The Saturday in F1 British GP was made tricky due to weather conditions as the field was bunched up together closely despite Max Verstappen’s run.

The weather really made for a tricky Saturday in F1 British GP at Silverstone as it closed up qualifying even though Red Bull’s Verstappen had the last laugh. It was clean for the Dutchman who even had a pitlane incident to break his front wing.

His final lap wasn’t great but managed to do enough with an injured hand as he revealed post F1 qualifying. His teammate Sergio Perez did not have a sound run as he failed to make Q3 for the fifth grand prix in a row with the conditions catching him out.

His loss was a gain for the McLaren F1 pair who triumphed over Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin with a surprise double Top 3 finish where Lando Norris was second from Oscar Piastri. They turned it around big time from a mixed bag Friday running.

They will now have to hang on against Ferrari pair who are right behind them with Charles Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. The former duo had their share of communication and situational gaps.

Leclerc was supposed to be in front but traffic situation made a tricky scenario as was the case between Verstappen and Hamilton. Mercedes is banking on their better race pace, while Aston Martin seems to be down this F1 weekend as well.

Verstappen: “I think mainly in Q1. I arrived to Turn 15 the first time, I just went straight off. So, it was very weird because Turn 15 and 16, they were a bit damp and it was very difficult to see where exactly: you could only really feel it. So that took a bit of time to really get on top of. I think in general I was just trying to get the laps in. Of course, we knew that we had a quick car, so you don’t risk it all the way to get through, but still, that final lap. Of course I had my little incident in the pits, where I destroyed my front wing. I had a bit of understeer out of the box. Too much rear grip, so yeah, had to new front wing but that meant of course that I was in the back to start that final run, and that was quite exciting, I think, that out-lap, with passing a few cars here and there, to get the lap in but luckily it was all good enough. But that shows that it can also very quickly fall the other way and you’re out. Q2 was just building up, track was getting better and better.

“So, following the track evolution, and then in Q3, basically the same thing. I think the lap itself was alright, just probably in some places I got caught out a little bit with suddenly, like, an increase in understeer and stuff. But I guess, with the conditions we had, it was anyway going to be quite tricky to have, let’s say, a perfect lap out there. The run-in with Lewis, it was just on the out lap. I had very cold tyres, because most of the people in front of me had new tyres but I stayed on my used set. So yeah, I just tried to get by. But of course he was trying to warm the tyres. So it took a bit of time to find a bit of space to go through. As for the bandage, it looks a bit interesting, right? But yeah, it’s just a hand injury. Yeah, that’s why I said it looks quite interesting, right? But yeah, I injured my finger – it’s not making it better – injured my finger and my hand at the same time but it’s fine when I’m driving it’s OK.”

Norris: “There are a lot of TV screens around the circuit so I was trying to watch every single one possible and I was surprised how long I was up the top for but it just kind of depended on when Max was going to cross the line so… I guess I’m a little bit surprised. I wasn’t expecting for us to be here or for myself to be here anyway. I think we’re very happy with the result. But it was more if Max made a mistake rather than if we were quicker than him. He’s doing a very good job. The team are doing a very good job from his side. I put a good lap in. No mistakes. It was a much cleaner run than my Q3, run 1. But it was a good Quali, you know. I think P1 in Q1. I think P1 in Q2 and almost P1 in Q3 but not quite. But I’m so happy with that. I don’t think expectations were low. And I guess in Qualifyings like this, when it’s wet/dry, it’s always very difficult to anticipate what’s going to happen in the whole thing. Some quicker cars were knocked out earlier on, so I think that opened up some opportunities for us to be sitting here. But my Friday just wasn’t that great. FP3 was obviously a bit tricky with the conditions, so I didn’t have the most confidence all weekend but I managed to pull it out when it matters so I’m happy with it.”

Piastri: “It’s a very special moment, to be in the top three. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to one of these press conferences, so it’s nice to be back. But no, it’s been a great day. Even this weekend, I think, you know, we thought we could get into the top 10 at least, but yeah, when the conditions were looking like they were, it’s generally been pretty solid for us previously. So you know, I think we went in quietly confident that we could pull off something pretty special. And we’ve managed to do it. So yeah, very nice to be back. And yeah, happy with the lap I did. There wasn’t too much left out there. So I’m happy to be in the top three. For the race, I mean, firstly, stay in the points, that would be good. I think we’ll have to see what our race pace is like, you know. Lando showed last week that we can hang on in the races now to a much better extent. So hopefully we can try and do the same tomorrow. Of course, staying in the top three will be tricky with quite a few quick cars behind us. But definitely a solid points score can be on the cards.”

Perez: “It was a terrible session. Towards the end of Q1, I think the red flag lasted longer than we thought, and we stayed there waiting quite a long time, and I just couldn’t put enough temperature into the tyre. It’s very frustrating because we had a good Friday, the pace in the car was there, and we paid the price. I think in these tricky conditions is where I struggle the most with the car so it’s something for us to understand as well.”

Leclerc: “A pretty good qualifying, considering that I struggled a bit in the last few races in mixed conditions on slick tyres. I felt good today, because it seems that the hard work I’ve put in to improve this has paid off. I didn’t put the perfect lap together in Q3 as I lost grip in turn 15, so a front row position was not possible today. It’s nice to see McLaren be so quick and I expect an exciting race tomorrow with all of us so close together. We don’t have any race trim data on my side because I missed out on FP2, but we maximised every session since then and are in a decent starting position, so everything is possible tomorrow. In the pitlane, it’s something that we were expecting as we are always trying to get out the cars at the same time as it’s better to manage the cars coming. But then on track obviously this is where we had a bit more of a discussion.

“We have one race where I have the priority to choose whether I want to be in front or behind, and one race Carlos has the priority to choose whether he wants to be in front or behind. I had the choice here and I decided to be in front, then at the end we were very tight on timing and I think it was very difficult for us to know whether we were going to get past or not before the flag and Carlos decided to overtake. It is not ideal, we will discuss about it, it had no influence, so no big deal. Obviously with the adrenaline inside the car and you don’t know at that point if you’re going to make it, the radio message was probably a bit more aggressive than it should have been.”

Hamilton: “We weren’t quite quick enough today unfortunately. The conditions were tricky out there but there was still an element of fun to it, as we tried to get on top of the tyres. There were some moments where it looked like we had the potential to challenge further forward, but then we fell back a little. We seem to struggle on the single lap more than we do on the race pace, so we will see what we can do tomorrow. If we can progress forward, then that would be amazing. Hopefully we can put some pressure on the cars ahead and get into a battle with them.”

Alonso: “It’s not the Qualifying we wanted in what was a challenging session in drying conditions. There is still a long race ahead of us tomorrow and our Sunday pace is normally a strong point of this car. We still achieved another Q3 result, but we need to keep understanding our car at different circuits. The weather tomorrow may also be changeable, as it was today, so we need to remain focused and see what we can do in race conditions.”

The Top 10 also had Williams’ Alexander Albon and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly where both their teammates couldn’t make it in Q3. The former looked pretty solid until his lap deletion in Q1 where he almost was knocked out and eventually progressed into Q3.

After showing supreme pace, Albon only managed eighth while lack of experience kept Logan Sargeant out of Q3. On Alpine’s side, Gasly made it in but teammate Esteban Ocon rued his run-in with Leclerc and Lance Stroll for a disruptive Q2 run.

It wasn’t the best of days for Alfa Romeo, Haas and AlphaTauri, where Valtteri Bottas did not have enough fuel to be disqualified eventually. His teammate Zhou Guanyu couldn’t make it out of Q1 as did both the AlphaTauri F1 pair.

Yuki Tsunoda was close but Nyck de Vries was far out, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen having another set of hard luck with a mechanical issue. His teammate Nico Hulkenberg rued the lack of DRS in Q2 for the required extra push to make it in Q3.

Albon: “It’s been an amazing weekend but it’s funny when you finish in Q3, with P8 and you’re disappointed. We have to be realistic but it’s been great so far. In Qualifying, the session was going quite smoothly but, as the track dried out, corner speeds picked up and track evolution came in. We started to get quite a bit of degradation through the lap, even front deg, so we need to go away and understand that but, by the time I got to Q3, I was struggling a little bit with those combined factors. We’ve been really on top of it since the start of the weekend and I got into rhythm very quickly and adapted well to the changes, so we really hit the ground running. I think we ended up where we expected to be but I think if you told us we’d be here at the beginning of the weekend, we wouldn’t believe you.”

Ocon: “It’s been a frustrating day and a missed opportunity for us in Qualifying. It’s always disappointing not to make Q3, especially as we had the pace to do so. The conditions were not easy but we had been managing it very well. In Q2, it was not an ideal start to my final push lap as I braked on the wet side of the track alongside Lance and then spent my lap behind Charles, which cost us time. There are plenty of things for us to review from today, however, I’m feeling ready to make up some ground in tomorrow’s race.”

Magnussen: “It just doesn’t seem to be my year this one so far, but this is where you show experience, stay cool and keep fighting. Everything switched off in the car, I had no power steering, nothing, I don’t know what it was in Q1. Until that point it felt good compared to the rest of the weekend, I was on a decent lap to improve there – on the one I stopped. There was still time on the clock so I don’t know if that would have been the last one.”

Bottas: “Today’s results are very disappointing, as it seemed we actually had a real chance to make it into the top ten. I started to lose power on the final inlap, and then the engine stopped. We eventually figured out it was a technical issue with fuel in the car, and we are already working to address that and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Sadly, this means we’ll be starting at the back of the grid in the race, which is not where we would have deserved to be looking at our pace. Still, tomorrow will be a long day and, as always, the weather could add one more element of unpredictability: the car felt better than yesterday, and we have slightly better pace compared to previous events, so our aim will be to make the most out of it and fight as hard as we can through the field.”

Tsunoda: “I ended up very close to Q2 again, it’s frustrating and a shame, but I’m happy with my performance. Track evolution was high and almost fully dry in the end, but the team did a good job with the strategy. We tried many different things with the new upgrade, and compared to yesterday, the car felt better. I feel more support in the places I need, especially in the low-speed corners, and more rotation in the high-speed corners, which we were aiming for. There is room for improvement, but we’re still trying to understand the car’s behaviour more. I reset myself and do whatever I can tomorrow to extract as much performance from the car and finish as high as possible.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 08: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 08, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202307080224 // Usage for editorial use only //

Here’s how F1 British GP qualifying panned out