It was Mercedes’ race to lose at 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday after Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton clinched the first two starting positions during the qualifiers. And lose they did.
Surprisingly, Hamilton and Bottas finished second and third respectively with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claiming his first win of the season from No. 4 starting position. This was Verstappen’s first win of the season as well as the first Red Bull’s win at Silverstone since 2012’s British Grand Prix.
Verstappen got the win thanks to the fact that he was more aggressive than the Mercedes duo and more willing to push his tires to the maximum. At one moment, Red Bull’s engineers advised the 22-year-old Dutchman to manage the tires, but he wasn’t having it. This proved to be the crucial moment in the race, as it gave Verstappen the push he needed to get to the first position.
Hamilton and Bottas, on the other hand, both had to be careful with their tires as they experienced blisters towards the end.
“We had a lot of pace in the car,” said Verstappen. “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.”
With this win, Verstappen got to 77 points and No. 2 on World Drivers’ Championship standings, jumping over Bottas. Hamilton is still first with 107 points.