Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen sealed his first victory of the season in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in Silverstone on Sunday. Verstappen thus ended Mercedes’ dominant start to the season who had won the opening four races. Also Read - F1 Spanish GP 2020: Lewis Hamilton Extends Championship Lead With Dominant Win, Max Verstappen Beats Valtteri Bottas to Claim Second Spot
It was the Dutchman’s ninth career win as his team’s strategy to start with hard compound tyres paid off while others preferred mediums with Formula 1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finishing second while his teammate Valtteri Bottas taking the third spot. Also Read - British Grand Prix 2020: Lewis Hamilton Secures Win Despite Punctured Tyre on The Last Lap
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fourth after managing eighth during the qualifying. His teammate and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel struggled and managed 12th spot. Also Read - Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton Wins Hungarian Grand Prix, Equals Michael Schumacher's Record
“I didn’t see it coming, but after the first stint we seemed really good on tyres and we didn’t have many tyres issues at all. It is a great result to win here and I am incredibly happy. We have not had an opportunity to push them so far this season. We need to use soft tyres – that seems to suit our car,” Verstappen said after his victory.
Hamilton said he feared tyre will give up midway through the race, acknowledging the massive challenge. “It was a massive challenge today but congrats to Red Bull and Max, they didn’t have the problems we had. Unexpected to have blistering as hardcore as we experienced. I was managing the tyres like you couldn’t believe. In the middle stint, one half was bald and the other half was OK. I was afraid it was going to explode,” Hamilton said.
Bottas though was expectedly disappointed having started at the pole and said Mercedes were ‘sleeping’ allowing Verstappen to take over.
“It was very frustrating – starting on pole and finishing third. As a team we were sleeping at some points, Red Bull’s strategy was far better and we have to look at this. There was a chance to keep up with Max, but as soon as I pushed the tyres fall apart. When you have those blisters, you lose cornering grip,” he said.