the lap was “all I’ve got” as he jumped the Williams duo in the order.

Neither of the Williams drivers was particularly impressed over their laps; Alex Albon felt he should have gone out later to benefit from track evolution, while Logan Sargeant was displeased by traffic on his final lap. Kevin Magnussen completed the top 15.

Although there had been rainfall between the earlier Formula 2 race and the start of Formula 1 qualifying, the circuit had dried enough for soft tyres at the beginning of Q1.

Light rain had continued to fall throughout, but not at a rate that could stop the cars from drying the track with continued laps in the opening ten minutes of the session.

With the majority of drivers either set to switch to a second set of softs, or already out on a new set, Sergio Perez suffered a spin on the entry to Turn 8 resulted in a crash. The Red Bull lost grip on a presumed damp kerb, hurling Checo into the barrier to bring his session to an end and produce a red flag.

The circuit was slightly damp on the restart, but the conditions began to improve throughout the remaining six-and-a-half minutes. George Russell went out too soon, however, and although he managed to move up to P10 with his next lap on new softs, he was vulnerable at the end of the session.

As such, the improving conditions were underlined by Daniel Ricciardo’s moving up from the bottom five into first, which hindered those who had gone early.

Russell had pitted in the meantime having not had enough fuel on board to keep running, and soon moved towards the bottom five. He was thus unable to take advantage of the improving conditions and came to rest in P17 – behind Perez, who was also eliminated.

Zhou Guanyu improved on his final lap but could not break out of the bottom five to start P18, while the Alpines did not go out at all despite the final series of runs, dropping into the bottom two positions by the end of the session: Esteban Ocon starts ahead of Pierre Gasly.

Hungarian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:
1 Lando Norris McLaren 1:15.227
2 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:15.249
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:15.273
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:15.696
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:15.854
6 Chalres Leclerc Ferrari 1:15.905
7 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:16.043
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:16.244
9 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:16.447
10 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:16.477
11 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:16.317
12 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:16.384
13 Alex Albon Williams 1:16.429
14 Logan Sarganet Williams 1:16.543
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:16.548
16 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:17.886
17 George Russell Mercedes 1:17.968
18 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:18.037
19 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:18.049
20 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:18.166

Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton achieved his ninth British Grand Prix victory in an exciting Silverstone race, which was affected by the typical UK weather. The Mercedes driver finished ahead of his old title rival and current championship leader Max Verstappen to win.

Hamilton took advantage on Mercedes’ initiative to switch to slicks after a period of rain across the middle phase of the race, which moved him above long-time leader Lando Norris as McLaren was slower to respond to the wet conditions.

Equipped with soft tyres, Hamilton sought to preserve his newly acquired lead over Norris, which was less than three seconds when the Miami Grand Prix winner emerged from the pits on the same red-walled Pirellis.

Although Norris started to set a series of quick laps to get closer to the Mercedes’ gearbox, it appeared that his pace was unsustainable; that ultimately proved true when Verstappen – who had been uncharacteristically slow throughout the race – came to the fore on the hard tyre.

Verstappen soon began to catch Norris, which helped Hamilton with his lead as the two cars behind him began to fight for second. Norris didn’t have the tyres to fight Verstappen and conceded second in Stowe at the end of lap 48, leaving Hamilton four laps to keep the lead from a rapidly catching Red Bull.

The two had to overcome traffic, but neither lost much time; Hamilton began the final lap with over two seconds in hand, which proved to be enough to secure his first Formula 1 victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I cannot stop crying!,” Hamilton admitted after the race. “Since 2021, I just, everyday getting up trying to fight, to train, to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team.

“This is my last race here at the British Grand Prix with this team, so I wanted to win this so much for them because I love them.”

Mercedes had ultimately nailed the crossover period after losing the lead to the McLarens during the initial drizzle. None of the front runners responded to the first bit of rain, as the slicks were able to hang on despite the greasy conditions, but the McLaren drivers had the better car in this stage.

Norris and Oscar Piastri hit the front over Hamilton and polesitter George Russell, who had been passed by Hamilton on lap 18 as the Mercedes driver struggled to contend with the first bit of rain.

When the second cell of rain arrived, Norris was followed into the pits by the Mercedes cars, while Piastri stayed out; this pulled Oscar out of the lead battle as he struggled on the extra lap on slicks.

Russell was then the next to lose position, as Verstappen undercut the Mercedes driver by stopping a lap sooner to collect third position. Although the polesitter was started to catch the Red Bull driver, he was asked to retire the car with a suspected water system issue.

Hamilton reported that the sun had come out at the start of lap 37 and, by the end of the next one, the circuit had dried significantly. Mercedes took the initiative and pulled Hamilton then, Lewis was followed by Max. The two diverged; Hamilton took the soft tyre and Verstappen taking the hard in anticipation of higher degradation.

McLaren made the decision to keep Norris out, but the race leader was adamant that he had to come in on the following lap – a move that ultimately cost the lead, and second position, as the soft tyres started to wear considerably versus Verstappen’s harder compound.

He had to console himself with third position, and his wearing tyres meant that he fell six seconds behind Verstappen at the flag. Piastri rescued fourth after dropping out of the victory battle through his delayed stop for intermediates.

Carlos Sainz, who had earlier battled Verstappen when the Red Bull driver struggled in the opening two-thirds of the race, pitted late to set the fastest lap on a set of used softs, as he had enough in hand over Nico Hulkenberg to call in.

