Lewis Hamilton raised the prospect of springing a surprise pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix after finishing fastest in final practice.

The seven-time world champion ended the concluding one-hour running before qualifying at the Hungaroring 0.250 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Verstappen, who has won eight of the 10 rounds so far and six in succession, complained about the handling of his Red Bull.

“There is no f****** grip,” said the frustrated two-time world champion over the radio.

Sergio Perez took third spot in the other Red Bull, 0.263 sec adrift of Hamilton, with Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren driver Lando Norris fourth and fifth respectively. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell finished sixth three tenths back.

Hamilton only finished 16th on Friday, describing his machine as “at its worst”. But the 38-year-old, who has won more times at the Hungaroring than anybody else and captured his first victory in Mercedes colours at this venue a decade ago, led the way on Saturday to suggest he might be a contender heading into the remainder of the weekend.

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo, back on the grid as a replacement for Nyck De Vries, clocked the 18th quickest time. His new AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was 20th and last.

Qualifying for Sunday’s 70-lap race starts at 4pm local time (3pm BST).

Max Verstappen handed his rivals the slimmest of hopes that he could be beaten at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix after he finished only 11th in practice.

The dominant Dutchman, who has won eight of the 10 rounds so far and six in succession to establish a 99-point lead in the standings, has mastered all conditions this season.

But Verstappen unusually ended the sole dry running here six tenths back from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with McLaren’s Lando Norris – fresh from his impressive second place at the British Grand Prix – 0.015 seconds adrift of the scarlet car.

Lewis Hamilton was 16th with Mercedes team-mate George Russell 20th and last on a topsy-turvy day at the Hungaroring.

Despite Verstappen being off the pace, times in practice must be treated with a degree of caution as different setup and fuel loads are trialled.

It is also worth noting that a number of the top teams will have held back fresh rubber following the reduction of tyre allocation from 13 sets to 11 here.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez took two wins from the opening four, but the Mexican has been on a torrid run since, and his bad form continued when he crashed out of first practice.

The opening one-hour running of the weekend was dry and barely a few minutes old when Perez – on his first lap – lost control of his Red Bull and ended up in the wall.

The Mexican put two wheels on the grass under braking for the fifth corner, sending him into a pirouette and into the tyre barrier.

Perez was unharmed in the accident but he sustained significant damage to the front of his machine. It also denied the rest of the field any dry running as the heavens opened with the red flags deployed to recover Perez’s wounded machine.

The 33-year-old is under increasing pressure at Red Bull following five-consecutive qualifying sessions in which he has failed to make it into Q3. On each of those occasions, Verstappen has scored pole position in the other Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo’s comeback at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri is also likely to be playing on Perez’s mind, with the Australian admitting he is daring to dream about the possibility of a return to the grid’s all-conquering team.

Perez was able to take part in the day’s concluding action but he locked up and flat-spotted his front-right tyre and could manage only 18th, 1.3 sec slower than Leclerc.

Ricciardo, back in the saddle in place of the sacked Nyck De Vries, has a dozen races to prove he still possesses the prowess which carried him to eight wins.

He finished 14th in his first outing since last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, seven tenths back and 10 places behind his new team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Sergio Perez’s torrid run of form continued at the Hungarian Grand Prix after he crashed out of a rain-hit opening practice.

George Russell led the way in the wet conditions for Mercedes at the Hungaroring, 0.359 seconds clear of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll third and Lando Norris fourth.

Only 13 of the 20-strong field posted a competitive lap, with championship leader Max Verstappen and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton not risking the possibility of damage.

The first one-hour running of the weekend was still dry, and barely a few minutes old, when Perez lost control of his Red Bull and ended up in the wall.

The Mexican put two wheels on the grass under braking for the fifth corner, sending him into a pirouette and into the tyre barrier.

Perez was unharmed in the accident but he sustained significant damage to the front of his machine.

Perez is under increasing pressure at Red Bull following five consecutive qualifying sessions in which he has failed to make it into Q3. On each of those occasions, Verstappen has scored pole position in the other Red Bull.

Indeed, Verstappen, who has won eight of the opening 10 rounds and six in succession, has already moved 99 points clear of his struggling team-mate.

Daniel Ricciardo’s comeback at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri is also likely to be playing on Perez’s mind, with the Australian admitting he is daring to dream about the possibility of a return to the grid’s all-conquering team.

For now, Ricciardo has a dozen races to prove his credentials. However, the eight-time grand prix winner was among those who elected not to set a timed lap on Friday.

The red flags were deployed to deal with Perez’s stricken car and then the rain arrived. The slippery conditions caught out Carlos Sainz after he lost control of his Ferrari on the exit of turn three.

