Max Verstappen claimed an impressive victory in Silverstone, extending his Championship lead and underscoring his dominance in 2023. However, there were plenty of surprises regarding the Dutchman’s closest challengers in Britain.
Unlike the early stages of the season, where Aston Martin proved itself the most consistent threat to Red Bull, it was McLaren that proved Verstappen’s greatest threat.
A fantastic qualifying turned into an impressive race for Norris and Piastri, who benefited from the significant boost in performance generated by the MCL60’s latest updates.
Andrea Stella has quotes dating back to December about how mid-season development would compensate for the team missing its targets over the winter break.
Quite clearly, the newly appointed McLaren team principal is to be trusted in his assessments. However, there is still work to do if Red Bull is to be displaced.
Although the advantage Verstappen enjoyed in Britain was not as overwhelming as in other rounds, the inconsistencies shown by Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin will make it difficult for them to become realistic challengers.
Speaking after his victory in Britain, the reigning World Champion outlined that further updates will arrive to the RB19:
“It’s very confusing to me because every single race weekend, it’s someone else. I think is because it’s so close behind that if you get your car in a little bit of a better window, it works on one particular track.
“So, for me, I don’t know what’s going to happen in Hungary, to be honest, who is going to be quick or the second quickest.
“The stable factor so far is that every single weekend, it seems like we are on top, which of course, is the most important from our side.
“But again, Hungary is a completely different track. We will put some upgrades on the car there, and hopefully, they will work well.”
This news is not unsurprising since the rounds leading up to the summer break represent the final update push for most teams before focusing predominantly on 2024.
Red Bull’s advantage is significant and, in combination with Max Verstappen, is proving nearly impossible for rivals to surpass.
However, the substantial step forward taken by McLaren with one update package is proof that – with the correct adjustments – progress can be made quickly in Formula 1.
Even Williams could pressure the likes of Aston Martin in Silverstone, so the importance of relentlessly searching for lap time and avoiding any complacency cannot be overstated.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang