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.

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."

Lewis Hamilton ended his three-year wait for a Formula One victory after claiming a record-extending ninth British Grand Prix triumph on Sunday. 

The seven-time world champion rolled back the years as he fended off a late challenge from Max Verstappen to emerge victorious.

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate George Russell started on pole before Lando Norris snatched the lead, but pitstops proved pivotal in challenging conditions at Silverstone. 

Russell's hopes of claiming back-to-back victories were dashed when a water system issue forced him to retire on lap 34. 

Verstappen, who had struggled for pace through much of a race that was hit by two separate periods of rain, came on strong in the closing stages but it proved too little, too late for the defending world champion.

It marked Hamilton's 104th victory of his glittering career, and his first triumph since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix back in December 2021, ending a 945-day period without success.

Norris continued his pursuit of Verstappen in the driver's championship as he claimed the final podium place, with his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri in fourth.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz finished in fifth as Nico Hulkenburg impressed again for Haas, finishing a place behind. 

Data Debrief: Hamilton silver patch at Silverstone continued

Hamilton achieved a remarkable feat with this victory, surpassing his own eight-win record in Hungary and Michael Schumacher (also eight) in France for the most victories at a single event in F1 history.

Mercedes' improvements have been impressive in recent weeks, and the team have now won back-to-back races for the first time since 2021 between Sao Paulo and Saudi Arabia (all three won by Hamilton). 

Both Russell and Norris will have to wait another year to become the 36th driver to win a home Grand Prix, however, as Hamilton's silver patch at Silverstone continued. 

Though not successful for Verstappen, the championship leader still overtook Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso (both 106) for the fourth-most podium individual finishes in F1 history.

Top 10

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
4. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
6. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
7. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
8. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
9. Alex Albon (Williams)
10. Yuki Tsunoda (RB)

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 255 points
2. Lando Norris (McLaren) –  171
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 150

Constructors

1. Red Bull – 373
2. Ferrari – 302
3. McLaren – 295

George Russell said he could have only dreamt of securing pole position at the Silverstone but realised his fantasy on Saturday afternoon. 

Russell edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Lando Norris to claim pole position at the British Grand Prix.

For the first-time ever at Silverstone, and the first time anywhere in F1 since 1968, the front three positions on Sunday's grid will be taken up by a trio of British drivers.

Russell beat Hamilton to pole position by 0.171 seconds with Norris, second to Russell after the first laps in the final session, 0.211secs off the pace after failing to complete his second lap.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen will start in fourth, with Norris' team-mate Oscar Piastri making up the top five. 

“What a feeling, at the start of this year I don’t think we could of even dreamt of being on pole here, one-two for me and Lewis, and Lando it’s just mega," Russell said.

"It’s down to these fans as well they give us so much energy so thank you for that.

“The car at the moment is feeling so good, it really came alive in quali and what a joy to drive around this circuit.

"We are riding this wave at the moment and I’m absolutely buzzing, but eyes on tomorrow, we’ve got a race to win and it’s going to be tight with Lando, Max is going to be fast as well but I’m so excited right now.”

It was an afternoon to forget for Ferrari, with Carlos Sainz finishing seventh-fastest behind Haas' Nico Hulkenberg, with team-mate Charles Leclerc starting in 11th. 

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll finished in eighth, with Williams driver Alex Albon and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso completing the top 10.

Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez will start at the back of the grid in 19th after spinning out in the first qualifying session. 

Top 10

1. George Russell (Mercedes) 

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Lando Norris (McLaren)

4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

5. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

6. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

8. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

9. Alex Albon (Williams)

10. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

Lando Norris drew a line under his collision with Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix as he looked ahead to their next battle at the British Grand Prix this weekend.

Norris was forced to retire from the race at the Red Bull Ring after a collision with the Dutchman late on, allowing George Russell to swoop in and claim the win. 

Verstappen was able to finish fifth, further extending his lead at the top of the driver's championship to 81 points over Norris in second. 

The McLaren driver was visibly upset about the incident shortly after the race, but is excited to get back on the track to challenge Verstappen once again. 

"It's clear how he races. It's tough, it's on the limit. It's what we love, it's what I love," Norris said.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole fight I had with him. Of course it was a shame things ended the way they did.

