Unapproachable was Mercedes in the first four races of the season, but thanks to a sophisticated tyre strategy Max Verstappen won the Grand Prix of Great Britain for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“I didn’t see this one coming”, the Limburger reacted. “We had a good strategy and everything went flawlessly for us today.”
‘They’re like balloons’
Stepping started the race on the hard tire, which allowed him to postpone the first pit stop longer than the Mercedesses, who had started on a softer tire. “During the first laps on the hard tyre we did well, but then the question is how Mercedes does it on that hard tyre.”
The answer came from Hamilton, who fully acknowledged that his team had many problems with the tyres at the Silverstone circuit. “We didn’t expect to get so many blisters on the tyres. I don’t know yet how that is possible, but the team will work hard on that.”
“Last week Pirelli (the tyre supplier in Formula 1, red) also had problems with it. They supply the tyres with more and more pressure. They are like balloons now. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the reason. But I don’t know if other teams have similar problems with them.”
Thanks to the clever strategy Verstappen was able to make things really difficult for the first time this year. Because although Verstappen was on the podium three times in the previous four races, the Red Bull driver never really took part in the victory.
Only tire problems for both Bottas and Hamilton brought Verstappen close to victory at Silverstone a week ago. However, he could barely enjoy the second place that was thrown in his lap.
This weekend it’s different, now that he has trumped the Mercedesses under his own steam. “It’s unbelievable to win here. It was a perfect day.”
On to Barcelona
Bottas passed in the World Cup standings thanks to the victory and is now in second place. But whether he has a car that can make it structurally difficult for the Mercedes remains uncertain for him.
“Next week we should see it again in Barcelona. Now we should especially enjoy this victory.”