Verstappen outfoxes Mercedes to win 70th Anniversary GP

A strategic masterclass and superb driving from Red Bull and Max Verstappen won them the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the first non-Mercedes win of the season.

He looked strong straight from lights out, the only frontrunner to start on the hard tyres, and once the Mercedes pitted early on it was his race to lose.

The Black Arrows struggled with tyre wear and were unable to unleash the full pace of their car, the only danger was Lewis Hamilton threatening to run a one-stop as he led Verstappen by eight seconds with about ten laps to go.

However, his tyres were heavily blistered and Hamilton pitted, rejoining in fourth behind Charles Leclerc, but he dispatched the Monegasque and then overtook Valtteri Bottas on the penultimate lap around Brooklands.

He also claimed the fastest lap, but the day belonged to Verstappen, who also jumps Bottas in the championship by four points.

After making his first pitstop just after the halfway stage, the Dutchman came out just behind Bottas but was able to pass him within half the lap, getting the move done around the outside of Luffield.

The two drivers pitted again on lap 33 and were two seconds apart when they left the pits, but Bottas was never able to challenge his rival and Verstappen was able to just pull away, eventually finishing 20 seconds ahead.

For the Finn it will be a tough result after starting on pole and looking to be the main Mercedes challenger for the lead for most of the race. He was very down in the post-race interview and wasn’t happy with his strategy either.

Leclerc had a quietly strong race, best of the rest for a second consecutive weekend at Silverstone, finishing fourth as one of the only cars to run a one-stop strategy.

Alex Albon also a much-needed good performance to come home fifth after starting ninth and in 13th after the early pitstops.

He looked to be in trouble at one stage as he struggled to pass Pierre Gasly out of the points, but pulled a series of good overtakes and fastest laps eventually take fifth from Lance Stroll.

After Verstappen passed him at the start, Nico Hulkenberg ran in the top five for most of the race but pitted near the end and dropped to seventh for the chequered flag, one place behind teammate Stroll.

Like Leclerc, Esteban Ocon made the one-stop strategy work and finished eighth. Renault were optimistic coming into the race but weren’t really in the top five battle after Daniel Ricciardo dropped places at the start, then ran off later in the race and had to make three pitstops overall.

Lando Norris was ninth and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten, which will please the Russian after his heavy shunt last week. He finished a second ahead of Gasly in the other AlphaTauri, Gasly’s early pitstop hurt his race.

Sebastian Vettel was the other driver of note, he finished twelfth but his race was compromised from turn one as he spun exiting the corner and has very lucky to avoid contact.

Kevin Magnussen was the only driver to retire, pulling into his garage near the end of the race while the final Brit, George Russell, trailed home 18th.