"But apart from that, things are clear from what you see on TV and I'm excited to go racing again this weekend."

With all eyes firmly fixed on a new blossoming rivalry in F1, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was keen to steer clear of the situation. 

Hamilton, who has enjoyed many battles with Verstappen over the years, is focused on delivering a first win since December 2021 for Mercedes. 

"Nothing really. I didn't think anything," Hamilton said on the situation between the two championship leaders.

"I was more concerned about my race and enjoying the team's win."

Asked if he had any advice for Norris about racing Verstappen, Hamilton said: "Again, I don't think I need to. They have raced each other for many years.

"It's nothing to do with me."

Should Hamilton emerge victorious at Silverstone, he would become the driver with the most wins in a single Grand Prix in F1 history (nine), surpassing the record of eight already held by the Brit in Hungary and Michael Schumacher in France. 

DRIVERS TO WATCH 

George Russell - Mercedes

Having secured his second victory in F1 at the Austrian Grand Prix, George Russell will be keen to emerge victorious once again on home soil. 

The Brit has enjoyed an impressive season thus far, finishing in the top five in each of the last four races, as many times as in the previous 15. 

Russell has also performed significantly better than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, beating the seven-time world champion in 11 of the last 13 qualifying sessions and in nine of the last 12 races.

Mercedes have improved in recent weeks, and should Russell or Hamilton emerge victorious, it will be the first time the team has won two races in a row since 2021 between Sao Paulo and Saudi Arabia - all three won by Hamilton. 

Oscar Piastri - McLaren

While much of the attention has been on team-mate Norris in recent weeks, Oscar Piastri's performances on the track have gone under the radar. 

Piastri finished second behind Russell in Austria, but has been on the podium in two of the last four races, the other being in Monaco where he lost out to Charles Leclerc. 

The Australian sits in sixth place in the driver's championship, a point ahead of Russell and six points behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez. 

He could become just the third Australian driver to win the race after Jack Brabham and Mark Webber, and the first to claim a victory at Silverstone since Webber did so for Red Bull-Renault in 2012. 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 237 points
2. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 156
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 150
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 135
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 118

Constructors

1. Red Bull – 355
2. Ferrari – 291
3. McLaren – 268
4. Mercedes – 196
5. Aston Martin – 58

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has no expectations of Max Verstappen changing his aggressive tactics after the contentious collision with McLaren's Lando Norris.

The pair were battling for the lead at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix before crashing seven laps from the finish line.

Reigning Formula One champion Verstappen was deemed responsible and hit with a 10-second time penalty, though recovered to finish fifth as Norris was forced out of the race in a blow to his championship hopes.

That drama allowed Mercedes' George Russell to triumph but Horner does not expect Verstappen to hold back next time, even suggesting Norris must learn to adapt.

"I understand they've spoken already, I don't think there is any issue," Horner told Sky Sports News ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

"Certainly, from Max's side, he's not going to change. There's an element, I think, of Lando learning how to race Max and they're discovering that.

"Inevitably, there is going to be more close racing between the two of them as the cars look so close over the forthcoming races.

"Max is a hard racer – he's probably one of the hardest racers on the circuit and everybody knows that if you're going to race against Max, he's going to give as good as he gets."

Many pinpointed the blame at the hands of Verstappen, who has pushed the limits close in recent F1 seasons.

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was among those to fiercely criticise the Dutchman, yet Horner believes the scrutiny is unjustified.

"He raced incredibly hard in 2021, he's a tough racer, and he hasn't really been racing anyone for two years because he's been out front so much," Horner said.

"The conflict between the two of them has been building over two, three, four races where they've been racing each other closely and hard, and at some point that was always going to spill over – and it did at Turn 3.

"He was punished in 2021 if he did something wrong just as Lewis [Hamilton], who he was racing so hard that year, was for things he did wrong.

"I think it's wrong and unfair to label a driver like that and I'm sure in the heat of the moment it was frustrating for Andrea, but that's just tough racing.

"He worked with Michael Schumacher [at Ferrari] for so many years – he of all people should know that."

Lando Norris admitted he could "lose respect" for Max Verstappen if he does not take the blame for their collision in Austria.

