Max Verstappen took a well-worked 70thAnniversary Grand Prix victory at Silverstone beating Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Despite strating from the front row both Mercedes were hampered by significant tyre degradation during the race, while Verstappen, who started fourth, managed his tyres well to steadily pull away in the final third of the race. The Red Bull driver eventually took his ninth career win with 11 seconds in hand over the lead Mercedes of Hamilton.
At the start, Verstappen made a good getaway and as Bottas fought off Hamilton to hold the lead, the Dutchman powered past third-place starter Nico Hülkenberg as the field swept through Turn 1.
As the opening stint developed Verstappen was able to keep pace with the Mercedes pair but midway through the first phase of the race his race engineer warned that that his tyre temperatures were high and that he should back off. The Dutchman was in no mood to comply and replied that this was his only chance to clear the Mercedes.
Bottas made his first stop on lap 14 and a lap later Hamilton made his switch to hard tyres. Verstappen now led the race, had clean air ahead and began to pull away from the Mercedes cars.
On lap 20 he led Bottas by 13 seconds, with Hamilton third. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth on starting hard tyres, with Hulkenberg fifth ahead of Stroll. Sainz made his stop for medium tyres on lap 23 and he rejoined in 13thplace.
Verstappen made his first pit stop on lap 26 and took on mediums. As he rejoined, Bottas went past and took the lead. The Red Bull driver attacked immediately and the pair went through Brooklands side-by-side. However with more grip, the Dutchman was able to make the move stick and he reclaimed P1.
After a short, quick stint on mediums Verstappen arrowed towards the pits for another set of hard tyres on lap 32. He rejoined in P2 behind Hamilton who needed a second pit stop.
Hamilton, though, stayed out until then end of lap 41 before making his final stop and after taking a set of new hard tyres he rejoined in fourth place as Verstappen once again took the lead. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who had only made one stop, was now third, 2.8s behind Bottas and just 1.7s seconds ahead of hard charging Hamilton who was setting fastest laps.
On lap 45, Racing Point made the odd decision to pit Nico Hülkenberg from P5 for a third time. The German took on a set of softs tyres and rejoined in P7, 12 seconds behind the second Red Bull of Alex Albon.
At the front, with five laps to go, Verstappen led Bottas by 6.8s. Hamilton, though, was closing in, and having dismissed Leclerc he was now third and just two seconds behind his team-mate.
Bottas did his best to defend the position but with little life left in his tyres he was forced to brake earlier than Hamilton into Brooklands on lap 52 and the champion swept past to take P2.
There was no catching Verstappen, however. And two laps later the Dutchman crossed the line with 11.3 seconds in hand over the lead Mercedes with Bottas a further 7.9s behind in third place.
Fourth place went to Leclerc with the Monegasque executing a risky one-stop strategy and behind him Alex finished in a superb fifth place.
In the final laps Albon had closed quickly on the Racing Point of Lance Stroll and with a couple of laps remaining chose the run to Copse to make a move. At full speed he pulled out from behind the Canadian and powered past around the outside of the flat out turn to secure fifth place.
Stroll was forced to settle for sixth place, with team-mate Hülkenberg in seventh after his mystifying late pit stop for soft tyres.
Like Leclerc, Esteban Ocon made a one-stop strategy work to take P8 for Renault ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and the final point on offer was taken by AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat.
2020 FIA Formula 1 70thAnniversary Grand Prix – Race
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 52 1:19’41.993
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 52 1:19’53.319 11.326
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 52 1:20’01.224 19.231
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 52 1:20’11.282 29.289
5 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 52 1:20’21.139 39.146
6 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 52 1:20’24.531 42.538
7 Nico Hülkenberg Racing Point/Mercedes 52 1:20’37.944 55.951
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 52 1:20’46.766 1’04.773
9 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 52 1:20’47.537 1’05.544
10 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 52 1:20’51.662 1’09.669
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 52 1:20’52.635 1’10.642
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 52 1:20’55.363 1’13.370
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 52 1:20’56.063 1’14.070
14 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 51 1:19’48.644 1 Lap
15 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 51 1:20’05.037 1 Lap
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 51 1:20’07.207 1 Lap
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 51 1:20’13.007 1 Lap
18 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 51 1:20’13.889 1 Lap
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 51 1:20’14.496 1 Lap
Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 43 1:08’20.363 Retirement
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