Race results. F1 70th anniversary GP.
A brilliant drive from Max Verstappen beat the Mercedes duo to win the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing.
Formula 1 gives itself for its seventieth anniversary a wonderful race on the track of Silverstone. On a warm Sunday in August, the softer tires and the higher pressures put the Mercedes in crisis and Verstappen, matured palpably, is ready to take advantage of it with a masterful race. His ability, and his Redbull’s, to manage the tires giving an important pace without ever giving rips or exaggeration bring the young Dutch on the top step of the podium deservedly.
The gap between the two races must have been a nervy time for Pirelli, given what went down last week (see what I did there?), but it stuck to its guns about the softer compounds, way softer than the track demanded.
But in the circumstances of this year’s competitive domination by Mercedes, it made the race. It allowed a compromised package that otherwise wouldn’t have stood a chance to win.
It was an opportunistic win from Red Bull and Verstappen, based upon the foundation of a better tyre strategy and usage.
What they said.
“I didn’t see it coming, but after the first stint we seemed really good on tyres and we didn’t have many tyres 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 tyres – that seems to suit our car.”
“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 was managing the tyres like you couldn’t believe. In the middle stint, one half was bald and the other half was OK. I was afraid it was going to explode.”
“It was very frustrating – starting on pole and finishing third. As a team we were sleeping at some points, Red Bull’s strategy was far better and we have to look at this. There was a chance to keep up with Max, but as soon as I pushed the tyres fall apart. When you have those blisters, you lose cornering grip.”
“I’m so happy, for me it’s like a win. Last year I think my weak point was the tire management. I worked very hard from this point of view: every time I see the results on track is a great satisfaction. I was expecting to arrive eighth, I’m extremely happy. We were very fast with the hard tires, especially towards the end of the stint. I think the strategy played an important role, I pushed the team to try to make a single pit stop. I think everyone was pretty scared after what happened last week, but the strategy worked“.
“I don’t think we have any strong points right now – Binotto’s analysis – it’s true that some teams today have had blistering and we haven’t, but it’s also because they have more aerodynamic load. These are elements that we will analyse. I do not think, however, that in view of Barcelona we have any advantages. We will all go to Spain with the configuration at maximum aerodynamic load and we will see how it goes there”.
Race results. Our marks to the drivers. Verstappen like a lion, Leclerc as marathoner.
C. Leclerc: You weren’t supposed to be able to do this race on a one-stop. You just weren’t. Some had to three-stop! But nobody told Leclerc and Ferrari. This was a massive surprise because Leclerc had suggested he would really struggle, as he had on Friday. Final Mark: 8/10.
L. Hamilton: Given that this was a rare day when his car/tyre combination just wasn’t good enough, Hamilton rescued a second by being proactive. He braved that long second stint to give him the tyre offset he needed to beat his title rival and team-mate, who otherwise was actually quicker this weekend. Final Mark: 7/10
V. Bottas: He will have got out of bed this morning knowing he had every chance of taking a win and gaining some ground on team-mate Hamilton in the championship fight. Instead, he finished third, having been passed late on by Hamilton after being at a strategic disadvantage, and is now staring at an even bigger points deficit. Final Mark: 6/10.
Ferrari: The Scuderia reaches the 4th place with Leclerc and the 12th with Vettel. The Ferrari was running low downforce to try to off-set its straight-line speed disadvantage, so to make a one-stop strategy work was a remarkable achievement. Final Mark: 6/10.
S. Vettel: He will be desperate to see the back of Silverstone. He was mediocre in combat and very unhappy with his team’s strategy, which did seem fundamentally flawed. So it was a painful, point-less run to 12th, and probably Vettel’s worst race of a miserable season. Final Mark: 4/10.
D.Ricciardo: He looked like he would get away with not having two sets of the hards for the race, but he ended up on a medium/medium/hard strategy that pretty much locked in the timing of his second stop to one that put him in traffic. He then spun and ended up finishing 14th, which was scant reward given the improvement the Renault had made. A costly mistake. Final Mark: 5/10.
N. Hulkenberg: Third in qualifying and always ahead of his partner Stroll in the race. The late pitstop looked confounding at first but was, as the team explained, caused by Hulkenberg reporting “a significant vibration”. Racing Point says he was “unlikely to make the flag” otherwise, which would’ve been a far less fitting end to a great weekend. Final Mark: 7/10.
M. Verstappen: What followed was Verstappen at his best: fast, measured, consistent and confident, bordering on cocky. Final Mark: 9/10.