The two were competing for first place when the contact was made on lap 64, leaving the race open for George Russell to win, with Norris forced to retire as a result.

Three laps later, Verstappen was hit with a 10-second penalty after a virtual safety car and eventually finished in fifth.

Norris expressed his frustration at his race being cut short and confessed his friendship with Verstappen could be affected as a result.

"I'm disappointed, nothing more than that, honestly," Norris told Sky Sports F1. "It was a good race. I looked forward to probably, I'd say, just a fair battle, a strong fair battle. But I wouldn't say that's what it was in the end.

"Tough one to take. It was a mistake-free race from my side, and I feel like I did a good job but I got taken out of the race, so nothing more than that.

"I don't know [if their friendship will be affected]. It depends what he says. If he says he did nothing wrong, then I'll lose a lot of respect for that.

"If he admits to being a bit stupid and running into me and just being a bit reckless in a way, then I'll have a small amount of respect for it.

"But it's still a tough one to take when we're fighting for the win and I'm trying to be fair from my side and he just wasn't. That's not what I'm thinking about. I don't care about that now. I'm just gutted for the team."

Verstappen was chasing what would have been a fifth consecutive win in Austria and remains just one podium away from overtaking Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso as the diver with the fourth-highest solo podium finishes.

Asked about Norris' post-race comments, the Dutchman was careful not to take any of the blame without first talking to the McLaren driver.

"I need to look back at how or why we touched. Of course, we will talk about it," Verstappen said to Sky Sports F1. "It's just unfortunate it happened.

"I felt like sometimes he dive-bombed so late on the brakes. One time he went straight. One time I had to go around the sausage otherwise we would have touched.

"I think it's also the shape of the corner provides these kind of issues sometimes. I've had it also the other way around. It is what it is. It's never nice to come together."

Mercedes claimed a huge win at the Austrian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen was hit with a time penalty for causing a crash.

Reigning Formula One champion Verstappen collided with his title rival Lando Norris, who was forced out of Sunday's race, and was penalised 10 seconds for his trouble.

That crash came on lap 64 out of 71, with Verstappen - who had led for much of the race from pole - penalised three laps later after a virtual safety car at Spielberg.

And Russell took full advantage by speeding past the stricken vehicles of Verstappen and Norris to claim his and Mercedes' first race victory of the season.

It marks the Briton's second career win.

It was not all doom and gloom for McLaren despite Norris' crash, with Oscar Piastri clinching second place.

Carlos Sainz rounded out the podium, while Lewis Hamilton took fourth ahead of Verstappen, who was incredibly close to taking a record-setting fifth victory at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Nico Hulkenberg came in sixth, while Charles Leclerc endured a difficult day and finished 11th.

Data Debrief: Frustration for Lando and Max

Norris had finished in the top four in each of the last six races before this one, as many times as in the previous 15. He is one podium away from equalling John Watson as the 13th-highest British driver with the most podiums in Formula 1 history, but he will now have to wait for that particular feat.

Verstappen, too, was dealt a blow. He remains just one podium away from overtaking Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso as the driver with the fourth-highest solo podium finishes in F1 history.

Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, marked his 250th F1 race with a ninth-place finish.

Top 10

1. George Russell (Mercedes)

2. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

6. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

9. Daniel Ricciardo (RB)

10. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

Max Verstappen said Red Bull made a "good statement" after he secured pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who won the sprint race earlier on Saturday, qualified ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris to take his first pole in four races.

The reigning Formula One world champion was in fine form throughout the session, and will now go for a record-extending fifth Austrian Grand Prix victory.

Verstappen has recorded the most podium finishes (six) and the most fastest laps (four) at the Austrian Grand Prix, and has now also taking the outright most pole positions (four) at the race.

"The whole session went really well. The car was in a better window and I could push a bit more and it was very enjoyable. Every lap I did was feeling good," the Dutchman said.

"It's been a while since we were on pole, and a while since I felt like this in the car, and it's great. The team has been working hard to make the car more competitive and it's a good statement.

"Hopefully it will be a tight battle again but I am not thinking too much about that. I am just thinking about how the car was performing today and hopefully it will translate into race pace."

The Austrian Grand Prix winner has started on the front row on nine of the last 11 occasions (six from pole and three from second).

