Max Verstappen has ended the long-winded Mercedes winning streak today at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, securing his 9th career win, and the first Red Bull victory at Silverstone since 2012.
The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled yet again with the degradation of tyres this weekend, which saw the pair finish out the race in second and third place respectively.
From lights out, Bottas clung to the lead ahead of Hamilton, while Verstappen immediately found his way around the Racing Point in the hands of Nico Hulkenburg launching the Dutchman into third place, a position the Red Bull driver would hang onto for most of the race.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ran into difficulty on lap one, which saw the German driver spin off the track, landing himself in last place, well behind his teammate Charles Leclerc, who finished today’s race in an impressive fourth place after a difficult weekend of qualifying.
So far in the 2020 season, we have seen the Mercedes duo remain strides ahead of the rest, but today they couldn’t shake off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who kept pace with the season favourites with just 3 seconds between them by lap 10.
Lap 24 saw Bottas head for a tyre change allowing his British teammate to take the lead, but it was only a matter of time until Verstappen took the top spot after Hamilton was summoned into the pits.
26 laps in and Verstappen had successfully stretched his lead over Mercedes to 19 seconds, with a one-stop strategy looking likely. The tyres of the Red Bull were holding out well, but with ample time between the RB16 and the two W11’s, Red Bull took their chances and Verstappen entered the pits.
Just as the Dutchman rejoined the track, Bottas flew by to reclaim the lead. His time in front was shortlived as Verstappen overtook almost immediately making full use of his fresh set of Pirelli tyres.
At the halfway point, Hamilton had another shot at the front as Bottas and Verstappen re-entered the pits.
Charles Leclerc was getting the most out of the underperforming Ferrari managing his second set of tyres extremely well, and he ran in fourth place for much of the race.
Meanwhile, Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg was 5th with his teammate Lance Stroll just one place behind him with the pair proving once again that the RP20 has a lot of potential this season.
With just 22 laps to go, Verstappen was closing in on Hamilton once again and on lap 41 was given the go-ahead to push with the gap standing at just 8 seconds.
What looked like becoming a grand-stand finish, swiftly changed as blistering became too great an issue and saw Hamilton return to the pits for another set of Pirellis. Verstappen then took the lead once again with Bottas in second, followed by Leclerc in his Ferrari.
Hamilton emerged from the pits in fourth position and swiftly overtook Leclerc on lap 45, putting himself back in a podium position as he began to gain ground on his teammate in the hopes of finishing in a higher position.
It was clear at this point that record lap times would be needed if he was to have any hope of catching Verstappen before the chequered flag was waved.
Hamilton got close enough to his Mercedes teammate to race wheel to wheel and managed to get around the outside at Brooklands to take second place.
He finished today’s race 11 seconds behind the Red Bull of Verstappen, leaving Bottas in third place ahead of Leclerc in fourth.
Alex Albon finished fifth for the second Red Bull, overtaking the Racing Point of Lance Stroll with just one lap to go, leaving Stroll to finish in sixth ahead of his current teammate Nico Hulkenberg in seventh.
Esteban Ocon was eighth, ahead of Lando Norris in the McLaren and the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat, closing out the top ten in today’s race.
Hamilton remains at the top of the driver’s championship with 107 points but is now followed by Max Verstappen with 77, who jumped ahead of the second Mercedes driver, Bottas, who now sits four points behind at 73.
Racing returns next weekend in Spain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the sixth race of the 2020 season.
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