The Spaniard spun across the track and grazed the wall on the opposite side of the circuit before becoming stuck in the grass.

A second red flag was required as marshals assisted in helping Sainz return to the pits with front-wing damage on his scarlet machine.

Friday’s concluding session takes place at 5pm local time (4pm BST).

Claire Williams said selling the family’s Formula One team is a grief that has been difficult to come to terms with, admitting it has felt like someone cut her heart out and never gave it back.

Claire, 47, has been an F1 outsider for coming up to three years following the sale of the team founded by her father Sir Frank Williams to American investment firm Dorilton Capital for £136million.

She resigned as de facto boss at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, while Frank – who extraordinarily took his motor racing team from an empty carpet warehouse to the summit of the sport – died a year later.

“When I left in Monza it felt like someone cut my heart out and it has never been returned,” said Claire, in an interview with the PA news agency ahead of Williams’ 800th race at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

“You just have to find something to put in its place. But it was very difficult then and three years on, it is still really hard.

“It is just one of those griefs that is really difficult to get over, or to come to terms with. Now we have lost Dad, it sometimes feels as though it was just a dream. Did that period in our lives really happen?”

Sir Frank oversaw 114 victories, 16 drivers’ and constructors’ world championships and became the longest-serving team boss in the sport’s history.

His story is made all the more remarkable by a horrific car crash which left him with injuries so devastating doctors considered turning off his life-support machine.

Until his death in 2021, he was recognised as the world’s oldest surviving tetraplegic.

Frank, who lived at the team headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire, handed over the managerial baton to daughter Claire in 2013.

She guided the team to a brilliant third in the constructors’ championship, behind the financial muscle of Mercedes and Ferrari over the following two years, before a lack of major investment contributed to Williams’ decline. A decade has passed since a Williams driver last won a race.

“There was so much that went on in those last few years, which to this day I will never be able to talk about,” continues Claire.

“But I saw the team through three very difficult seasons and I was able to hand over something that was still living and still breathing to someone with deeper pockets than us. We kept everyone in jobs, we didn’t go into administration and I am very proud of that.

“When I have challenging circumstances I bury my head in jobs and when we sold Williams, my next concern was, where did Dad go?

“As much as Dorilton were kind enough to say he could always live at the factory, I needed him close to me. And coincidentally the house next door to us came up for sale, so we moved Dad in.

“I managed his care team. I made sure he was happy and comfortable in his new home and we went off and did some nice stuff together. He would pick up my little one, Nate, from nursery.

“But then he got sicker, greater care was required to look after him and he passed away. But for the next six months, we organised this wonderful memorial service. We then decided to move house, renovating our old house in Ascot and our new home in South Downs.

“So, I am the master of distraction. Life carries on. And as much as I miss Williams, and I miss Formula One dreadfully, there is a whole other world out there. You have to go and find happy elsewhere. That is what I have done.”

However, Claire discovered her zen state is disrupted by watching the sport she loves.

She will not tune in on Sunday to see Alex Albon and rookie Logan Sargeant scramble for a point or two under the tutelage of new team principal James Vowles – an appointment Claire said her father would have approved of – in Williams’ landmark race.

“I turned on the TV to see Alex had scored a point in Australia earlier this year,” she continued with a broad smile.

“Ted’s Notebook was on and Ted [Kravitz] grabbed James and said, ‘mate, congratulations, you are only Williams’ third team principal and you have got a point. How does it feel?’

“And I was like, third team principal? That is Frank, that is Jost [Capito] and that is James, what about me? Ted has just cancelled me on national television!

“I may not have been called team principal but I operated that way and I have literally just been erased. I turned it straight off and vowed never to watch again.

“But I tried watching the last race at Silverstone. I thought to myself, ‘Right, I am going to do this. Come on’. But I watched the formation lap and that was that. I lasted five minutes.

“I don’t know what it is, but if you talk to any person who has worked, lived and breathed Formula One – no matter if that is for 20 years or 20 minutes – it does something to you. It absorbs you, and when you leave, particularly involuntary like I did, it is very difficult to watch it and not feel that loss.”

Claire dovetails speaking engagements and “top-secret television projects” with her role as brand ambassador for Williams Advanced Engineering.

Earlier this year, she launched the Frank Williams Academy in her father’s honour. The project aims to raise £1.5m to help educate and train those affected by spinal cord injuries. She also revealed Sky offered her the chance to return to the F1 paddock as a pundit.

“It was too soon,” said Claire. “It is better when you leave, you leave.

“Unless someone said to me, ‘Come back and be a team principal and you can have Williams back’, I don’t necessarily think there is a job I would want, but never say never.”

Lewis Hamilton has criticised Red Bull’s decision to axe Nyck De Vries after just 10 races.

