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Formula 1 British GP

Verstappen felt like "drifting" in slow F1 British GP start

Max Verstappen felt like he was "drifting" at the start of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, as the Red Bull driver lost the lead to McLaren's Lando Norris.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, the rest of the field at the start

Verstappen was jumped off the line by Norris to the delight of the home fans in attendance at Silverstone, which also let Piastri get close to the Red Bull driver.

Norris led the first four laps of the race and managed to resist any early efforts from the Dutchman, but Verstappen managed to make his way back past on lap 5 with a move on Norris at Brooklands.

Speaking about his slow start, Verstappen explained that the wheelspin off the line created a race that was not "straightforward" and simply tried to avoid any further incidents in the opening corners.

"I had a bad start, a lot of wheelspin, so I had to work my way up again to Lando," Verstappen said. "It took a few laps, then also took a few laps to cool down the tyres again in the lead, because Lando came back at me again with DRS.

"As soon as that [wheelspin] happens, of course you lose so much drive all the way to Turn 1. When Lando was in front I just tried to stay out of trouble in Turns 3 and 4.

"Then I had a little battle with Oscar into Copse, and I had to stay on the outside. But it all worked out."

Verstappen reckoned that the lack of grip that he faced during the start was similar to drifting around the circuit as part of his pre-event marketing commitments.

He suggested that it at least made his race more exciting at the start, before he settled into his usual rhythm out in front.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, the rest of the field at the start

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, the rest of the field at the start

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"I was doing a bit of drifting on Thursday with marketing, and it felt like I was doing that also in the start, which wasn't very good. That was just very, very bad," he explained.

"So, we'll look into that, because I think the last few starts were actually a lot better. And then today wasn't that great, but at least it made it a bit more exciting. I had to push for it."

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Red Bull principal Christian Horner suggested that the second-place grid slot had historically offered more benefit around the Silverstone circuit, but that both he and his team remaining calm in the opening laps helped turn around the poor start.

"Historically here, second place has tended to get the better start. But Lando and particularly Piastri had a flier. But it was then a question of just making sure we stayed cool and then Max was able to make the pass a few laps later," Horner added.

"Max will want to understand. And then he'll want to know the facts and how we can better. My thoughts were, 'OK, that's not great'. At least he came through Copse.

"Once we came through Copse I thought, 'OK, now I'll go over to the pitwall.' And from there, it was just a matter of settling in and staying within the DRS."

Additional reporting by Matt Kew and Jonathan Noble

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