Lando Norris narrowly missed out on pole position, trailing Max Verstappen by a mere 0.241 seconds in the final moments of the top 10 shootout. Starting from second place, Norris will be joined on the grid’s second row by his rookie teammate Oscar Piastri.
Meanwhile, Mercedes achieved a 6-7 finish, with George Russell edging out his seven-time champion teammate Lewis Hamilton by a margin of 0.056 seconds. However, both drivers found themselves over 0.4 seconds behind the pace-setting RB19.
Hamilton admitted that McLaren’s performance did not come as a surprise. The team utilized the Silverstone weekend to introduce the second phase of a three-stage upgrade package, which according to team principal Andrea Stella, involves substantial aerodynamic changes to almost every part of the MCL60.
When asked about his reaction to McLaren’s strong showing, Hamilton expressed his lack of surprise and conveyed his happiness for the team. He acknowledged their previous struggles and remarked on the significance of their resurgence.
Delving deeper into why he believed McLaren posed a serious challenge to Red Bull, Hamilton pointed out the visual similarities between the two cars’ sidepods. He commended McLaren for their effective design, emphasizing the positive impact it has had.
Hamilton welcomed the presence of another competitive team in the mix, as it aligns with his vision for the sport. Previously, the battle for second place behind Red Bull primarily involved Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes, with the order shifting from race to race.
Hamilton characterized McLaren’s emergence as a “wake-up call” for Mercedes, as they continue to grapple with the challenges posed by the ground-effects era. Regarding McLaren’s strong performance, Hamilton clarified that it was not a setback but rather a reminder for Mercedes to step up their game.
He further anticipated that McLaren would likely maintain their advantage over Mercedes in the race as well. Hamilton acknowledged the difficulty of overtaking both Ferraris and two McLarens, highlighting the challenging nature of the upcoming race.
Hamilton dismissed his own Q1 spin into the gravel at Stowe and a close encounter with his 2021 title rival Verstappen during a competitive out-lap in damp conditions.