Daniel Ricciardo has been handed a second chance in Formula One, replacing De Vries at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri for the concluding dozen rounds of the year, starting at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

De Vries, 28, crashed on multiple occasions and failed to score a single point, with a best finish of 12th in Monaco, before he was handed his marching orders by Red Bull’s ruthless motorsport adviser Helmut Marko 48 hours after he finished 17th and last at the British Grand Prix.

“I am not surprised to see Daniel back but I was surprised to see the decision they took for poor Nyck,” said Hamilton at the Hungaroring.

“He is such a talented young man and a nice guy. The future is bright for him and there will be opportunities for the future. But that is how Red Bull do it.”

When it was suggested to Hamilton that De Vries’ dismissal is a reminder of how F1 works, the seven-time world champion replied: “I would say that is how Red Bull work.”

Ricciardo’s career looked to be all but over after he was dumped by McLaren following two underwhelming seasons with the British team.

But the popular 34-year-old impressed in a test at Silverstone for Red Bull last Tuesday, and given Sergio Perez’s torrid run of form – which has seen him fall 99 points adrift of team-mate Max Verstappen – AlphaTauri’s move to hire the Australian will fuel speculation that he could land a return to the team which carried him to seven of his eight victories.

Speaking at the world champions’ packed motorhome earlier on Thursday, Ricciardo said: “The dream is a Red Bull seat, but there is no ‘this is what you need to do’ to achieve that.

“Given what has happened over the past few years and taking time off, I knew it would be hard to get back in at the top.

“Of course that was my wish, but you need to be realistic, and if I want to get back into Red Bull it will be a process, and this is the best path for me at the moment.

Ricciardo’s reputation in the sport is on the line following his poor period with McLaren which saw the British team move to cancel his contract.

Ricciardo failed to land a seat for the 2023 campaign and instead elected to return to Red Bull as a reserve driver.

But he might struggle to impress with a team currently rooted to the foot of the constructors’ table, taking just two points all season.

However, Ricciardo added: “Over the past few years, I started falling into a trap where I believed the car does not suit me and you can be your own worst enemy. I know this car will have limitations but I will work with that.

“Getting this opportunity is a chance to make things better. That is why I am excited to get back behind the wheel and show my true self.

“I had enough time off to reset and also enjoy it again. Six months ago, I wasn’t at a place to jump at an opportunity like this but that has been the luxury of time.

“I have fallen in love with it again and I feel myself in an environment that provides me with a lot of nostalgia, so when the opportunity came along it was like, ‘let’s try it’.”

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he is daring to dream about a return to Red Bull ahead of his Formula One comeback at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo’s career looked to be all but over after he was dumped by McLaren following two underwhelming seasons with the British team.

But the popular 34-year-old has been handed a second chance, replacing Nyck de Vries at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri for the concluding dozen rounds of the year, starting at the Hungaroring on Sunday.

Ricciardo impressed during a test at Silverstone for Red Bull last Tuesday, and given Sergio Perez’s torrid run of form – which has seen him fall 99 points adrift of team-mate Max Verstappen – AlphaTauri’s move to hire the Australian will fuel speculation that he could land a return to the team which carried him to seven of his eight victories.

And speaking at the world champions’ packed motorhome on Thursday, Ricciardo said: “The dream is a Red Bull seat, but there is no ‘this is what you need to do’ to achieve that.

“Given what has happened over the past few years and taking time off, I knew it would be hard to get back in at the top.

“Of course that was my wish, but you need to be realistic, and if I want to get back into Red Bull it will be a process, and this is the best path for me at the moment.

“You know what they are like here. They are not telling me to take it easy, they want me to show them what I have got, but there is no criteria.

“And in terms of expectations there are none. I want to be in the moment, enjoying it, and not thinking too far ahead.”

Ricciardo’s reputation in the sport is on the line following his poor period with McLaren which saw the British team move to cancel his contract.

Ricciardo failed to land a seat for the 2023 campaign and instead elected to return to Red Bull as a reserve driver.

But he might struggle to impress with a team rooted to the foot of the constructors’ table, taking just two points from the first 10 races.

However, Ricciardo added: “Over the past few years, I started falling into a trap where I believed the car does not suit me and you can be your own worst enemy. I know this car will have limitations but I will work with that.

“Getting this opportunity is a chance to make things better. That is why I am excited to get back behind the wheel and show my true self.

“I had enough time off to reset and also enjoy it again. Six months ago, I wasn’t at a place to jump at an opportunity like this but that has been the luxury of time.

“I have fallen in love with it again and I feel myself in an environment that provides me with a lot of nostalgia, so when the opportunity came along it was like, ‘let’s try it’.”

Daniel Ricciardo has said he needed to fall back in love with Formula One before taking the opportunity to return to racing with AlphaTauri.