Norris, who was third in the sprint race, finished ahead of Mercedes George Russell to secure second place behind Verstappen.

He said: "It was as much as we could do. Max was in a league of his own. [He had] more than what we had. Tricky conditions."

Lewis Hamilton secured fifth on the grid, and his hopeful Mercedes can challenge on Sunday.

"All these guys are so quick. It's very close between us all," he said.

"I'm relatively happy with my lap. The middle sector was not as good as I would have liked. If I had got those two perfect would probably have been in the top three but it’s very hard to get a lap.

"We can fight the Ferraris but I don't know if we can fight the McLarens. We'll have to see."

Top 10

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lando Norris (McLaren)

3. George Russell (Mercedes)

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

7. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

9. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

Red Bull enjoyed a strong start to their home grand prix as Max Verstappen clinched victory in the sprint race on Saturday.

No driver has won more the Austrian Grand Prix on more occasions than Verstappen (four), and the reigning Formula One world champion looks well placed to push on for a fifth victory after holding off McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Norris, who is second behind Verstappen in the drivers' championship, battled hard in the early laps before dropping off the pace and eventually finishing behind team-mate Piastri, while Mercedes' George Russell came in fifth.

Verstappen's win saw him move 71 points clear of Norris in the drivers' standings ahead of qualifying for Sunday's main event.

The Dutchman briefly relinquished the lead to Norris on lap five at Spielberg, but expertly regained it a turn later.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz finished fifth, with Lewis Hamilton rounding out the top six.

Data Debrief: Verstappen the king of the sprint

This marked the 15th sprint race since its introduction in F1. No driver has more wins (10), more pole positions (eight), more fastest laps (eight), more podiums (14) and more points (97) than Verstappen in the format.

The Red Bull driver is right at home in Austria, where he has achieved the most podium finishes (six) and the most fastest laps (four), and has the chance to single-handedly take the most pole positions at the event (four) should he top qualifying.

Top 10

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

3. Lando Norris (McLaren)

4. George Russell (Mercedes)

5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

9. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

Red Bull will be on home soil at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, but Lando Norris is positive about his chances of putting more pressure on world champion Max Verstappen.

Norris has managed six podium finishes and one race victory this season, his maiden F1 win coming in Miami last month.

With 150 points, the McLaren driver now sits second in the drivers' championship standings for the first time in his career, 69 points back of Verstappen.

While Verstappen approaches this weekend – which features the third sprint race of the year – with back-to-back victories in Canada and Spain under his belt, Norris believes McLaren have every chance of pushing him close again.

"We're on a roll and we're doing well," Norris said this week. "I need to tidy up a few little bits and pieces and we'll be on top. I am confident.

"Every weekend we go into now, the car is performing extremely well and we're always there, or thereabouts, within a couple of tenths."

Five of the last six races have seen Verstappen and Norris finish in the top two positions, and the McLaren driver has 10 runner-up finishes since the team introduced transformative upgrades to their car at last year's edition of the Austrian Grand Prix.

With Red Bull heading home after seeing their huge lead over their rivals chipped away in recent weeks, Verstappen expects plenty of thrills and spills.

"It is another sprint race this weekend, which always ends up being a hectic and busy weekend for us," Verstappen said. 

"It is really important to nail the set-up of the car straight away and analyse how best we build and improve on our previous races, especially as qualifying is always close here. 

"The track lends itself to a lot of overtaking so I'm sure it will be an exciting race. 

"The team performed well here last year so hopefully, we can do the fans proud this weekend and bring it home with another win."

This weekend's sprint will be the 15th since the format's introduction, and no driver has more wins (nine), pole positions (seven), fastest laps (seven), podium finishes (13) or points (89) in the sprints than Verstappen.

The Dutchman's four wins in the main race in Spielberg are also an F1 record.

DRIVERS TO WATCH

Lando Norris –  McLaren

After two years of near-total dominance, Verstappen finally has a consistent challenger in Norris, who has finished inside the top four at each of his last six races, as many as in his previous 15.

He has already led for a career-high 58 total laps throughout the 2024 season, while his next podium finish will see him match John Watson and go joint-13th in the all-time charts for British drivers, with 20.

