LONDON – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Formula One 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.
The Dutch driver ended Mercedes’ grip on the competition at the British track after Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both struggled with tire problems.
It was Verstappen’s ninth victory of his career thanks to his decision to finish Saturday’s qualifier on a hard tire, which gave him a better grip during Sunday’s race compared to the two Mercedes drivers, who were using softer medium tires.
Verstappen said in a statement after the race: “I didn’t see it coming, but after the first stint we seemed really good on tires and we didn’t have many tires 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 tires that seems to suit our car.”
World Championship leader Hamilton came in second after changing tires with 10 laps to go and overtaking Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth, and his teammate Bottas in the last five laps.
The British driver has 107 points, 30 more than Verstappen who is second in the World Championship.
Hamilton said in a statement: “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’m grateful to have progressed like I did. I was pushing pretty heavily.”
Bottas, who started in pole position but finished third, described the race as “very frustrating.”
“As a team we were sleeping at some points, Red Bull’s strategy was far better and we have to look at this,” he added in a statement.
“There was a chance to keep up with Max, but as soon as I pushed the tires falls apart.”
The top 10 was completed by Alexander Albon for Red Bull, Lance Stroll with Racing Point and his German partner Nico Hülkenberg, Renault’s Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris of McLaren and Alpha Tauri’s Daniil Kvyat.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, of Ferrari, made a poor start and finished 12th, just ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz who lost several positions after a mistake by his team during his first stop.