The eight-time grand prix winner has not driven in anger since he was axed by McLaren at the end of last season, but will make a surprise return to the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix next week after replacing Nyck De Vries at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri.

The 34-year-old Australian’s career looked to be all but over after he was deemed surplus to requirements by McLaren following two underwhelming seasons with the British team.

Ricciardo did return to Red Bull as a reserve driver, but said he needed the enforced time off to ask himself if he really did want to return to racing.

“Falling out of love with it took a hit on my confidence and of course if you’re competing in a sport where you’re trying to be the best at something, the best in the world at something, obviously you need full confidence and belief,” Ricciardo said in an interview on F1’s YouTube channel.

“When that starts to diminish a bit, your enjoyment drops a bit as well. There’s a lot of factors. Getting back to Red Bull, just the reception I had walking back into that team was in a positive way a little bit overwhelming.

“Getting back on the sim, I was a bit unsure how it was going to go, if the car would feel like it used to, if I was going to be like – for the lack of better words – ‘the old me’.

“But once I’d done a few sim sessions and started feeling like myself again it brought me back to normal Daniel where I was falling back in love and ready to go again.”

Ricciardo said attending the Super Bowl in Arizona in February reminded him of the buzz of a competitive environment, while being at his home grand prix in Melbourne and then the Monaco race helped him get the Formula One bug back.

“I’ve enjoyed these six months off and it was really good for me but the more races I started to attend, the more sims I’ve started to do, I was getting the bug back. And then jumping in the car a few days ago I thought, ‘Oh yeah’. It all felt very normal, very familiar…

“I didn’t really need to think too much about (accepting the call to return). I think being back in this family, I’m kind of going through it all again…there was no question I was going to say yes.”

Ricciardo said joining AlphaTauri for the rest of the season was like going “full circle” given he raced the team, then known as Toro Rosso, in 2012 and 2013, after starting his F1 career with HRT Racing in 2011.

AlphaTauri sit last in the constructor’s championship after the opening 10 races of the season and Ricciardo is under no illusions that he will be racing a top-end car any time soon.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “It’s a challenge for sure to jump in and try to hit the ground running. But also I guess I feel like I’ve been through a lot in the last few years where I’m not really scared of anything that’s going to be thrown my way – so I actually really do like the challenge.

“It will be a challenge but I don’t know if I’d have it any other way.”

Daniel Ricciardo will make a shock return to Formula One at the Hungarian Grand Prix a week on Sunday.

The eight-time grand prix winner, who was axed by McLaren at the end of last year, will replace Nyck de Vries at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri for the rest of the year.

Rookie De Vries was hired by AlphaTauri at the beginning of this season but he has been dropped after only 10 races, paving the way for Ricciardo’s sudden comeback.

The 34-year-old Ricciardo’s career looked to be all but over after he was deemed surplus to requirements by McLaren following two underwhelming seasons with the British team.

Ricciardo failed to land a seat for the 2023 campaign and instead elected to return to Red Bull – the team at which he won seven grands prix – as a reserve driver.

Ricciardo got his first taste of this season’s Red Bull during a tyre test at Silverstone on Tuesday – 48 hours after the British Grand Prix in which De Vries finished 17th and last.

Given Sergio Perez’s torrid run of form, which has seen him fall 99 points adrift of team-mate Max Verstappen in the world championship, AlphaTauri’s move to hire Ricciardo will fuel speculation that the Australian could land a seat back at Red Bull.

“I’m stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family,” said Ricciardo.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team.

“There’s no doubt about his driving skill, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straightforward.

“The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula One grand prix winner.

“I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri, and I wish him all the best for the future.”

Ricciardo started his F1 career with HRT Racing in 2011 before he joined AlphaTauri, then called Toro Rosso, in 2012. Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull two years later – winning three times and out-scoring four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian took a surprise decision to join Renault in 2019, but after two years with the French team – claiming two podium finishes – he switched to McLaren. However, bar victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo underperformed and was replaced by countryman Oscar Piastri.

However, Ricciardo has been at a number of races this season and is regarded as one of the grid’s most popular drivers, particularly in America where the sport is booming thanks to the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series.

For De Vries, 28, the writing appeared to be on the wall after ruthless Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko recently said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was right to have questioned why he was signed.

The Dutch driver crashed on multiple occasions and failed to score a single point with a best finish of 12th at the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

Red Bull equalled a Formula One record in Sunday’s British Grand Prix with their 11th consecutive win as Max Verstappen closes in on a landmark of his own.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the dominant Dutchman and his team compare to the greats of the grid.

Channelling Prost and Senna

Verstappen has won eight of this season’s 10 races, with team-mate Sergio Perez taking the other two.

