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Verstappen wins F1’s 70th Anniversary GP; ends Mercedes’ victory streak

9th Aug 2020 10:00 pm

Max Verstappen defeats Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at Silverstone to become the first non-Mercedes driver to win a race this season.

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen became the first non-Mercedes driver to score a race win this year after using a combination of good strategy and masterful tyre management to win the 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone.

  • Verstappen crossed the line 11.326 secs ahead of Hamilton
  • Valtteri Bottas, who started from pole, was 3rd.

Verstappen triumphs as Mercedes struggle in the heat

Polesitter Valtteri Bottas was able to fend off his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton off the line to hold onto the lead. Behind the pair, Verstappen made quick work of Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg to move up to 3rd place.

The Red Bull driver was the only one in the top 10 to start the race on hard tyres. That’s something that played into his favour as it became evident that Mercedes were struggling with tyre wear in the torrid conditions. At one point, Red Bull even instructed Verstappen to hold back and look after his tyres, only for the Dutchman to snap back with “This is the only chance of being close to the Mercedes. I’m not just sitting behind like a grandma”.

Verstappen eventually inherited the lead when both the Mercedes drivers pitted for fresh rubber. But even on the fresher, more durable tyres, both Bottas and Hamilton started struggling with blistering. In fact, Verstappen was consistently lapping around a second faster on older tyres at the time.

Red Bull then pitted Verstappen for mediums on lap 26. This briefly allowed Bottas to take the lead, but that didn’t last for long, with Verstappen overtaking him around the outside at Luffield. When Bottas was called in to pit a few laps later, Red Bull decided to go for an out-of-the-box strategy and also pitted Verstappen to cover him off.

Hamilton, on the other hand, ran an extended second stint. Wanting to avoid a repeat of the last race, where Hamilton won the 2020 British GP on just three wheels, the team finally pitted him with 10 laps to go. This Helped Hamilton wage a late-race surge and he passed both, Charles Leclerc and Bottas to finish 2nd overall.

Out at front, Verstappen cruised to victory to hand Red Bull Racing its first win at Silverstone since 2012. “I didn’t see it coming! But after the first stint, it seemed like we were really good on tyres. Of course then there was a question mark on how Mercedes is going to go on that hard tyre. We had a lot of pace in the car, I didn’t really have a lot of tyre issues, we just kept pushing,” he said after the race.

“An incredible result to win here, we had a great day, everything worked out well, we had the right strategy, everything was running smooth and I’m incredibly happy to win.”

Leclerc’s tyre management masterclass

Ferrari may not have had the pace of its closest rivals, but Charles Leclerc was one of the few drivers to make a one-stop strategy work. His 4th place finish earned some valuable points for the team on a day where his team mate Sebastian Vettel failed to score any points.

Vettel spun at the start after catching some wheelspin on the kerb and could only recover to finish 12th.

Red Bull’s other driver Alexander Albon once again had to claw his way up the order after starting from 9th place. But he secured a commendable 5th place finish after overtaking Lance Stroll on the very last lap.

Podium finish evades Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg’s 3rd place qualifying result gave Racing Point a reason to cheer in the aftermath of Renault winning their protest against the team. Racing Point was fined €400,000 and had 15 points deducted from its tally as a result.

However, the German driver was unable to convert his qualifying form into a podium finish. After reporting significant vibration towards the end of the race, Racing Point opted to pit him for a third time and he finished 7th.

Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris and Daniil Kvyat wrapped up the top 10.

What does the F1 2020 drivers’ standings look like?

Hamilton yet leads the championship by 30 points, but Verstappen’s victory has elevated him to 2nd place overall, four points ahead of Bottas.

Next up is Leclerc (28 points behind Bottas), while Norris stands 5th overall, a further seven points adrift.

This week’s race – aptly named the 70th Anniversary GP - was a nod to the first F1 world championship race which was held at Silverstone in May 1950.There’s no break in action as the F1 grid will now head to Barcelona next week for the Spanish GP. With hot temperatures forecast at the venue once again, it could throw in some added challenges for Mercedes.

2020 F1 70th Anniversary GP results

POS

DRIVER

CAR

LAPS

TIME/RETIRED

1

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

52

1:19:41.993

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

52

+11.326s

3

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

52

+19.231s

4

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

52

+29.289s

5

Alexander Albon

Red Bull Racing

52

+39.146s

6

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

52

+42.538s

7

Nico Hulkenberg

Racing Point

52

+55.951s

8

Esteban Ocon

Renault

52

+64.773s

9

Lando Norris

McLaren

52

+65.544s

10

Daniil Kvyat

AlphaTauri

52

+69.669s

11

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

52

+70.642s

12

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

52

+73.370s

13

Carlos Sainz

McLaren

52

+74.070s

14

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

51

+1 lap

15

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo

51

+1 lap

16

Romain Grosjean

Haas

51

+1 lap

17

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

51

+1 lap

18

George Russell

Williams

51

+1 lap

19

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

51

+1 lap

NC

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

43

DNF

 

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