Lando Norris fastest in first practice for British Grand Prix

Lando Norris bounced back from his collision with Max Verstappen to put his McLaren at the summit of Friday’s practice order for the British Grand Prix.

Norris, who on Thursday retracted his demand for Verstappen to apologise following their coming together in Austria last weekend, finished 0.134 seconds clear of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

Oscar Piastri was third in the other McLaren before he broke down in the closing minutes. Piastri, 0.211 sec behind Norris, was able to limp back to the pits.

Verstappen took fourth spot in his Red Bull, three tenths back, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton fifth and seventh respectively for Mercedes.

Norris has emerged as Verstappen’s closest title contender, and he might have arrived for his home race with three victories on the spin.

A poor strategy call scuppered Norris’ hopes of winning in Canada last month. Norris said his sluggish getaway from pole position – where he dropped from first to third – at the ensuing round in Spain denied him another triumph. Norris then failed to finish in Spielberg after he collided with Verstappen as they duelled for the lead.

The British driver is 81 points behind Verstappen but his pace in the opening running at an overcast, and at times drizzly, Silverstone will provide him with hope of a maiden win on home soil.

Lando Norris finished first practice on top of the pile
Lando Norris finished first practice on top of the pile (David Davies/PA)

Norris survived a hairy moment after he was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid running into the back of Red Bull’s Isack Hadjar – who was standing in for Sergio Perez – as the one-hour session came to a close.

Norris gesticulated with both hands at the 19-year old. “Sorry, mate, I couldn’t see him,” said Hadjar. The flashpoint is being investigated by the stewards.

The running was red-flagged with less than 10 minutes on the clock after Yuki Tsunoda beached his RB at Luffield.

Tsunoda lost control of his machine through the right-hander before spinning into the sandtrap.

British teenager Ollie Bearman, who on Thursday was confirmed as Britain’s fourth driver on the F1 grid in 2025, finished 14th, 1.116 sec off the pace and five tenths behind Nico Hulkenberg in the other Haas.

Second practice gets under way at 17:00.