Verstappen also won last season’s final race and not since the great McLaren pairing of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost has a single team dominated to such an extent.

The 1988 season began in Brazil and while Senna was disqualified from his home race for an illegal car change, Prost took the chequered flag.

Senna won in San Marino and he and Prost shared the next four races equally before Prost recorded a home win in the French Grand Prix.

Four straight wins for Senna followed before Ferrari’s Gerhard Berger broke the streak in Italy, the only race all season not won by McLaren as they and Senna won a championship double with Prost close behind in second in the drivers’ standings.

That is the case for Verstappen and Perez this season as well, albeit with Verstappen almost 100 points clear of his team-mate.

Verstappen added Bahrain and Australia to last season’s success in Abu Dhabi, alternating at the start of the season with Perez’s wins in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan before taking sole control.

Mercedes had three separate runs of 10 successive wins during Lewis Hamilton’s period of dominance, with Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari team also hitting double figures in 2002.

Six of the best

Since the start of May, Verstappen has won the Miami, Monaco, Spanish, Canadian, Austrian and now British Grands Prix to match Schumacher’s run of six straight wins across the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

He already sits joint fifth on the all-time list and has the chance to quickly climb the rankings further.

Of the four names ahead of him on the list, three saw their streak end at seven wins in a row – meaning victory in Hungary later this month would leave only Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine straight wins in 2013 for Verstappen to chase.

Alberto Ascari has a claim to matching that record. The Italian won the last six races of the 1952 season and the Argentine Grand Prix at the start of 1953 before not entering the Indianapolis 500, which at the time was part of the drivers’ championship. He went on to win the Dutch and Belgian GPs on his next two starts.

Schumacher won seven in a row in 2004, as did Nico Rosberg at the end of 2015 and the start of his 2016 title-winning season.

Verstappen’s win on Sunday took him clear of Hamilton’s longest run of five wins, set in both 2014 and 2020, and his own previous best from last season.

With eight wins out of 10, his current 80 per cent win rate would be the highest ever if he can sustain it all season – beating Ascari’s 75 per cent in 1952, when there were only eight races in total – and the first over 70 per cent since Schumacher in 2004.

Lando Norris is ready to create his own history after going toe-to-toe with Lewis Hamilton in a gripping Battle of the Britons at Silverstone on Sunday.

As Max Verstappen raced to a sixth consecutive victory – his eighth from the opening 10 rounds so far to extend his championship lead to a distant 99 points – Norris held off Hamilton to land his first British Grand Prix podium.

A snoozy spectacle in front of a record-breaking 150,000 spectators sprung into life on lap 33 when Kevin Magnussen spluttered to a halt.

Out came the safety car and Hamilton landed an effective free pit stop – bolting on a set of the speediest soft tyres – to move up from a net seventh to third.

Norris was one place up the road in his revamped McLaren. But the 23-year-old was left exposed after his team elected to fit the more durable, but slower, hard rubber on his machine.

As the safety car peeled in at the end of the 38th lap, Norris’ mirrors were suddenly filled with Hamilton’s all-black Mercedes. Norris had 13 laps to keep the seven-time world champion, 38, behind.

The Wellington Straight presented Hamilton with his first opportunity, but Norris jinked to his left in an attempt to break the slipstream.

Hamilton eyed a peak around the outside of Norris’s papaya McLaren at Brooklands, Luffield and into Woodcote but Norris held firm.

Hamilton then moved into Norris’ tow on the run to Copse, but Norris placed his McLaren in the centre of the track to retain the place.

The next lap, Hamilton tried again, this time on Norris’ inside at Luffield and Woodcote and then wheel-to-wheel at 180mph into Copse before he was forced to yield.

That was as close as Hamilton would get with Norris landing his seventh career podium, his maiden on home soil, and first of a troubled season for the talented Glastonbury man.

“This the best podium of my career,” said Norris. “I had never been to a race in Formula One until 2017.

“Until then I had only ever watched it on TV and that started in 2007 and 2008 and seeing Lewis and Fernando (Alonso) at McLaren. Now it is my turn.

“I was seven years old then. Little did I know Lewis would still be here 15 years later, and still going strong. Fair play to him.

“It is an honour to be able to race him, and go up against these guys, who have created history, and have been some of the best that Formula One has ever seen.

“It is special, an honour, and a privilege, and I want to be someone who can join in on those battles and create some of my own history.”

As Verstappen continues to rack up the wins – indeed Sunday’s triumph was the 17th from his last 21 outings – Norris stole the show.

The Monaco-based driver led for the first four-and-a-half laps after he blasted past Verstappen ahead of the opening corner before his late tussle with Hamilton.

Verstappen’s first British Grand Prix win arrives two years after he ended up in the barriers, and then concussed in hospital, following a 180mph collision with Hamilton.

