By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) – A confident Lando Norris has Mercedes in his sights ahead of a British Grand Prix the McLaren driver will start with Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen alongside on the second row of the grid.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton line up first and second with Norris third — three Britons in the top three positions in front of their home crowd.

“I’m sure Max is going to be racing us tomorrow, but I’ve still got two other guys I’ve got to worry about, so I don’t care just about Red Bull,” Norris, Verstappen’s closest championship rival, told reporters.

“I think our strategy has been very good over the last two months, so I’m happy. The team are doing a good job and therefore I’m confident we can execute a good race.”

Norris is 81 points behind Verstappen, a gulf in F1 terms, but the wheel-to-wheel duels between the McLaren and Red Bull drivers have revived the sport after a 2023 season in which the champion won 19 of 22 races.

The long-awaited re-emergence of once-dominant Mercedes has added further spice, as has the costly collision between Verstappen and Norris, friends off track, while fighting for the lead in Austria last Sunday.

That incident handed victory to Russell, only the second of his F1 career, and the Briton can now hope for two successive wins for the first time.

Norris still fancied his chances, however.

“It’s going to rain again tomorrow, so I’m excited,” said Norris.

“It’s going to be a good race. We’re quick. I can bring the fight to George and I can bring the fight to Lewis, so excited to put on a good show tomorrow.

“I hope we’re going to have some good battles, so I look forward to it.”

Russell was wary of the threat posed by Norris and Verstappen.

“I think. Realistically we know we’re probably a 10th or two behind Lando and Max, but I think we’ve got a good fight on our hands,” he said.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)

Brought to you by www.srnnews.com