Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen won F1 70th Anniversary GP from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in a fine strategic display.
It was a clean start from pole-sitter Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to lead the way from Lewis Hamilton in 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone despite a brief wheel-to-wheel moment as Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen passed Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg for third.
Teammate Lance Stroll made a move to fifth as he got past Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, who tried to avoid Verstappen and Hulkenberg. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly steadied in seventh as McLaren’s Lando Norris got past Red Bull’s Alexander Albon and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Behind, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel spun after going over the kerb as he just avoided McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, to drop to the back of the field. The field ahead steadied as Red Bull pulled Albon in on Lap 7 for an early stop to switch to the hard compound.
AlphaTauri played the game too, to bring in Gasly as the Frenchman came out just ahead of the Thai racer as in the case to pass him, the Red Bull racer had a moment at Stowe to fall back a bit. At the front, though, the tyres started to fade for the leaders.
Hamilton came under much pressure from Verstappen as Bottas came into to pit on Lap 14 with the Brit also doing it one lap later to give the Dutchman a free air to lead the F1 70th Anniversary GP. The fight was, though, with tyres coming into play.
Despite the pit stop from Bottas and Hamilton, the tyres were not looking good for them with Verstappen going along well. Hulkenberg and Stroll maintained their positions too with Ricciardo behind as the biggest mover in all of this was Leclerc.
The Ferrari racer was running seventh after he passed Gasly and Albon in the pitlane and got track position over Norris on track, with the Brit also making up places on the AlphaTauri and Red Bull drivers in eighth, while the Thai racer kept ninth.
He passed Gasly on track, who had to stop for the second time due to his tyres fading. This helped Renault’s Esteban Ocon to be 10th as he fended off AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat for the last point position. The duo got ahead of Sainz after a slow stop for the Spaniard.
He pitted late but was caught in a slot stop which lost him time and places. At the same time, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi were put under investigation after the Dane went off to pass the Canadian. He was handed a five-seconds penalty.
The battle for the lead, meanwhile, intensified as Verstappen secured net lead of the F1 70th Anniversary GP after stopping on Lap 28 and coming ahead of Hamilton while he just came behind Bottas. It wasn’t for long as the Dutchman passed the Finn to stay ahead.
While Verstappen led the way and second stops starting, the fight for the last remaining points position intensified with Ocon leading Kvyat, Ricciardo, Sainz and Vettel. The Russian made the move on the Frenchman with the Spaniard trying on the Australian.
Kvyat got through as Ricciardo spun around in the right-hander when Sainz came at him around the outside. The Australian dropped behind him, Vettel and even Albon, who already stopped the second time. The Renault driver had to stop for the third time.
With about 12 laps remaining, Hamilton led the way in F1 70th Anniversary GP having done just the lone stop as Verstappen and Bottas steadied behind him. Leclerc was fourth – also with the one stop – with Hulkenberg and Stroll in the Top 6.
The Canadian was being caught up by Albon in seventh with Ocon hanging on in eighth from Norris and Kvyat, who had his teammate Gasly fighting for the last point while Vettel ran 12th from Sainz, Ricciardo and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in Top 15.
Verstappen got back into lead after Hamilton pitted to drop to fourth behind Leclerc but reeled him in to pass for third as Hulkenberg surprised everyone with a third stop to change to soft as Albon was catching him and Stroll at a faster pace.
With Verstappen leading, Bottas lost out to Hamilton for second but the Dutchman had it under control to win the F1 70th Anniversary GP from the two Mercedes drivers with the Brit ahead of the Finn to extend his 2020 championship lead.
Leclerc hung on to fourth with the one-stop strategy as Albon fought back to fifth from Stroll and Hulkenberg, where the German lost track position to his teammate. It was a one-stop run for Ocon too in eighth, keeping off Norris by under a second.
AlphaTauri’s Kvyat got the final point in 10th after resisting teammate Gasly as Vettel was 13th from Sainz with Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Haas’ Romain Grosjean, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, Williams’ George Russell and Latifi rounding the 19 finishers.
Everyone from Ricciardo until Latifi finished a lap down on the leader with Haas’ Magnussen the sole retirement in the F1 70th Anniversary GP.