Max Verstappen secures 9th career victory at the 70th anniversary grand prix

Max Verstappen secured his first Grand prix victory at Silverstone as...

Max Verstappen secures 9th career victory at the 70th anniversary grand prix

Max Verstappen secures 9th career victory at the 70th anniversary grand prix

Max Verstappen secured his first Grand prix victory at Silverstone as he became the first non-Mercedes driver to win a race in 2020, the Red Bull racer out pacing the   pairing of Lewis Hamilton and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Verstappen had been the only driver in the top 10 to begin the race on the hard tyres. And after starting P4 – which became P3 by Turn 1, after he quickly passed the Racing Point of Nico Hulkenberg managing his pace brilliantly throughout the race, pressuring the Mercedes early on before taking the lead from Bottas with a brilliant move around Luffield, before racing to the finish for his first victory since Brazil last year – and Red Bull’s first at Silverstone since 2012.

Hamilton enjoyed a late pass on his team mate with two laps to go into Brooklands to claim second place – equaling the number of podium finishes of Michael Schumacher in the process – while it was the second time in three years that Bottas has failed to convert a Silverstone pole into a win, as he came home third.

Charles Leclerc was another driver to manage his tyres well, making a one-stop work to claim a fine P4, while team mate Sebastian Vettel could only manage P12, having spun on his own at the first corner of the race.

Alex Albon took fifth for the second Red Bull, passing the Racing Point of Lance Stroll with a lap to go, Stroll ending up P6 ahead of stand-in team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who stopped late on for soft tyres.

Rounding out the top 10, Esteban Ocon was P8, ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris and the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat, who despite his lower starting position, finished one spot ahead of team mate Pierre Gasly to take his second point of the season.

RACE BREAKDOWN

Polesitter Bottas was calm and assured off the line, leading Hamilton into Turn 1, while Verstappen was past Hulkenberg before Abbey to take P3. Further back, Sebastian Vettel began on wrong foot ruined any advantage of starting P11 on the hard tyres by spinning on his own through Turn 1, relegating him to the back of the pack immediately.

Daniel Ricciardo had maintained his fifth position, but trying to go around the outside of Hulkenberg at The Loop, got squeezed by the German, Ricciardo’s stutter on the throttle allowing Lance Stroll past for fifth. Up ahead, Hamilton had a whiff of an overtake on Bottas going into Brooklands, but Bottas held the corner, before settling into a rhythm at the head of the pack, just over a second up from Hamilton.

George Russell and Charles Leclerc were two other fallers at the start, Russell briefly dropping behind his team mate Nicholas Latifi despite starting three places ahead of him, while Leclerc dropped from P8 to P10 – with Lando Norris doing the opposite to get up to P8.

That became P7 when Pierre Gasly was one of the first to pit early doors on Lap 8, trading his mediums for hards as Alex Albon had a lap before, the two drivers the first of several to pit early on.

By Lap 26, the order was Verstappen from Bottas from Hamilton, Verstappen heading the Finn by 19s – theoretically enough for a free pit stop – and making Mercedes sweat, the Dutchman lapping consistently faster than the Silver Arrows despite being on much older tyres, with his team instructing the driver to increase his pace before bringing him in on Lap 27 for mediums.

It wasn’t Red Bull’s finest pit stop, with the right-rear slow on, allowing Bottas to re-take the lead by a few car lengths when Verstappen emerged. It didn’t last long, though, Verstappen jinking to the inside on Bottas on the run down to Brooklands, before braving it out around the outside at Luffield and claiming the lead again – before immediately gapping Bottas by a couple of seconds.

Lower down the order, Albon was in ferocious form, passing Raikkonen with a scintillating move around the outside of Copse, before getting past Gasly at Brooklands and Norris, once again at Copse, before making his second pit stop on Lap 31.

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was slapped with a five-second penalty meanwhile, for re-joining the track aggressively into the path of Nicholas Latifi – while Haas would later retire the car from last place six laps from the end.

Daniel Ricciardo, who’d sniffed a podium after finishing P3 in Free Practice 2, wasn’t having a good time of it, making two pit stops early on, before the Australian spun his Renault at the exit of Village and dropped to P12 on Lap 31. After his own Lap 1 spin, Vettel was not in the best of moods, either, lambasting Ferrari for his own pit stop having put him in an unfavourable gap. “We spoke about it this morning,” he seethed on the radio. “You’ve messed up.”

Verstappen and Bottas both pitted again for hards on Lap 33, Red Bull confident enough to match Mercedes stop-for-stop, meaning that with 15 laps to go, the order was Hamilton – who Mercedes had opted to keep out as long as possible despite the haggard state of his hard tyres – with Verstappen around 10 seconds behind, then Bottas, Leclerc, Hulkenberg, Stroll and Albon, the Racing Points having held on decently after struggling for race pace at the British Grand Prix a week earlier, while having pitted on Lap 18, Leclerc had managed his tyre life beautifully to be up in P4.

Charles Leclerc finished on the podium a week ago, but seemed almost happier with P4 this time around, whooping into his radio after boldly making a one-stop strategy work in one of the drives of the day.

After starting P9, Albon once more had to fight through the pack, but did so with aplomb, picking off Stroll with a lap to go for P5, Stroll then finishing sixth ahead of Hulkenberg, with the German having pitted late on for softs.

Fourth at the British Grand Prix, Ricciardo’s day was more difficult this time around as he wound up P14, but Reanult team mate Esteban Ocon’s performance was better, as he ended up eighth, ahead of the McLaren of Norris and the two AlphaTauris of Daniil Kvyat and Gasly.

UP NEXT

All rodas lead to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix on August 14-16 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

It’s a track where Mercedes have won for the past three years – but with more hot temperatures forecast, and Verstappen in the form he’s in now, could there be some additional pain in Spain to come for the Silver Arrows?

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POS

NO

DRIVER

CAR

LAPS

TIME/RETIRED

PTS

1

33

Max Verstappen

RED BULL RACING HONDA

52

1:19:41.993

25

2

44

Lewis Hamilton

MERCEDES

52

+11.326s

19

3

77

Valtteri Bottas

MERCEDES

52

+19.231s

15

4

16

Charles Leclerc

FERRARI

52

+29.289s

12

5

23

Alexander Albon

RED BULL RACING HONDA

52

+39.146s

10

6

18

Lance Stroll

RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES

52

+42.538s

8

7

27

Nico Hulkenberg

RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES

52

+55.951s

6

8

31

Esteban Ocon

RENAULT

52

+64.773s

4

9

4

Lando Norris

MCLAREN RENAULT

52

+65.544s

2

10

26

Daniil Kvyat

ALPHATAURI HONDA

52

+69.669s

1

11

10

Pierre Gasly

ALPHATAURI HONDA

52

+70.642s

0

12

5

Sebastian Vettel

FERRARI

52

+73.370s

0

13

55

Carlos Sainz

MCLAREN RENAULT

52

+74.070s

0

14

3

Daniel Ricciardo

RENAULT

51

+1 lap

0

15

7

Kimi Räikkönen

ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI

51

+1 lap

0

16

8

Romain Grosjean

HAAS FERRARI

51

+1 lap

0

17

99

Antonio Giovinazzi

ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI

51

+1 lap

0

18

63

George Russell

WILLIAMS MERCEDES

51

+1 lap

0

19

6

Nicholas Latifi

WILLIAMS MERCEDES

51

+1 lap

0

NC

20

Kevin Magnussen

HAAS FERRARI

43

DNF

0

* Provisional results. Note - Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Magnussen received a 5-second time penalty for leaving the track and rejoining unsafely.

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