Hulkenberg collected his second consecutive sixth-place finish to boost the Haas team’s aspirations of catching RB in the constructors’ championship, while Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso finished seventh and eighth for Aston Martin.

Alex Albon overcame a difficult first-lap as Hulkenberg and Alonso checked up into Turn 4, but overtook Yuki Tsunoda to clinch ninth – Tsunoda completing the top ten with a 10-second advantage over Logan Sargeant.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton in winning his home race for a record ninth time and to achieve victory for Mercedes is just heartwarming after many years of struggle. Been a real challenge for the team and driver to recover the lost form and to see the seven-time champion back at the top is just beautiful. What a great drive in a wet-dry race too. Well done Lewis!

British Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22:27.059
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull +1.465s
3 Lando Norris McLaren +7.547s
4 Oscar Piastri McLaren +12.429s
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +47.318s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Haas +55.722s
7 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +56.569s
8 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +63.577s
9 Alexander Albon Williams +68.387s
10 Yuki Tsunoda RB +79.303s
11 Logan Sargeant Williams +88.960s
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas +90.153s
13 Daniel Ricciardo RB +1 lap
14 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1 lap
15 Valtteri Bottas Sauber +1 lap
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine +2 laps
17 Sergio Perez Red Bull +2 laps
18 Zhou Guanyu Sauber +2 laps
George Russell Mercedes DNF
Pierre Gasly Alpine DNF

Russell takes British Grand Prix pole ahead of Hamilton and Norris

Following on from his victory at the Red Bull Ring a week ago, George Russell took pole position at Silverstone ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

It was a thrilling fight for pole which became a duel between the two Mercedes drivers. Neither Hamilton nor Russell had improved on their first sectors, but started to turn up the speed as their laps progressed.

Hamilton logged a lap time of one minute, 25.990 seconds to take the top spot and yet seconds later Russell picked up and set an one minute, 25.819 seconds to achieve his third Formula 1 pole.

Russell had earlier led an all-British top three after the opening runs of Q3 by just 0.006 seconds over Norris, as Hamilton and Oscar Piastri were both within touching distance in the battle for pole.

Max Verstappen was an outside bet, having been hampered by floor damage sustained during his Q1 off through the gravel at Copse.

Norris preserved his place in that top three, but was unable to improve on his final run and lost one position to Hamilton to lead the second row alongside Verstappen.

Although Verstappen had managed to dislodge Piastri from the top four, he was unable to challenge the top three and was ultimately four tenths adrift of Russell’s pole time.

Piastri beat an impressive Nico Hulkenberg, as the Haas driver claimed sixth thanks to the boost handed to him by new car upgrades. Carlos Sainz was seventh fastest from Lance Stroll, as Alex Albon beat Fernando Alonso to ninth on the grid.

High track evolution characterised Q2 as the Silverstone track continued to dry out, producing an ever-changing order throughout the 15-minute qualifying phase as the drivers fought until the final second to break into Q3.

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc looked vulnerable in the final stages of the session, and Leclerc’s move up to seventh in the order sent Verstappen into the drop zone.

But the world champion recovered and pulled himself up to sixth to knock Logan Sargeant out of the top ten, and Lance Stroll’s final effort pushed Leclerc back into the bottom five which knocked the Monaco winner an early exit.

Yuki Tsunoda had spent the majority of the session in the bottom five, and was not able to lift himself from the drop zone on his final lap – although was just 0.7 seconds shy of Lando’s leading time from Q2.

Zhou Guanyu and Daniel Ricciardo were also knocked out in the middle phase of qualifying, both separated by 0.6 seconds from Tsunoda ahead.

Another big elimination was presented by Sergio Perez, who dropped out in Q1 after he produced a red flag halfway through changeable conditions in the opening stage of qualifying.

Perez suffered a snap on the entry into Copse on his out-lap on soft tyres after ditching his intermediates, and understeered into the run-off. With limited grip as the asphalt was still wet, the Red Bull driver slipped into the gravel and his car dug in. This left him stranded and a Q1 exit.

Unsurprisingly, the improvement on soft tyres after the restart ensured that Perez fall down the order, except from the slowest time by Pierre Gasly. The Alpine driver has a host of penalties for taking new power unit components, and thus will start from the pitlane on race day.

Valtteri Bottas had set the first lap on softs after the restart, but had been unable to improve on his time as a brief spurt of rain affected the final five minutes of the session. This also cost Kevin Magnussen, who took a trip across the gravel at Copse and retreated to the pits; the Haas driver could do no better than P17 as he was in the pits at the close of the session.

Esteban Ocon also dropped out, claiming over the radio that his sole push lap in Q1’s final phase came amid the interloping rain.

So a fantastic British 1-2-3 in qualifying at Silverstone. The trackside fans are loving this result and it will be fascinating to see which driver can achieve the win at home.

British Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 George Russell Mercedes 1:25.819
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.990
3 Lando Norris McLaren 1:26.030
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:26.203
5 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:26.237
6 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:26.338
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:26.509
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:26.585
9 Alexander Albon Williams 1:26.640
10 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:26.917
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.097
12 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:27.175
13 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:27.269
14 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:27.867
15 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:27.949
16 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:32.431
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.905
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:34.557
19 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:38.348
20 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:39.804