LANDO Norris has ended the first half of the Formula 1 season with a seventh placed finish at the Belgian Grand Prix after a “frustrating” start to Sunday's race.

The 23-year-old, who was raised in Glastonbury and holds Belgian citizenship, started from seventh on the grid but fell down to 10th in the opening stages.

Norris switched from the medium to hard compound tyres without finding any more speed, before another pit stop for soft tyres saw him re-emerge in last place.

He managed to overtake Ferrari's Carlo Sainz and Williams' Logan Sargeant to take P16, before his strong tyre management saw him rise to seventh as others pitted.

He held off a late challenge from Alpine driver Esteban Ocon to secure six more world championship points. 

But Norris says his McLaren's lack of straight-line speed thanks to a high-downforce set-up made it hard for him to defend or attack other drivers throughout the 44-lap race, limiting his ability to increase his points haul. 

After the race, Norris said: “I think we can be pleased with that after the start of the race being frustrating for us. 

“We were just very poor on pace and struggled too much to overtake and defend in the straights.

“So, we were going backwards and backwards in the opening laps.

“We tried many things with the strategy and the only thing to work in the end was to put a soft tyre on and the whole race transformed after that.

“We ended up finishing P7, which was, I think as good as the race could have gone today.

“Tough for the team, but we scored some good points, and we have to take that going into the break.” 

Norris's McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri sustained race-ending damage when Sainz turned into him at the first corner of the opening lap. 

Red Bull's Max Verstappen continued his invincible streak by winning his eighth consecutive grand prix, despite starting from sixth due to a grid penalty after a gearbox change. 

The Dutchman finished 22.3 seconds clear of teammate Sergio Pérez. 

Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc took the final spot on the podium ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who denied Verstappen a bonus point by setting the fastest lap.

Verstappen also won Saturday's sprint race, followed by Piastri and Pierre Gasly. Norris finished in sixth. 

Norris enters F1's summer break in eighth in the drivers' world championship with 69 points, buoyed by consecutive P2 finishes in Britain and Hungary before Belgium. 

His McLaren team are fifth in the constructors' standings after 12 races. F1 will return on August 27 at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands.