Verstappen & Red Bull End Mercedes Dominance

Max Verstappen celebrates after winning Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Photo)
Max Verstappen celebrates after winning Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Photo)

SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom – Max Verstappen and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing put an end to the dominance of Mercedes with an emphatic victory during Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.

Managing his tires carefully, Verstappen was able to move his car to the front of the field while the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton pitted early to switch to fresher tires.

Bottas was the first to pit for tires on lap 14, with Hamilton following one lap later. That moved Verstappen to the point for the first time. Verstappen built a big advantage on the pursuing Mercedes duo while in front, growing his lead enough to theoretically pit and not give up the top spot.

Verstappen pitted on lap 27 for medium tires, but a slightly slow stop allowed Bottas to just beat him off the pit lane. Bottas’ return to the front was brief, as Verstappen quickly dispatched him to regain the lead.

The pit stop cycle continued shortly thereafter, with Verstappen leading Bottas back into the pits for hard tires. Verstappen stayed in front of Bottas out of the pits while Hamilton waited to make his final stop, inheriting the lead as a result.

Hamilton made what would be his final stop on lap 42, handing the lead back to Verstappen. The Red Bull driver remained out front for the remainder of the distance, earning the ninth Grand Prix victory of his career and the first of the season for Red Bull.

“It’s a great day and I’m very happy with the result as we did everything really well as a team. The race showed we had the right strategy after our decision to qualify on the hard tyre and I’m pleased it paid off,” said Verstappen. “I think the length and pace of our first stint was the key to being competitive as the mediums don’t last that long, so starting on the hard was definitely the right call. We can see the car works well on softer compounds, especially in the race, and it looks after its tires. When you are able to overtake and pull away from a Mercedes it is really satisfying.

“Of course, I hope this will happen a lot more throughout the season and we’ll keep pushing them hard even though they have been the dominant team up until now. We’ll keep pushing, we have a really good team spirit and I love that we never give up and do take risks. We will enjoy today because everyone deserves it after all the hard work, before focusing our attention on next week’s race in Barcelona.”

Hamilton used his fresh tires to hunt down Bottas in the closing stages, taking second on lap 50 of 52. The Mercedes pair finished in that order, with both drivers complaining of blistered tires in the closing laps.

Charles Leclerc completed the race on one stop, conserving his tires enough to finish fourth for Ferrari. Red Bull’s Alexander Albon completed the top-five.

Lance Stroll finished sixth for Racing Point, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing seventh in the second Racing Point after starting third. Renault’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Lando Norris and AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat completed the top-10.