Lando Norris has Silverstone crowd in hysterics after Max Verstappen ‘ruins everything’

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris with Max Verstappen. Spain June 2023.

McLaren driver Lando Norris walks with Max Verstappen before the drivers' parade at the 2023 Spanish GP.

Lando Norris and his home crowd thought pole for the British Grand Prix was in the bag, until Max Verstappen went and killed the vibe.

The weather around Silverstone made for a tricky qualifying session, with areas of drizzle in Q1 and Q2 meaning there was no time to waste for drivers getting their times on the board.

Conditions improved through Q2 and into Q3, meaning as the track ramped up, pole felt like it was anyone’s to take.

Verstappen had put himself in the familiar spot of provisional pole, but as the times continued to tumble, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc came oh so close to snatching P1 from Verstappen, before home hero Norris in the McLaren went and did exactly that.

The home fans barely had time to celebrate though before Verstappen struck back to claim pole at Silverstone, though Norris lifted the mood of the British crowd with some humour in the post-session interviews, joking that Verstappen always “ruins everything”.

“I was close you know! Norris declared. “I was P1 in Q1, and close, two-tenths to P1 in Q3, so pretty insane. My last lap was a good lap.

“Great for myself, but also for both of us to be second and third was pretty amazing for the whole team.

“It’s always Max, he always ruins everything for everyone! I’m very happy and of course a big thanks to the whole crowd here, it’s been a very special day for us.

“It makes up for everything you know, all the hard work that we’re putting in, especially here with the new livery, home race for the team for myself, we couldn’t have had a better result today.

“Apart from Max, again he ruins everything, but the rest was pretty amazing.”

Piastri spoke of how after nearly failing to clear the Q1 hurdle, the McLaren then became a “rocket ship” as he went on to fly to P3 on the grid.

“Very happy, what a qualifying session,” he declared. “We were almost out in Q1 and then the car was a rocket ship in Q2 and Q3.

“Feel like I put a pretty good lap together, so massive result for the team as well. To consistently have both of us up here is is a mega result. Now just got to try and stay there for tomorrow.”

If either Norris or Piastri were to score a podium finish on Sunday, then it would be McLaren’s first since the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP.

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