Speaking about Norris, Hamilton said: “Lando is very talented and it is great when you can have close battles like that, and rely on the driver to be hard but fair.

“There was never a moment when we thought we would come together and that is what motor racing is all about – he wanted to hold on to second and I wanted to get that position.

“We will keep our heads down, keep pushing and hopefully we will have more of this moving forwards.”

Norris’ rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri was unfortunate to lose out under the safety car, dropping from third to fourth, with George Russell taking the chequered flag in fifth. Sergio Perez finished sixth after he started a lowly 15th.

Alonso crossed the line in seventh, with Alex Albon enhancing his reputation with a fine drive to eighth for Williams.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admits the team will soon have no choice but to give up on the development of this season’s car and focus on next year.

Lewis Hamilton claimed a third-placed finish at the British Grand Prix, but was beaten to second by Lando Norris and was well adrift of challenging Max Verstappen – who extended his title lead to 99 points in pursuit of a hat-trick of world championships.

Hamilton was unable to pass McLaren’s Norris following the safety car restart despite being on theoretically faster tyres in the closing stages and the seven-time world champion remains fourth in the drivers’ standings – a whopping 124 points behind Verstappen.

Wolff knows they can not do anything to stop Verstappen and his dominant Red Bull and therefore says the time will soon come to switch focus to next season.

“I think pretty soon,” Wolff said when asked when that time would come. “We have no choice. P2, P3 fundamentally doesn’t impact me and the team.

“It is about coming back to being able to win a world championship.

“That’s not going to happen this year so we need to set our eyes on next year and we will see with all the races to come how we can learn and develop and make sure that we can carry that forward into next year.

“Having said that, the regulations are the same so we are not learning nothing by continuing with this car. So there is a balance to strike.”

The safety car, which was deployed on lap 33, massively benefitted Hamilton, who was able to get a free pit-stop and retain third place after a raft of drivers had already pitted.

With Hamilton, who started seventh, on soft tyres and Norris on hard tyres, it was expected the McLaren man would be a sitting duck but he was able to resist the advances of the Mercedes to clinch a brilliant second place.

It was the same story behind, where Norris’ team-mate Oscar Piastri comfortably held George Russell at bay to clinch fourth.

Wolff chose to view McLaren’s enormous progress in the last two races as a positive that they can achieve similar, but expected his drivers to be able to secure a double-podium finish.

“To be honest, when the safety car was deployed, I was pretty sure, if not convinced, that we would be eating up the McLarens and finish with a P2 and P3 and maybe even challenge at the front,” Wolff added.

“You see just how strong their car was. They both raced very strong. Their top speed through the corners and the straights, there was no way of passing them. That came as a surprise.

“McLaren were not competitive at the beginning of the season and it is good to see because it shows if you make the right decisions, the car can jump up by a huge amount.

“Do I believe we have upgrades which will fundamentally change the car? I don’t believe so but we have a few small steps to come and we can see if you find a tenth or two or three you can move up the grid.

“Fundamentally I don’t care whether we finish second or third. It is about finding our way back to fighting for victories and the world championship.

“To see that the car has potential fundamentally, all eyes are on the big prize. It is exciting to see that the McLaren was able to find a second in performance.”

Lando Norris described his second-placed finish at the British Grand Prix as “pretty insane” after he held off Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages at Silverstone.

Max Verstappen cruised to a sixth win in a row to extend his championship lead to 99 points in his pursuit of a hat-trick of world titles.

But the late battle between British pair Norris and Hamilton ignited the home crowd at the Northamptonshire circuit.

A safety car put Norris’ runner-up spot in doubt after McLaren elected to put him on the harder, more durable, tyre, rather than the speedier soft compound.

But Norris, 23, managed to keep Hamilton, 38, at bay in a tantalising battle between the two countrymen at a sold-out Silverstone.

“Pretty insane,” Norris said in his post-race interview. “Thanks to the whole team who have done an amazing job.

“To put me on hard tyres, I don’t know why! It was an amazing fight with Lewis to hold him off.

“I wanted the softs. I feel like it might make a bit more sense, especially with the safety car coming out but I don’t care, I’m P2 so all good!

“Big thanks to all the British fans here supporting us. Oscar (Piastri) did an amazing job and he would have been P3 without the safety car. He deserved it.”

Piastri finished fourth in the second McLaren, ahead of Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell in fifth.

Hamilton labelled the McLaren as a “rocket ship” on his team radio and admitted he had no answer for Norris’ pace.

“Congratulations to Lando and McLaren, my family where I first started,” he said.

“To see them back up there looking so strong. That thing was rapid through the high speed corner, wow. I could not keep up!

