McLaren strikes first

McLaren strikes first
McLaren strikes first

Lando Norris and McLaren They want to take revenge against Verstappen at home, in the British GP. Although Lando He did not show the expected toughness in a press conference on Thursday and lowered the tone of his speech before MaxOn the track, the Englishman came out determined to change things. He led the first free practice sessions in the morning and did so again in the afternoon, just ahead of his teammate Oscar Piastri. McLaren made a double in FP2But as everyone knows, it means little if in qualifying and the race Lando Norris and McLaren do not finish the job against Max, who for the moment, as in the last few Grand Prix, is hiding.

Max He has already made it clear this season that he will not stick his foot out before time. He will show his full body when the decisive moment arrives, starting in Q2 of qualifying this Saturday. For now, He was 7th at 0″684 off Lando’s best timeBut everyone knows that it doesn’t mean anything. When you put all your eggs in one basket, open the tap on your engine and take out your magic wand in classification, it will be there.

In Imolaseemed to suffer on Friday and ended up taking pole and winning with a worse car than Norris. He had problems in Canada and was second in qualifying and won the race due to a strategy error McLaren. In Barcelona He was 5th on Friday and finished second in qualifying and winning on Sunday. And in Austria he ended any chance of Lando in the race, driving the Englishman crazy, powerless despite having a faster car, unable to overtake Max until they both touched. Lando dominated this Friday, but he has been more than warned.

Final classification of free practice 2 of the 2024 Formula 1 British GP

He said this at a press conference on Thursday, admitting that fighting for victories is something very new for him, especially against a Max who always pushes beyond the limits. And at Silverstone, in front of his home fans, he will have to show that he is capable of raising the bar and becoming the antagonist that the current champion deserves, an opponent at his level.

Given the results of the previous races, it is clear that Max Verstappen will once again be in the fight for pole position on Saturday on a track that suits his car well. It is also clear that McLaren will be up to the task, perhaps even with a better car than the Dutchman. And from then on, Free Practice 2 did nothing to clear up any doubts regarding ‘Checo’ Pérez, Mercedes and Ferrari.

Verstappen at the 2024 F1 British GP

Luca Bruno / Ap-LaPresse

‘Checo’, third under pressure

‘Checo’ had to start rowing against the current by missing Free Practice 1 because his car was driven by the young Hadjar. At a time when he needs to find the right settings for his car to improve, with Horner publicly stressing that the Mexican must raise the bar for the fight for the Constructors’ World Championship, the Guadalajara native finished 3rd at 0″434 behind Norris, too far behind, although there is still room for improvement. In qualifying, ‘Checo’ will once again take a risk, aware that despite having renewed his contract, Red Bull will not allow him to make many more mistakes.

And Mercedes?

Mercedes, who are magicians at playing hide and seek, were able to do it again on Friday. They are expected to be up there after what they saw in Austria, especially in the race, and the question is whether they will be able to fight for pole after not being able to take that final step in Q3 in Barcelona and Austria. For the moment, Lewis Hamilton was 6th at 0″653 and Russell, 10th at 0″725. But there is still a lot to be done and everything could change this Saturday.

Norris to take part in the 2024 F1 British GP

Mark Thompson / Getty

Ferrari and fast corners

Ferrari was two steps behind McLaren and Verstappen in Barcelona and Austria and one behind Mercedes, with a car that struggles in fast corners. And at Silverstone, a circuit full of these types of turns, the same thing could happen again. Leclerc warned in FP1 of the car’s many problems in high-speed corners and said it was “very difficult to drive.” And in FP2, Charles managed to be 5th at 0″601. Sainz, for his part, was 8th at 0″700. It will be tough for the red team.

Sainz at the 2024 F1 British GP

Luca Bruno / Ap-LaPresse

Aston Martin, rowing against the current

Alonso has been warning for weeks that Silverstone would be a circuit where he would once again suffer, as he said for Austria and Barcelona. The aim of the team in green must be to get as close as possible to Q3 and take advantage of any mistake to get into the top 10.

Alonso at the 2024 F1 British GP

Rudy Carezzevoli / Getty

On Friday, Alonso and Stroll compared the performance of a modified front wing for the loads on this track and this element seemed to improve the car’s performance. But it will still be difficult for the home team (its factory is in front of the circuit). Stroll was 9th at 0″725 and Alonso was 11th at 0″823. The times are still not very representative, as Hulkenberg’s 4th place made clear. It remains to be seen how much margin everyone has for a qualifying session that could be very tight on all fronts. On this occasion, at least, Alonso will have a new engine after the engine problems he had in Austria. He will have more options than a week ago.

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