Verstappen has not been on pole for any of the last three races, with Norris unable to capitalise when starting at the front of the grid in Barcelona last week. He will be desperate to go one better here.

Sergio Perez – Red Bull

While Verstappen's latest battle with Norris will capture the headlines, Red Bull's home race is also a big one for the Dutchman's team-mate Perez, who is enduring a difficult year.

Perez has finished outside the top five at each of his last four races (two eighth-place places and two retirements). He could find himself outside the top five on five straight outings for the first time since 2021, when he had a miserable five-race run between races in Austria and the Netherlands.

The Mexican, who got a two-year contract extension from the team earlier this month after much speculation regarding his future, needs to be far more consistent, starting here.

With Ferrari 60 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' championship standings and eating away at that advantage, Christian Horner will be desperate to see Verstappen get some support. 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 219 points
2. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 150 
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 148
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 116
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 111

Constructors

1. Red Bull – 330
2. Ferrari – 270
3. McLaren – 237
4. Mercedes – 151
5. Aston Martin – 58

Lando Norris has "emerged from the pack" to represent the main threat to Red Bull, says the team's principal Christian Horner. 

Alongside reigning champion Max Verstappen, Norris has finished in the top two positions at five of the last six races, including Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver has also finished in the top four in each of his last six races, as many times as in his previous 15. 

He has led for a career-high 58 laps this season and his next podium finish will see him match John Watson for 13th place in the charts for all British drivers, with 20.

Looking back on last week's race in Barcelona, Horner acknowledged Verstappen – who triumphed by 2.219 seconds – was fortunate to make a strong start count.

"If Lando had track position it would have been difficult to beat him," Horner told Sky Sports News.

"It was so close between the two of them and they were 18 seconds ahead of the rest. I would say Lando has emerged from the pack as the most consistent challenger.

"We've had four pole winners in the last four races. It's very, very tight.

"But Lando I would say, he seems to have worked out these tyres, McLaren have done a great job as well, and they're going to push us hard for the rest of the year."

Red Bull are on home turf this weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix, for the third sprint race weekend of the season.

"On such a short lap, it's going to be so tight and we expect McLaren and Lando to be fast again," Horner added.

"Ferrari and Mercedes? Who knows. If you look at the gap to those guys after the race it was pretty similar to last year. The one who has stepped up is Lando."

Mercedes chief Ola Kallenius believes Max Verstappen would "look good in silver" as he strongly hinted at the team's continued interest in the Red Bull driver.

Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari at the end of the year, though the team are yet to announce who his replacement will be.

Since Hamilton's announcement, Mercedes have talked up Verstappen, who has a contract with Red Bull until 2028.

However, rumours have circled the Dutchman's future with the team after legendary designer Adrian Newey announced his departure at the end of the season, with Verstappen, who won the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, stressing he wants to be in the "right environment" in the fastest car.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Kallenius once again made his interest in drawing Verstappen over to Mercedes clear.

"The best driver wants to have the best car. And that's our job, to bring the best package together," Kallenius said.

"The cards will be reshuffled in 2026. New order with new rules. That's also an opportunity. Who knows?

"But I think Max would look good in silver, wouldn't he?"

Despite those comments, Toto Wolff previously confirmed there had been no official talks with Verstappen.

It is rumoured that 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli could be in line to partner George Russell next season, while Verstappen remains an outside target.

Lando Norris described himself as "99% happy" with where McLaren are in their ongoing pursuit of Max Verstappen, but the Briton is desperate to start cutting into the world champion's lead.

Verstappen finished two seconds clear of Norris to edge a keenly contested Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, extending his championship advantage to 69 points.

Norris is taking the fight to the Dutchman, having finished in the top two in five of the last six Formula One races.

However, he was frustrated not to convert his pole position to a victory in Barcelona, having also fallen just short at the previous race in Canada.

Norris rued a start to the race which saw him passed by Verstappen and Mercedes’ George Russell, who ultimately finished fourth behind the two championship contenders and team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

"I should have done better," Norris said after the race, per BBC Sport. 

"We should have got some points back on Max. Potentially there was a chance to beat him in Canada. Two races I have been second and he has won.

