2024 British GP what to watch for: Will Lando and Max clash again?


Verstappen vs Norris threatens more fireworks at the front of the F1 field, while Carlos Sainz debates his future and Sergio Perez looks to pick up his poor form

2023 British Grand Prix

Norris and Verstappen appear likely to go head to head again at Silverstone

Grand Prix Photo

F1 has hit fever pitch again.

The grand prix circus takes in Silverstone for the British GP this weekend just as the English summer hits its peak – but things are hotting up on-track as well.

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen’s rivalry has built up race-by-race in recent events until finally boiling over in Austria, the two colliding after an intense battle for the lead.

Now the West Country boy goes into his home race with fervent partisan support on a track which has suited the McLaren in recent years – Norris rocketed into the lead off the start in 2023 to an ecstatic roar from the crowd, before ceding to Verstappen.

However, Norris isn’t the most recent Brit to win a race, with George Russell having picked up the pieces at the Red Bull Ring to take his second victory, while Lewis Hamilton can’t be discounted either in a rejuvenated Mercedes.

Things are busy away from the track too. Ollie Bearman has been confirmed at Haas for 2025 and beyond, but the identity of his team-mate is a mystery as Carlos Sainz – the “cork in the bottle” of the drivers’ market – stalls in his choice between Williams, Alpine and Sauber, and other candidates become impatient.

Almost 470,000 avid F1 fans are expected to be in attendance across one of the world championship’s headline events. Veteran grand prix driver and broadcaster Martin Brundle told Motor Sport at its 100th anniversary celebration this week that the 2024 British GP is set to be “mad, mad, mad.” You’d be hard-pressed to doubt him.

Verstappen vs Norris – F1 titans set to clash again

Max Verstappen Lando Norris 2024 Austrian GP

Will Norris and Verstappen come to on-track blows again?

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After battling it out in Imola, Spain and Canada, F1 proceedings came to a head at the Austrian GP as Lando Norris and Max Verstappen collided after several laps of battling for the lead.

The McLaren man was furious in the immediate aftermath: “He was doing things you’re not allowed to do and not getting penalised,” said Norris in Austria.

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“All three times he’s doing stuff which can easily cause an incident. And in a way just a bit reckless – he seemed like a little bit desperate from his side. There’s times when I think he goes maybe a little bit too far.”

While Verstappen refused to take the blame, his team boss Christian Horner defended him, saying McLaren criticism was “wrong and unfair”.

“Certainly, from Max’s side, he’s not going to change,” he said. “There’s an element, I think, of Lando learning how to race Max and they’re discovering that.”

Horner’s McLaren counterpart Andreas Stella claimed post-race that stewards need to enforce harsher penalties, citing Verstappen’s continued aggressive driving a result of not being punished for his 2021 clashes with Lewis Hamilton.

Four days later at Silverstone, and Norris appeared to have come around to Horner’s way of thinking. “I probably said some things I didn’t necessarily believe in,” he told the pre-British GP press conference. “Max has a very different way of racing, compared to a lot of others, and that’s some of the reasons of why he’s a champion. It’s tough. It’s on the limit. It’s what I love. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole fight I had with him. It was a shame things ended the way they did

“I didn’t expect an apology from him. I don’t think he should apologise. I thought it was good racing, at times very close to the edge. But we’ve spoken about it and we’re both racing again.”

With both Red Bull and McLaren looking highly competitive this weekend at the rapid Silverstone circuit, F1 could be set for fireworks again.

Ollie Bearman confirmed at Haas

Ollie Bearman Haas 2025 announcement

Ollie Bearman is in at Haas in 2025 – and drives in FP1 this weekend


As long rumoured, young British star Ollie Bearman has now been confirmed at Haas for 2025 and beyond in a “multi-year deal.”

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The Ferrari junior impressed during his last-minute super-sub appearance for the Scuderia – replacing an unwell Carlos Sainz –  at this year’s Saudi Arabian GP by coming home seventh and holding off Lewis Hamilton.

“It’s hard to put into words just how much this means to me,” he said. “To say out loud that I will be a Formula 1 driver for Haas F1 Team makes me so immensely proud.”

The five-time F2 race-winner first made his mark for Haas in FP1 for last year’s Mexico race, and has six scheduled this season for the team again.

Having already run in Imola and Barcelona, the Brit makes a third appearance at his home race. Will that new contract bounce see him go even faster than before?

F1 driver market rumour mill rumbles on

Sainz Announcement

Frustration in the paddock has built over Sainz deliberation


Carlos Sainz’s continued hesitance on deciding his F1 future has left teams and drivers alike frustrated, as demonstrated across the last few races meetings.

“Carlos is the cork in the bottle – a lot of guys are waiting for him to make a move,” said Kevin Magnussen in Spain.

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The Dane is still under consideration for the second Haas seat, but that appears to be the least-desired on the grid. He and his fellow free agents Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu all await news on Sainz’s decision – and are becoming more disgruntled by the minute.

At first it seemed like Sauber-Audi was going to be the Spaniard’s first choice, before Williams became Sainz’s most likely destination. Then Alpine entered with a late preliminary offer, on the basis that it might have a customer Mercedes engine deal in 2026.

With those other drivers apparently becoming “bored” with Sainz’s deliberating, now Audi and Williams are thought to be looking elsewhere – more rumours could yet emerge across the British GP weekend.

F2 stars to enjoy grand prix limelight at Silverstone

isack hadjar 2024 Austrian GP

Hadjar steps in for Red Bull, as well as several others

Red Bull

Joining Bearman will be a number of other F2 prospects making FP1 appearances at the British GP as teams fill their young driver appearance quotas.

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Red Bull will replace Sergio Perez with Isack Hadjar, the French-Algerian driver currently sitting second in the F2 standings with two wins to his name this year.

Alpine will give a run-out to its junior driver Jack Doohan in place of Pierre Gasly, the son of Australian MotoGP legend Mick gunning to fill the vacancy the team still has for 2025. This will be Doohan’s sixth FP1 run, his first ‘appearance’ this year coming at a washed out Montreal, with the Queensland native having had two free practice goes in 2022 and 2023 each also.

Further back on the grid Williams will put Franco Colapinto in Logan Sargeant’s car. The Italian is fifth in the F2 championship with one victory at Imola.

Can under-pressure Perez rediscover his early 2024 F1 form?

Sergio Perez in 2024 Miami GP paddock

Can Perez get back in the fight?

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Since the F1 battle at the sharp end has become more intense, so Red Bull’s wing man Sergio Perez has been pushed down the order.

After scoring several runner-up positions early on in 2024, the Mexican has found himself scrapping for meagre points offerings as both Ferraris, Mercedes, and McLarens seem to have got ahead on form.

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What this means is that Red Bull has now been regularly outscored at several races. Over the last five GPs, Red Bull has been the third best team with 116 points, while Mercedes has racked up 132 and McLaren 144.

If the trend continues, the team could still be under pressure in the constructors’ battle.

“We’re doing our best to find out what is missing, because the first four or five races were very competitive and whatever has happened to cause him to drop off,” team boss Christian Horner has said.

“We just need to get to the bottom of it and help him recover.”