The inaugural F1 Sprint race went to championship leader Max Verstappen, who leapfrogged pole sitter Lewis Hamilton before streaking away to increase his advantage in the title race.
Silverstone played host to the first of a trio of trial Sprint races, with the top three scoring championship points – while the result of the race would determine the grid for Sunday’s main course.
Hamilton was on pole on Saturday, but he made a poor start and Verstappen – with the brakes on his Red Bull on fire as the lights went out – scorched into the lead.
The Mercedes driver and defending champion attempted to fight back and on two occasions came close to executing the overtake on the first lap, but he was unable to get past his title rival.
Verstappen’s Red Bull was slow on the straights during practice on Friday, but there were no issues in the Sprint race and he was able to comfortably keep Hamilton at bay over the course of the 17 laps.
In taking the chequered flag, Verstappen added three points to his championship total – increasing his advantage over Hamilton who took two points for finishing second. The Dutchman is now on 185 points, with Hamilton on 152.
Valtteri Bottas secured third place, and a single point in the championship.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was the big loser, as he suffered a spectacular spin and although he kept his car out of the wall, it cost him a host of time and he was forced to retire two laps from the finish. He will begin Sunday’s race in 20th place.