Motorsport

British F1 GP: Max Verstappen Relieved After Second-Place Finish At Silverstone

After starting 2024 with seven wins in 10 F1 races, Max Verstappen has won just two of the last five with both Mercedes and McLaren upping the pressure on Red Bull

Max Verstappen raced to second at Silverstone after qualifying in fourth.
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Max Verstappen was relieved to finish second at the British Grand Prix after fearing he might slide as low as fifth or sixth on a difficult weekend for Red Bull. (More Motorsport News)

An emotional Lewis Hamilton claimed his first win since 2021, triumphing at Silverstone for a record-extending ninth time, after team-mate George Russell was forced to retire from pole.

Hamilton fought off a late challenge from old rival Verstappen to take the spoils, with the reigning world champion having struggled for pace in wet conditions.

After starting 2024 with seven wins in 10 races, Verstappen has won just two of the last five with both Mercedes and McLaren upping the pressure on Red Bull.

After Sunday's race, however, his main emotion was relief. 

"We just didn't have the pace today," Verstappen told reporters in parc ferme. "I was just steadily dropping back when it mattered in the beginning, so it didn't look great. 

"At some point I was really thinking, 'Are we going to finish fifth, sixth?' But we made the right calls, I think it was the right lap every time.

"At the end, the call from the team to be on the hard tyre instead of the soft was definitely helping me out.

"We finished second today, so it could've been a lot worse, but we're making the right calls – we're still onto the podium and I'm of course very happy with that."

Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez finished 17th as his miserable run of form continued – he has now failed to make the top six at six straight races.

It was also a difficult day for the two Ferraris, with Carlos Sainz coming in fifth and Charles Leclerc struggling with worn tyres in heavy rain as he finished 14th. 

Leclerc has one fifth-place finish in his last four outings, also retiring in Canada and toiling to an 11th-placed finish in Austria last week.

"It was clearly the wrong strategy. I'll look into it. Obviously, with the message I got and the information I had in the car, I felt like it was the right one," he said of his tyre selection. 

"This period is very hard. I don't really have the words to explain it, but it's been four races that it's been worse than a nightmare. I hope we can come back soon."

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