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Formula1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix as it unfolded

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Formula 1: Verstappen
Picture Source: Twitter

Max Verstappen broke the four-race winning streak of the Mercedes in this season at the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in a race that was dominated by tyre and strategy. Equaling the Ferraris great Michale Schumacher’s record of 155 career podium finishes Hamilton finished second ahead of his teammate Valteri Bottas and standing 30 points clear of Max Verstappen.

Max was quicker through the span of 52 laps than Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. In any case, with regards to a season that has been ruled by Mercedes, and on a circuit where Mercedes looked unbeatable (up until a last-lap tyre drama) only seven days back, that is definitely not an agreeable answer.

Team Red Bull decided to start on the hard set of tyres, who were on an opposite strategy to the Mercedes who were on Medium set of shoes having Lewis Hamilton and Valteri Bottas being the pole sitters for the 70th Anniversary edition.

A day before the race the Dutchman had predicted that his hopes of taking advantage and making a good getaway will rest on the tyre difference as compared to others. He did as he said taking on the Racing Points Nico Hulkenberg for third through turn 1.

From then there is nothing that stopped the Dutchman, even his engineer Gianpiero Lambiase when they asked him to pull back. “Max we are a little bit close for tyres at this stage. Just pull back.” Before relying on the radio: “Mate, this is the only chance of being close to a Mercedes, I’m not just sitting around like a grandma!”

This decision ultimately paid off as he saw the Mercedes duo shredding rubber badly all over the track trying to keep a high pace and Max at bay. Mercedes had to give way eventually to a machine who’s tyres were holding up well, with the strategy Red Bull had and to lock off the first Silverstone victory since 2012.

I didn’t see it coming!” said an excited Verstappen afterwards. “But after the first stint, it seemed like we were really good on tyres. Of course, then there was a question mark: ‘How are Mercedes going to go on that hard tyre?’

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But we had a lot of pace in the car, I didn’t really have a lot of tyre issues, we just kept pushing. 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,” he said.

A day to remember for Verstappen

The hard set of tyres that Verstappen started on allowed him to last 26 long laps whereas Bottas and Hamilton swapped to the hard compound tyres on the 13th and 14th laps respectively.  Team Red Bull asked Verstappen to go all – out on the medium set of shoes so as to get the lead back over the struggling Mercedes, also in the process to get the fastest lap of the race before changing them back on to the hard compound on Lap 32 along with Bottas.

So basically we’re just going to fully send it?” asked Verstappen over the radio – also, that is exactly what he did.

Mercedes made sure Hamilton was out until possible trying to push with those shredding rubber, team engineers gave him the much-needed confidence and encouragement for what seems to be a most heart-in-the-mouth kind of moment for the World Champion. He constantly radioed his team asking if he’d be able to continue with those blistering tyres he had. Not to long before he pitted on Lap 41 to have his tyres changed.

Verstappen is the first man to win from a starting position other than pole since Lewis Hamilton in Mexico last year, ending a streak of 7 Grands Prix in a row.

Hamilton was energized by the possibility of a title fight. “It’s great, I want to have races where they are challenging. I am excited to watch this race,” he said. “The Red Bull seems to be quite close in race conditions to us and today it was stronger. It shows they don’t have as bad a package as perhaps people had thought.” “It will be interesting to see their progression through the rest of the year,” he said. “I don’t think it will be easy by any means.”

Meanwhile Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fourth, ahead of Red Bull’s Alexander Albon and the Racing Points of Lance Stroll and stand-in Nico Hulkenberg. Renault’s Esteban Ocon was eighth with McLaren’s Lando Norris ninth and Russian Daniil Kvyat taking the final point for AlphaTauri.

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
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