Red Bull ended a eight race Silverstone drought as Max Verstappen executed the alternative strategy to win a hot 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Having begun on hard tyres whilst rest of front runners started on softs on a track soaked in temperatures of over 40 degrees, Verstappen soon placed Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton under pressure as he ran long until his first stop at end of lap 26.
Verstappen re-joined alongside Bottas but quickly reclaimed the lead with an outside move around Luffield, before calmly controlling the race to take victory, after Hamilton made his second stop.
Verstappen commented post-race on his win as a “great result” for the team whilst expressing surprise at the fact that he “didn’t have many tyre issues at all.”
Hamilton ultimately finished second ahead of Bottas as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc executed an one stop strategy to finish fourth, ahead of Alex Albon and the two Racing Point cars of Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg.
Renault’s Esteban Ocon recovered from 14th position on grid to finish eighth ahead of Lando Norris and Daniil Kvyat who rounded out the top ten.
Hamilton however still leads the drivers’ championship by 30 points as Verstappen moved above Bottas into second position with his win, whilst Sergio Perez sits eighth despite missing the last two rounds as he self-isolated after a positive COVID-19 test.Embed from Getty Images
Bottas got a clean start ahead of Hamilton as Verstappen blasted past Hulkenberg to settle into third, as Sebastian Vettel spun at the first corner after suffering wheelspin on his hard tyres.
Hamilton proceeded to push Bottas in the opening stages but both drivers who fell into the clutches of Verstappen, who had qualified from Q2 on hard tyres with Bottas pitting first ahead of Hamilton at end of laps 13 and 14 respectively.
Verstappen soon began to push and opened up an over 18 second gap on Bottas by his pit stop for mediums at end of lap 26, only for a slow right rear fitting to hinder his stop as Verstappen re-joined just behind Bottas.
Bottas’ tyres however were in poor shape which allowed Verstappen to sweep around the outside of Luffield to retake the lead and push until he and Bottas pitted six laps later for fresh hard tyres.Embed from Getty Images
Vettel meanwhile complained to Ferrari about their tyre strategy putting him in traffic against competitive midfield drivers, with the German eventually finishing 12th to cap off a disastrous ten days around Silverstone.
Hamilton meanwhile stayed out for nine further laps, which consequently handed Verstappen the lead and eventual victory, ending a eight race winless drought around Silverstone since Mark Webber won the 2012 British Grand Prix for Red Bull.
Hamilton once pitted unleashed a charge on the one-stopping Leclerc and soon got through for a record equalling 155th podium with a move up the inside of Stowe on lap 45, before setting off in pursuit of Bottas.Embed from Getty Images
Bottas was instructed by to race Hamilton cleanly but conceded second into Brooklands as the Brit on fresher tyres got DRS along Wellington Straight to help him make the move round the outside of Bottas.
Further down the order, Albon recovered from an early pit stop to finish fifth with various moves through Copse as Stroll and Hulkenberg completed the top seven, ahead of Ocon who fended off Norris and Kvyat for eighth.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||52||1h 19.41.993|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||52||+ 11.326|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||52||+ 19.231|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||52||+ 29.289|
|5||Alex Albon||Red Bull||52||+ 39.146|
|6||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||52||+ 42.538|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Racing Point||52||+ 55.951|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Renault||52||+ 64.773|
|9||Lando Norris||McLaren||52||+ 65.544|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||52||+ 69.669|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||52||+ 70.642|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||52||+ 73.370|
|13||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||51||+ 74.070|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||51||+ 1 Lap|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||51||+ 1 Lap|
|16||Romain Grosjean||Haas||51||+ 1 Lap|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||51||+ 1 Lap|
|18||George Russell||Williams||51||+ 1 Lap|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||51||+ 1 Lap|