“It’s positive for us as a team to know we are not that far away. We just need to keep pushing and we can catch those guys at the front.

“We had a good little battle there. I just didn’t have the grunt on the straights.”

Max Verstappen delivered another crushing performance to win the British Grand Prix as Lando Norris held off Lewis Hamilton in a brilliant fight for second place.

A late safety car put Norris’ runner-up spot in doubt after McLaren elected to put the British driver on the harder, more durable tyre, rather than the speedier soft compound.

But Norris, 23, managed to keep Hamilton, 38, at bay in a tantalising battle between the two home favourites at a sold-out Silverstone.

Norris’ McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri finished fourth, one spot ahead of George Russell, with three British drivers finishing in the top five.

Verstappen’s sixth consecutive victory sees the Dutch driver move 99 points clear at the summit of the standings.

“We had a terrible start so we need to look into that,” said Verstappen. “Lando and McLaren were super-quick. It took a few laps to past them and then everything was okay.

“I am very happy that we won again and 11 wins in a row for the team is incredible but it was not straightforward today.”

McLaren have been desperately short of form this season but a major upgrade at the British team’s home race worked wonders.

Indeed, Norris briefly led Sunday’s 52-lap race after he gazumped pole-sitter Verstappen following a supreme start in his McLaren to cheers from the British grandstands.

It marked the first time a McLaren car has led the British Grand Prix since Hamilton led here for the Woking team in 2012.

However, Norris’ time at the top lasted only four-and-a-half laps after Verstappen, in his superior Red Bull machine, drew alongside the Briton on the Wellington Straight before making the move stick into Brooklands.

Piastri was running in third with Russell trying, but failing, to find a way past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton started seventh but dropped to eighth at the end of the first lap before regaining the position when he nailed Fernando Alonso on lap seven.

A tedious race came alive on lap 33 when Kevin Magnussen spluttered to a halt in his Haas. Flames briefly engulfed the rear of his machine before turning to smoke.

With Magnussen’s Haas in a precarious position at the start of the Wellington Straight a full safety car was deployed and Hamilton, who had yet to pit, was the main beneficiary, turning a net seventh into third when the order shuffled out.

Verstappen and Hamilton bolted on the soft rubber, but Norris, despite pleading with his McLaren team to follow suit, was given the hard compound.

When the safety car peeled in at the end of lap 38, Norris’ mirrors were suddenly occupied with Hamilton’s black Mercedes.

Hamilton sensed his opportunity racing around the outside of Norris through Brooklands and then Luffield, only for the McLaren man to hold position.

A third chance arose for Hamilton on the run down Copse but Norris expertly defended the position, leaving Hamilton with nowhere to go.

Hamilton backed out and tried again on the following lap but Norris kept his elbows out and the elder Briton was unable to find a way past.

From there, Norris was able to keep Hamilton at arm’s length, crossing the line 2.9 sec clear of the Mercedes car.

“That McLaren is a rocket ship,” said Hamilton as he crossed the line.

Piastri finished fourth on a fine afternoon for McLaren, one place ahead of Russell, with Sergio Perez sixth after he started a lowly 15th.

Alonso took the flag in seventh with Alex Albon enhancing his reputation with a fine eighth for Williams.

Verstappen crossed the line 3.7 sec clear of Norris to maintain Red Bull’s unbeaten streak this season.

Lando Norris accused Max Verstappen of “ruining everything” after he was denied a shock pole position at the British Grand Prix by Formula One’s dominant Dutchman.

For a dozen seconds, Norris sat at qualifying’s summit in front of a sell-out Silverstone crowd only to watch Verstappen – the second-but-last man over the line – knock him off his perch.

Verstappen snatched top spot from Norris by 0.241 seconds, with Oscar Piastri third on an excellent day for McLaren.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished fourth and fifth for Ferrari, with Mercedes’ George Russell and Lewis Hamilton only sixth and seventh on another sub-par afternoon for the grid’s once dominant team.

Norris, 23, has endured a poor season in his under-performing McLaren machine, but the British team’s first major upgrade of the season worked wonders on home turf.

Norris threatened throughout qualifying – sitting at the top of the timings at various stages in Q1, Q2 and Q3 – before a knockout blow from Verstappen stopped him landing only his second career pole.

“I was so close,” said Norris. He added with a smile: “Max ruins everything for everyone.

“I was watching the TV screens and I was surprised how long I stayed up there for. I did not make a mistake. It was all about when Max crossed the line and if he made a mistake, not if we could beat him.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown celebrated wildly, hugging and high-fiving anyone he could find dressed in the team’s papaya colours.

Norris added: “I could hear Zak on the radio during the in-lap, which was the best thing ever. To be second and third was amazing for the whole team.”

