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70th Anniversary GP: Verstappen wins to end Mercedes run

10/08/20

Mercedes' dominance of the new F1® season was brought to an end.

Max Verstappen stunned Mercedes by guiding his Red Bull to victory at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Mercedes had won the opening four Formula 1® races of the 2020 season, but the brilliant Verstappen ended that run by triumphing from fourth on the grid as his tyre strategy paid dividends.

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas had to settle for third place after being passed late on by team-mate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Charles Leclerc took fourth for Ferrari ahead of Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon and Racing Point's Lance Stroll, with Nico Hulkenberg dropping down to seventh and Sebastian Vettel finishing outside the points.

Verstappen was the only man in the top 10 to start on the hard tyres and made a fine start as he immediately overtook Hulkenberg for third, as Bottas held off Hamilton in an intense opening lap.

The first signs of trouble for Mercedes came on lap six when, a week on from the tyre woes the team suffered at the British Grand Prix, leader Bottas was told his front and rear left tyres were already "critical".

Bottas and Hamilton pitted on laps 14 and 15 respectively, with Verstappen assuming the lead and extending his stint until lap 27, as Mercedes continued to suffer problems even with their fresh tyres.

By the time the Dutchman pitted, he emerged in front of Hamilton and just behind Bottas, who he promptly passed around the outside at Luffield for what proved to be the race-winning move.

Verstappen and Bottas both pitted for a second time on lap 33, giving Hamilton the lead as the Briton briefly pondered trying to limp towards the end without stopping again.

Instead, he prolonged the stint and pitted for fresh tyres, allowing him to sweep past Leclerc and Bottas over the closing stages to claim a second spot and fastest lap that extends his championship lead, as Verstappen celebrated his ninth career victory.

VERSTAPPEN STRATEGY REWARDED

Urged to preserve his tyres early on behind Bottas and Hamilton, Verstappen brilliantly replied to his race engineer, "This is my only chance to be close to the Mercedes, I'm not just sitting back like a grandma!"

That was typical of the determination to fight the 22-year-old always shows, with Red Bull's excellent strategy call and Mercedes' struggles in the heat giving him a welcome chance to shake up the season that he took impressively.

HAMILTON EXTENDS LEAD

While his streak of three straight wins came to an end, Hamilton increased his championship lead from 30 to 34 points over a frustrated Bottas, with Verstappen sandwiching the two Silver Arrows drivers in the standings.

Given his tyres almost forced a retirement last week and he missed out on pole to his team-mate this time around, finishes of first and second and a healthy advantage in the standings represent a productive fortnight in his bid for a seventh world title that could have been a whole lot worse.

VETTEL FRUSTRATION FOR FERRARI

Vettel spun on the first lap after making contact with a kerb, moving him to the back of the field and he later condemned the Scuderia on race radio for putting him back out in traffic after a pit stop.

The German's miserable start to the season continued as he finished 12th, but Leclerc salvaged Ferrari's day with an impressive fourth place to follow his podium last time out.

IN THE POINTS
  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +11.326s
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +19.231s
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +29.289s
  5. Alex Albon (Red Bull) +39.146s
  6. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +42.538s
  7. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point) +55.951s
  8. Esteban Ocon (Renault) +64.773s
  9. Lando Norris (McLaren) +65.544s
  10. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri) +69.669s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
Drivers
  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 107
  2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 77
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 73
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 45
  5. Lando Norris (McLaren) 38
Constructors
  1. Mercedes 180
  2. Red Bull 113
  3. Ferrari 55
  4. McLaren 53
  5. Racing Point 41
WHAT'S NEXT?

The rescheduled season continues to move at a fast pace with round six taking place next week at the Spanish Grand Prix, an event Hamilton has won on the last three occasions in Barcelona.