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Couple of important learnings from the 70th Anniversary GP of Formula 1

NEWS STORY
12/08/2020

As is the case with majority of birthdays that fall during the present times, Formula 1, which came into existence on May 13, 1950, had to wait considerably long to celebrate its 70th anniversary, however, was rewarded adequately on August 9.

There were fears that this Grand Prix would unfold exactly like the British Grand Prix which was held at the same venue a week earlier. However, those fears were put to rest, with Max Verstappen coming out on top for the Red Bull racing team. Going by some of the top-rated betting sites, the Belgian-Dutch driver was never even the favourite to win the race, but surprised everyone with his performance. Let's talk about couple of major learnings from the 70th anniversary GP of Formula 1.

The surprise victory of Max Verstappen

Before the start of the race, Verstappen didn't seem too interested in the idea of softer tyre compounds and warmer temperatures being good enough to match Mercedes at the Silverstone racing circuit. As per his statement, the temperatures were not expected to impact the speed during the qualifying stage. But later on, that's exactly what helped the Red Bull racing score a win on Sunday.

Foundations were laid for Verstappen's memorable victory with the help of a hard tyre during Q2 on Saturday. The tyre was chosen also because of durability fears associated with the mediums, something that became evident in Hamilton's and Bottas' struggles before their first pit stops. Although Bottas was able to neutralise some of Vesrtappen's advantage by pitting for fresh hard tyres, their life soon started falling off a cliff. The tyre degradation in Verstappen's case plateaued nicely, enabling him to build a bigger gap with both the Mercedes cars behind him.

He remained calm and always seemed like having extra time on hand, well evident in his late push to cover a potential one-stop from Lewis Hamilton. Not just that, he even checked with this engineer during the final lap to confirm his hydration levels. It won't be wrong to state that of all his 9 victories so far, barring the debut win he scored for Red Bull, this one on the F1's 70th anniversary GP is the most surprising!

Mercedes proves it's no longer infallible

Considering the dominance shown by Mercedes W11 and the unique circumstances of the ongoing F1 season, a perfect season was always on the cards for Mercedes racing team. What's interesting is that the first defeat of Silver Arrows didn't come because of a double DNF or a crash, but due to extreme tyre blistering!

As per Toto Wolff, the Mercedes Team principal, none of their cars was the quickest, or even second quickest on the race day. Nevertheless, they will carry out a comprehensive analysis of the reasons behind the tyre issues, to prevent its repeat at any of the future races. The Sunday race at Silverstone clearly proved that there is indeed a weak spot when it comes to Mercedes W11.

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