Norris will have his work cut out to claim what would be a maiden win in his 92nd start, with Verstappen in a class of one this year.

The 25-year-old Dutchman will be bidding to take his eighth win from the 10 rounds so far on his unrelenting march to a third straight world championship.

“I have some reason to believe we can do OK but not enough to beat this guy,” added Norris, pointing towards the Red Bull man.

“It is clear we have made some progress and we have made a decent step forward. It is payback for the work that has been done by the team.

“Max and I are very good friends. We grew up at a similar time, and we share the same mentality because we love it.

“But as soon as we put the helmet on, all the respect we have off the track, we forget that. It makes no difference about us being friends.”

No driver has won the British Grand Prix on more occasions than Hamilton, with the 38-year-old winning seven of the last 10 races staged here.

But the Mercedes driver will be deeply frustrated to start only seventh, half-a-second off the pace, in front of his home fans.

Sergio Perez’s dismal run of form continued after he was eliminated from the opening phase of qualifying.

The Mexican was first out of the pits when the action resumed following a red flag to clear Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

Perez momentarily headed to the top of the order, but the evolution of a drying track saw him tumble all the way down to 16th when Q1 came to an end.

It marked the fifth consecutive grand prix in which Perez has failed to make it into Q3 in a machine Hamilton described as the fastest the sport has ever seen.

Despite the threat of action from Just Stop Oil protesters, qualifying passed off without incident.

However, F1 bosses, Silverstone and Northamptonshire Police remain on high alert that a protest could yet disrupt Sunday’s 52-lap race where 150,000 spectators are expected to attend.

Security has been beefed up, with facial recognition cameras posted around the 3.66 mile track in a move to foil a potential plot.

Lando Norris accused Max Verstappen of “ruining everything” after he was denied a shock pole position at the British Grand Prix by Formula One’s dominant Dutchman.

For a dozen seconds, Norris sat at qualifying’s summit in front of a sell-out Silverstone crowd only to watch Verstappen – the second-but-last man over the line – knock him off his perch.

Verstappen snatched top spot from Norris by 0.241 seconds, with Oscar Piastri third on an excellent day for McLaren.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished fourth and fifth for Ferrari, with Mercedes’ George Russell and Lewis Hamilton only sixth and seventh on another sub-par afternoon for the grid’s once dominant team.

Norris, 23, has endured a poor season in his under-performing McLaren machine, but the British team’s first major upgrade of the season worked wonders on home turf.

Norris threatened throughout qualifying – sitting at the top of the timings at various stages in Q1, Q2 and Q3 – before a knockout blow from Verstappen stopped him landing only his second career pole.

“I was so close,” said Norris. He added with a smile: “Max ruins everything for everyone.

“I was watching the TV screens and I was surprised how long I stayed up there for. I did not make a mistake. It was all about when Max crossed the line and if he made a mistake, not if we could beat him.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown celebrated wildly, hugging and high-fiving anyone he could find dressed in the team’s papaya colours.

Norris added: “I could hear Zak on the radio during the in-lap, which was the best thing ever. To be second and third was amazing for the whole team.”

Norris will have his work cut out to claim what would be a maiden win in his 92nd start, with Verstappen in a class of one this year.

The 25-year-old Dutchman will be bidding to take his eighth win from the 10 rounds so far on his unrelenting march to a third straight world championship.

“I have some reason to believe we can do OK but not enough to beat this guy,” added Norris, pointing towards the Red Bull man.

“It is clear we have made some progress and we have made a decent step forward. It is payback for the work that has been done by the team.

“Max and I are very good friends. We grew up at a similar time, and we share the same mentality because we love it.

“But as soon as we put the helmet on, all the respect we have off the track, we forget that. It makes no difference about us being friends.”

No driver has won the British Grand Prix on more occasions than Hamilton, with the 38-year-old winning seven of the last 10 races staged here.

But the Mercedes driver will be deeply frustrated to start only seventh, half-a-second off the pace, in front of his home fans.

Sergio Perez’s dismal run of form continued after he was eliminated from the opening phase of qualifying.

The Mexican was first out of the pits when the action resumed following a red flag to clear Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

Perez momentarily headed to the top of the order, but the evolution of a drying track saw him tumble all the way down to 16th when Q1 came to an end.

It marked the fifth consecutive grand prix in which Perez has failed to make it into Q3 in a machine Hamilton described as the fastest the sport has ever seen.

Despite the threat of action from Just Stop Oil protesters, qualifying passed off without incident.

However, F1 bosses, Silverstone and Northamptonshire Police remain on high alert that a protest could yet disrupt Sunday’s 52-lap race where 150,000 spectators are expected to attend.

Security has been beefed up, with facial recognition cameras posted around the 3.66 mile track in a move to foil a potential plot.

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