2023 British Grand Prix Race Report

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Shantanu Shende

· 4 min read

For the first time this season McLaren started from the front row, and surprisingly both the cars. Oscar Piastri became the second driver for McLaren who has started from a front row since Lewis Hamilton in 2011. The qualifying session on Saturday set a very unexpected grid where Verstappen grabbed his 5th pole of the season, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri started 2nd and 3rd respectively followed by the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz completing the top 5. Perez got eliminated in Q2 starting from the 15th, which has put him under pressure to keep his place at Red Bull Albon made it to Q3 for the third time this season. The Williams had great race pace all weekend

The Start

Quick reaction, good car positioning, and wheel spin on Verstappen’s car gave Norris the advantage of grabbing the lead of the race on turn 1 from Verstappen. The new sidepod, floor, and cooling louvre design helped McLaren immensely. Norris was able to hold the lead for only 5 laps and later went on to tyre management strategy rather than using tyre life in staying close to Verstappen. Russell and De Vries were the only drivers to start the race on the soft tyre compound as the rest of the grid planned to go for a 1-stop strategy. Russell being on the quicker tyre was able to stay close to Leclerc on the medium compound. Sainz lost his position to Russell at turn 1. Alonso and Gasly made up two places whereas Hamilton and Albon lost 2 positions each. Hulkenberg lost his front wing endplate after being overtaken by Perez forcing him to pit early. Ocon had to retire his car due to a hydraulic leak, but this was just the beginning of the race wreck for Alpine when Gasly had to retire with 5 laps remaining in the race due to a broken suspension after colliding with Stroll. Gasly and Stroll Stroll received a 5-second penalty following the incident.

Strategy Games:

Strategy Game Ferrari pit wall asked Leclerc to come in for an early pit stop and put hard on his car. He struggled to bring his tyres in the right temperature range quickly which slowed him down but was able to execute the overcut until the safety car was deployed due to Magnussen stopping on track due to engine failure, during which he pit again and went on for fresh mediums. Sainz was told to pit 7 laps later for hards even though Leclerc was struggling with them. Russell did some phenomenal tyre management and was able to drive on softs for 28 laps before he pit for the medium. He came out of the pits behind Leclerc. Leclerc lost his position to Russell as he made a superb and gutsy overtake around the outside Piastri pitted for hards and came back out in 6th on the tail of Gasly and overtook him within a couple of laps. The Williams planned a good strategy of pitting Sargeant with 22 laps remaining for softs and Albon had not come into the pits until the virtual safety car, pitting him for softs and coming ahead of Leclerc. The full safety car was put into action on lap 34 which allowed teams to do pit stops without losing much time. The race just turned out perfect for Verstappen, Norris and Hamilton as they had not pitted. Verstappen and Hamilton came out on softs whereas Norris went for the gamble of pitting for hards. All 3 drivers came out without losing any positions. Perez pitted on lap 29 for the softs and ended up in 10th gaining positions to Gasly and Stroll; as they pit just before Magnussen stopped on track. Later he gained 2 more positions to Albon and Leclerc as they pit under the virtual safety car.

Safety Car Restart:

Safety Car

Verstappen coasted 2 seconds clear of the McLaren within 1 lap of the safety car ended. Norris and Hamilton put up a good show for the fans and drove cleanly and beautifully respecting each other. Norris’ immense defence prevented Hamilton from moving one position higher. Sainz didn’t pit during the safety car window to prevent the loss of 3 positions. Sainz eventually lost his position to Perez in the penultimate corner of the track; Albon got a good exit and overtook Sainz, further, Sainz lost to Leclerc on the same lap. The winners were Red Bull, McLaren and Williams. Ferrari, Alpine and Haas turned out to be the losers due to poor strategy and luck. Verstappen gave Red Bull their 11th consecutive win equaling the record with McLaren. Norris in 2nd and Hamilton in 3rd , Piastri finished 4th and Russell 5th . Perez climbed to 6th from 15th, Alonso struggled for pace in 7th, followed by string Williams of Albon in 8th and Ferraris in 9th and 10th . Sargeant got his best finish in Formula 1 in 11th . Excited to cover the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2 weeks

#Formula 1#Race Analysis#Spanish Grand Prix
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About Shantanu Shende

MSc. Automotive and Motorsport Engineering Graduate.