"But Max needs to stop winning. He is still extending [his lead] at the minute but we cannot afford to let him run away with it. 

"If I made some better decisions in Canada and had made a better start [in Spain], we would have won two races. We have what it takes; it’s just about putting it all together.

"I am happy with 99% of things and it is just the 1% - which is a big part of it - wasn’t enough.

"Two metres I lost out in the beginning and this was enough for Max to be on the inside. If George wasn’t on the outside I could have covered him, but George got a good start and got a perfect slipstream, nothing I can do about that.

"As soon as you make one mistake, they are going to be ahead."

Verstappen and Norris both said after the race that the McLaren is currently the fastest car on the track.

But Norris, who did triumph at the Miami Grand Prix last month, lost crucial ground to Verstappen as he remained behind Russell in the early stages until his compatriot pitted.

He added: "I got a bad start, simple as that, and then I just couldn’t get past George. The car was incredible and we were for sure the quickest, I just lost it at the beginning. 

"Lots of positives, one negative and I know that. I can work on it for next time."

Norris will be back on track soon, with the Austrian Grand Prix and British Grand Prix to follow swiftly as part of a run which sees three races take place in as many weeks, part of the longest season in F1 history.

He added: "Austria and Silverstone – two of my favourite tracks. We are on a good roll. I just need to tidy up a few bits and then we will be on top."

The result saw Norris move up to second in the drivers' standings, two points clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who had to settle for fifth place in Spain.

Max Verstappen pinpointed a rapid start as the key to his fourth Spanish Grand Prix triumph on Sunday.

The Red Bull driver secured his seventh Formula One victory of the 2024 season in Barcelona, but needed to hold off charges from McLaren's Lando Norris and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen started the race behind pole-sitting Norris but soon fell down to third after George Russell surged to the front into the first corner.

Yet the Dutchman seized control after bursting past Russell a few laps later, referencing his early pursuit as pivotal to his seventh triumph in 10 races this campaign.

"I think what made the race was the beginning, I took the lead [at the start of Lap 3], and that's where I had my buffer then in that first stint where I could eke out that gap a little bit," Verstappen said.

"I think after that, we had to drive quite a defensive race. Lando and McLaren, they were very, very quick today, especially on degradation, it seems always the last few laps of the stint, they were very, very fast.

"But then I think we did everything well, we drove quite, I think, an aggressive strategy, but luckily it paid out until the end – it was quite close until the end but very happy to win here."

Pressed on those opening moments, Verstappen added: "I had to do a bit of rallying on the straight, I had to go onto the grass a bit, which lost me a bit of momentum, so then of course we braked quite late into Turn 1.

"Then, of course, I was quite determined to try and get the lead. Once I was in the lead, I could look after my tyres a bit better, and that definitely made my race today."

This victory extended Verstappen's championship lead to 69 points, with Norris now his nearest challenger and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc dropping back down to third.

Considering this race success, Verstappen lauded his tyre-management ability.

"It's just managing the tyres, they get very hot around here with all the high-speed corners, so you're sliding around actually quite a lot," he added.

"It was just managing the race throughout."

Verstappen will now prepare for the Austrian Grand Prix next Sunday.

Max Verstappen claimed his fourth Spanish Grand Prix triumph in Barcelona as he continues to increase his lead at the summit of the F1 driver's championship. 

Having started second on the grid after Lando Norris snatched pole position from his grasp on the last lap of qualifying, the three-time world champion wasted no time in overtaking the McClaren driver. 

However, George Russell raced around the outside to take the lead in the race going into the first corner, having started fourth on the grid. 

But it would not take long for the Dutchman to reclaim the position he has found himself in for much of the season, performing an exceptional overtake on Russell before remaining in control of the race throughout, despite Norris' late charge.

Lewis Hamilton would come home in third for Mercedes, claiming his first podium of the season, with team-mate Russell eventually finishing fourth, closing the gap to both McClaren and Ferrari in the constructors' championship. 

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had yet another disappointing afternoon on the track, while Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez picked up four points, having finished in eighth place, despite starting the race in 11th after being handed a three-place grid penalty from the Canada Grand Prix. 

Final standings

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lando Norris (McLaren)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

4. George Russell (Mercedes)

5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

7. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

9. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

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