Red Bull claims first as Max Verstappen wins 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to bring Mercedes' domination to an end

Red Bull claims first as Max Verstappen wins 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to bring Mercedes' domination to an end

Red Bull claims first as Max Verstappen wins 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to bring Mercedes' domination to an end
The Red Bull claimed first as Max Verstappen won 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to bring Mercedes' domination to an end. Verstappen's win was founded on his car being kinder to its tyres than the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and the Dutchman capitalised brilliantly. Hamilton fought back from early struggles to catch and pass Bottas for second place with two laps to go.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was outstanding in taking fourth on a one-stop strategy.It was an unexpectedly thrilling race, a fitting testament to the occasion as F1 celebrated 70 years since the F1 championship started at Silverstone in 1950.Verstappen's victory was a major upset and it was helped by a decision to use the hard tyres for the start of the race. But the fact was that their car was simply faster than the Mercedes for the first time this season in the specific conditions created by the deliberate supply of a soft tyre range on a warm day around one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar.

"I didn't see that coming," Verstappen said afterwards. The Mercedes had produced their usual dominant performance in qualifying, a second clear of the field, but Verstappen, choosing the hardest tyre for the start of the race, found he was able to follow them comfortably after he passed Racing Point's Nico Hulkenberg at the start from his fourth place on the grid. Bottas led Hamilton away from pole and, while Verstappen tracked the Mercedes, the black cars, on the softer 'medium' tyres at the start, began to struggle.By 10 laps into the race, the Red Bull was on Hamilton's tail and it was clear the Mercedes had a real race on their hands.

Bottas and Hamilton stopped within a lap of each other on laps 13 and 14, and fitted the hard tyres, but they continued to struggle. Verstappen motored on out front and, surprisingly, despite older tyres, extended his lead as the Mercedes ran into problems with tyre blistering. Verstappen pitted on lap 26 for medium tyres and was again able to hold the Mercedes, with Bottas two seconds behind.

Verstappen then stopped again six laps later to switch back to the hard tyre, and Bottas followed him in, the Finn's hopes of victory now over. Hamilton, though, stayed out for another nine laps. His tyres were blistered badly but he drove well to maintain a gap of around 10 seconds over Verstappen and Bottas. That meant when he finally came in on lap 41, with 11 to go, he had an abundance of grip compared to the cars in front.

He quickly passed Leclerc and then closed in on Bottas, passing him into Brooklands corner with two laps to go. The result, with fastest lap for Hamilton, means he extends his championship lead over Bottas to 34 points, and Verstappen has slipped ahead of the Finn into second place, 30 behind the leader.

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