F1 2020: Verstappen wins 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone as Mercedes get beaten on strategy

Max Verstappen gives Red Bull its first race win this season at the 70th Anniversary GP around Silverstone. Mercedes who started on the front row was outclassed by Red Bulls tyre strategy as Lewis Hamilton takes second with Valtteri Bottas conceding to third place.

By:August 9, 2020 9:05 PM

Red Bull outclassed Mercedes in the only way seemed possible in the race, with a superior tyre strategy. Max Verstappen’s win allowed Red Bull to take their first win of the season at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix which was held the Silverstone circuit which also held the first Grand Prix in 1950, leading to the celebratory name of the event. The race started with Bottas on pole, with Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Verstappen on the grid in that order, but Verstappen starting on the hard compound tyres allowed the unpredictability keeping viewers keenly interested over the course of the 52 lap race. At the start, Bottas led Hamilton into turn one and Verstappen got ahead of Hulkenberg and into third.

The race quickly settled in as all drivers were expected to make two-stop strategies. By lap 8, the first set of cars came into the pits. On lap 13, Verstappen on the harder tyres started to close the gap to Hamilton in second. On lap 14 Bottas pitted to switch from medium to the harder compound tyres, and Hamilton followed the lap after for the same which allowed Verstappen to take the race lead.

Both Mercedes cars started to climb up the order, after rejoining from around sixth position. With Verstappen still on the hard tyres started to pull away from the Mercedes lapping quicker on older tyres as the hotter temperatures saw the two Mercedes cars struggling on the hard tyres.

The answer to the question of how long Verstappen can stay out on the hard tyres was answered on lap 27 with nearly half race distance. Verstappen pitted to the medium tyres and came out behind Bottas, but was able to regain the lead in a matter of corners on the fresher and faster tyres.

But, Red Bull threw a curveball when after a few laps, Verstappen pitted together with Bottas and stayed in front, but Hamilton now took the lead of the race but was still struggling on the degrading tyres. Verstappen was now 2nd and pushing to close the gap to Hamilton, while Bottas was now third.

After Hamilton’s second stop, the Brit came out in fourth behind Leclerc’s Ferrari. Eventually, with the better pace from the Mercedes, Hamilton gingerly moved up to third and started his charge to catch up to Bottas. Hamilton was now comfortable on the fresh set of hard tyres closed in on his teammate with five laps to go as both Mercedes drivers were radioed by their engineers that they were free to race, but to keep it clean.

With two laps remaining, Hamilton with slightly fresher tyres and being more comfortable with the car used the DRS advantage to get ahead of Bottas, but Verstappen was too far ahead for Hamilton to reel in.

Verstappen took the win for Red Bull with Hamilton settling for second and Bottas in third. The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc finished fourth ahead of Alex Albon in the second Red Bull in fifth. Lance Stroll finished sixth, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg who was forced to pit with a few laps remaining as the tyres started to degrade for the German in the Racing Point. Behind Hulkenberg, Ocon, Norris and Kvyat claimed the final championship points for the race respectively making up the top 10. Sebastian Vettel after his spin at the start, and struggling for pace in his Ferrari managed only 12th.

2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Results – Silverstone – 52 laps

1Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:19:41.993
2Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES+11.326s
3Valtteri BottasMERCEDES+19.231s
4Charles LeclercFERRARI+29.289s
5Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA+39.146s
7Nico HulkenbergRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES+55.951s
8Esteban OconRENAULT+64.773s
9Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT+65.544s
10Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA+69.669s
11Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA+70.642s
12Sebastian VettelFERRARI+73.370s
13Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT+74.070s
14Daniel RicciardoRENAULT+1 lap
16Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI+1 lap
17Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI+1 lap
18George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES+1 lap
19Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES+1 lap

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