F1: Verstappen Storms To Anniversary Grand Prix Victory In Britain

Max Verstappen celebrating a triumphant win at Silverstone. Image sourced from © Getty Images.

Verstappen Wins As Mercedes’ Struggle In Silverstone Heat.

The Mercedes’ Slayer

Max Verstappen soared to victory in F1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

The Dutchman’s masterclass saw him claim a ninth career victory, Red Bull’s first at Silverstone since 2012.

Verstappen: “We had a lot of pace in the car. We kept pushing. We had a great day… we had the right strategy. I tried to put the pressure on [Mercedes] and they had to pit.”

Valtteri Bottas retained the lead from team-mate Hamilton off the line, with Verstappen on harder tyres passing Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg for third.

Despite starting on the hard tyre Verstappen was able to prompt himself into third place off the start as he set out to hunt down the Mercedes. Image sourced from @RedBullRacing via Twitter.

It came apparent very quickly that the Mercedes were going to struggle on tyres, the German outfit warning Bottas of his front left tyre being ‘critical’ only lap six.

Mercedes opted to pit Bottas just seven laps later on lap 13, with Hamilton coming in on the following lap.

Subsequently promoting Max Verstappen into lead as he started on the harder compound.

Despite their early stops Mercedes’ tyre woes only worsend as blisters appeared on both cars just a few laps into their second stint.

With Verstappen out in front, lapping faster on his starting tyre than both Mercedes on their fresh set. Red Bull extended his opening stint.

The Milton Keynes based team pitting Verstappen Lap 27, fitting the medium compound of tyre.

A slow stop briefly saw them lose the lead to pole-sitter Bottas.

A rare slow pit-stop for Red Bull allowed Valtteri Bottas to regain his lead briefly. Image sourced from @MercedesAMGF1 via Twitter.

However, Verstappen made quick work of Bottas’ W10. Both Verstappen and Bottas then pitted again on Lap 33, allowing Lewis Hamilton to take the lead.

A Risk Too Far

With a fifteen second buffer to second and seventeen laps to the flag, Mercedes initially leaned towards the option of one-stop strategy.

But Hamilton was quick the question the strategy to avoid a repeat of last weekend.

Now with knowledge the Mercedes were considering a one-stop, Verstappen got the go ahead to pursue Hamilton.

Hamilton eventually pitted on Lap 41, the Brit rejoining behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth.

With eleven laps to go, Hamilton fought his way up second, passing both Leclerc & Bottas in the process.

Hamilton: “Congratulations to Red Bull and to Max. They didn’t have the blistering problems on the tyres that we had today.”

“It’s unexpected but I’m sure the team will work out what the issues have been. At the end I was driving with half a tyre. ”

Ferrari’s Saving Grace

Bottas would cross the line in third, taking the final as spot on the rostrum as Leclerc’s Ferrari followed him home in fourth position.

“Very frustrating starting from pole and finishing third.” said Bottas.

“My strategy was far, far from ideal.
I was trying but as soon as I started to push at the end the tyres fell apart.”

Albon Strikes Back

Behind came Thai driver Alexander Albon who performed a flurry of stunning overtakes on his way to fifth place after a qualifying in ninth.

Alex Albon climbing into his RB16 ahead of F1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone. Image sourced from @RedBullRacing via Twitter.

Lance Stroll ended the race in sixth despite trailing Racing Point team-mate Hulkenberg for the majority of the race.

Hulk’s Bad Luck

A vibration was discovered on Hulk’s RP-20 late on, forcing the team to pit in fear of not making the flag.

Due to the unscheduled third pit-stop  Hulkenberg dropped down to seventh in the process.

Nico Hulkenberg was the leading Racing Point car until tyre issues seen him drop down the order. Image sourced from @RacingPointF1 via Twitter.

It is still yet to be seen whether Hulkenberg will race in Barcelona next weekend as Racing Point await updates on Sergio Pérez’s coronavirus status.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. also lost out during his final pit-stop following a wheel gun issue.

The Spaniard almost coming together with Renault’s Esteban Ocon in the pitlane.

“Spin Me Round, Right Round…”

Meanwhile, Ocon’s team-mate Daniel Riccardo dropped out of the points after a spin early on, the Australian only recovering to twelfth , seven places back from where he qualified.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was also a victim after the four-time world champion spun on Lap 1 exiting the first corner after taking too much kerb, which unsettled the rear of the car.

The German yet again failed to score points for the Scuderia as tentions between himself and the team continue to rise both on and off track.

Ocon and McLaren’s Lando Norris took the chequered flag in eighth & ninth respectively.

Whilst Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten for AlphaTauri, securing the final point for the Italian team.

Kevin Magnussen and Nicolas Latifi butted heads as the pair came wheel-to-wheel at Stowe corner when Magnussen attempted to rejoin the track.

The Denmark national was awarded a five-second time penalty as a result.

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