The interruption set up a 14-lap race to the finish, at the start of which Norris produced a brilliant display of defence to hold off Hamilton, while Verstappen eased into the distance.
The victory moves the Dutchman 99 points clear at the top of the drivers’ standings as he moves closer to what appears to be an inevitable third successive title, while Red Bull are 208 points ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.
Norris’ McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri was unfortunate to miss out on a maiden Formula 1 podium having driven faultlessly after starting third, but the Australian rookie still sealed a career-best fourth-placed finish.
George Russell, who was also leapfrogged by team-mate Hamilton under the Safety Car, was fifth, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez recovered from 15th on the grid to take sixth.
Fernando Alonso was seventh as Aston Martin once more failed to produce the early-season form that made them Red Bull’s closest challengers in the opening weeks of the season.
Alex Albon capped a brilliant weekend for Williams to take eighth, while Ferrari were once more left to rue strategic calls as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz dropped back from fourth and fifth on the grid to finish ninth and 10th, respectively.
Magnussen suffered power unit troubles. His Hass eventually came to a stop the following lap, requiring the actual safety car. Most drivers took the opportunity to pit, including race leader Verstappen.
The safety car left the track at the end of lap 38 and Verstappen managed to keep his lead at the restart, while Norris was held up due to battles with Hamilton. This enabled Verstappen to build up a gap which he held to the end of the race.
There were few additional dramas, though Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll would receive a penalty for causing contact with Alpine’s Pierre Gasly who was forced to retire thereafter. And Red Bull’s other driver, Sergio Perez, after yet another poor qualifying session that left him starting the race at 15th, spent the day fighting through the pack, ultimately finishing in sixth place.
Following the weekend’s action, Verstappen has a clear lead in the 2023 Drivers’ Championship with his total of 255 points, versus the 156 points of Perez in second. Third in the standings is Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso with 137 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 411 points, versus the 203 of Mercedes in second and 181 of Aston Martin in third. The next race on the calendar is the Hungarian Grand Prix in a fortnight.
“It wasn’t particularly straightforward,” said Verstappen. “I had a bad start, lots of wheelspin and so I had to work my way up again and get past Lando. It took a few laps. Then it also took a few laps to cool the tires down again in the lead, so Lando came back at me in the DRS, but once everything settled in we could open up the gap lap after lap to nine seconds until the safety car came out. So that was very positive and the team was working quite well.”
Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri finish second, fourth for McLaren
McLaren’s Lando Norris had a nightmare June. He finished 17th in the Spanish Grand Prix and 13th in the Canadian Grand Prix.
McLaren then brought upgrades to the car, which helped the Belgian-British driver to his best two race results of the season. Norris followed up his fourth-place finish in Austria last week with a second-place finish Sunday, keeping Lewis Hamilton at bay after a tough fight. The result left fans chanting Norris’ name during his post-race interview.
Lewis Hamilton gets podium for Mercedes at home race
A season low eighth-place finish last week at the Austrian Grand Prix didn’t carry over for Lewis Hamilton this week. The Mercedes driver secured a third-place on Sunday, giving him a top-three finish in three of the last four races.
And Pitt also took to the track where he was reported to have reached speeds of 150mph.
Pitt will star as a former driver returning to the sport with a fictional F1 team, alongside actor Damson Idris (Snowfall) as his teammate.
Interest in Formula One has mushroomed in recent years with much credit going to Netflix behind-the-scenes documentary series Drive to Survive. Max Verstappen is currently leading the real-life drivers’ championship.
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