Guenther Steiner predicts British GP battle between Norris and Verstappen | CAR Magazine

Guenther Steiner predicts British GP battle between Norris and Verstappen

Published: 06 July 2024 Updated: 06 July 2024

► What to expect from this year’s Silverstone race
► Steiner’s take on that Austrian GP race
► Bearman signs to Haas for 2025

It’s that time of year again. The Formula One circus has rolled into Silverstone for the British GP and that means F1 fever has been ratcheting up ahead of Sunday’s race. In addition to the usual events and announcements, this year also saw ex-Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner team up with whiskey brand Buffalo Trace. Why? Because both Buffalo Trace and the Drive to Survive icon regard themselves as ‘Perfectly Untamed,’ apparently. 

But back to the racing: this year’s comes at crucial point in the championship: Max Verstappen may well have one hand on the trophy, but he now has a new, legitimate rival for race wins in McLaren’s Lando Norris. The two came to blows in Austria, and Woking’s race-winning pace means it’ll likely happen again. However, Norris is just one of three British drivers on the grid this year, and all have a chance of winning. 

So what can we expect from this year’s British GP? Here’s what you need to know, with some extra insight from Guenther Steiner.

McLaren and Red Bull are in the hunt 

McLaren’s newfound pace has meant Lando Norris has been there or thereabouts compared to the Red Bull for a while now: He came close in Spain, Canada and Imola and also took the race win in Miami. And it was only a controversial moment of contact with Verstappen in Austria that lost him the race win there.

‘In my opinion, the victory will be battled out between McLaren and Red Bull, Steiner said at a Buffalo Trace event earlier in the week. ‘Lando has come to that level where he wins races against Max, and now I think he seems to get a little bit impatient to win more.’ 

Silverstone will almost certainly have the McLarens up there once again with Max. Both papaya cars finished in the top three in both sessions on Friday, and we’ll almost certainly see Red Bull up there on Saturday too. 

According to Steiner, Norris is now a permanent challenge to Verstappen, not just because of his car – but because of his improved confidence and consistency: ‘Once you’ve won in an F1 car, you’re talented, that doesn’t come from nowhere,’ Steiner explained. 

And he’d pick Norris if there was a choice between the on-form McLaren driver and his Mercedes contemporary George Russell: ‘I would hire Lando at the moment. George is fine, but at the moment Lando has just got this edge. Lando comes with more momentum.’


Silverstone comes off the back of a controversial Austrian GP in which Verstappen’s driving was once again in the spotlight. After laps of late moves and dive bombs, Verstappen and Norris touched, causing damage to both and ultimately resulting in a DNF for Norris and penalty for the three-time champion. 

After the race there were calls for the stewards to do more to penalise and dissuade Verstappen’s aggressive driving, with McLaren boss Andrea Stella suggesting the champion wasn’t penalised enough in his 2021 battle with Lewis Hamilton. A little late, mind.

‘I don’t think Max will calm down,’ said Steiner of the Austrian GP fallout. ‘You will not change Max, the others will have to learn to race like him. Or always be behind.’

‘Lando learned the lesson and said, “next time I need to be racing him as hard as he did me.” Max took risks and he got away with it – but Lando paid. ‘I think Lando learned [a lesson] last weekend. It’s one of those things.’

So what can we expect when the two meet each other on track this weekend? We already know what Max will be like – the same as usual – but it’s possible we’ll see a new, more aggressive Norris, even if his comments ahead of this Sunday’s race seemed more resigned and tame than post-Red Bull Ring. 

What about Mercedes? 

Although Norris is Verstappen’s most consistent challenger right now, it was Mercedes’ George Russell that won the last race. His teammate Hamilton also has an impressive record around Silverstone, so what are the Brackley team’s chances? 

‘I think it’d be difficult for a Mercedes car to win, it’s not down to Lewis,’ said Steiner. ‘But this weekend, you never know if something happens like last weekend in Austria. If the top two fight, the third one is happy.’ 

And finally… 

There was at least some good news for British racing fans before the cars were on track; F2 talent Ollie Bearman was confirmed as driving for the Haas racing team on 2025. The news follows several sessions and tests, as well as an impressive P7 at this year’s Sakhir GP, where Bearman had to stand in for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. 

I think the guy is just mature enough,’ Steiner said when asked about Bearman signing for his old team. ‘You know he’s got the support from Ferrari. There are lots of positives to the guy and obviously he showed them when he raced this year and replaced Carlos. And he’s been at Haas since last year, so he knows the team. That helps a lot as well.’ 

The British GP will begin at 15:00 this Sunday. You can watch it live on NowTV or Sky F1. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes