Max Verstappen seals unexpected victory at Silverstone as Mercedes struggle with tyres

Red Bull driver finishes more than 11 seconds clear to win 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen pulled off an unexpected victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone on Sunday.

The Red Bull driver crossed the line a whopping 11.3 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas third.

Mercedes had been expected to cruise to their fifth win from as many rounds this season. But both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with their tyres as Verstappen claimed an unlikely win.

Charles Leclerc finished fourth for Ferrari ahead of Alexander Albon. Racing Point's Lance Stroll was sixth. Hamilton will head to next week's Spanish Grand Prix with a 30-point championship lead over Verstappen.

After the race, Hamilton said: "That was a massive challenge, but congratulations to Red Bull. It was definitely unexpected to have the blistering as hardcore as that."

Bottas, who started from pole, said: "Very frustrating for me, to start from pole and finish third... It's not ideal and I think that as a team we were sleeping at some points in the race. My strategy was far from ideal."

Hamilton's Mercedes team have been the team to beat this year and, after Bottas beat Hamilton to the first corner, it looked as though it would be a straight fight between the all-black machines.

But Verstappen, who moved ahead of Racing Point's Nico Hulkenberg at the opening bend, remained in pursuit. Both Mercedes cars started on the medium rubber, with Verstappen on the more durable hards.

Verstappen sensed that the Mercedes cars were struggling and was soon hunting down Hamilton. At one stage, he was told to drop off Hamilton's gearbox to protect his tyres.

"This is the only chance to beat Mercedes," he said over the radio. "I am not going to sit back like a grandma."

He remained true to his word. Bottas pitted from the lead on lap 13 with Hamilton following in for fresh rubber on the following lap. Verstappen took the lead and, when he came in for new tyres at the midway stage of the race, he left the pits just behind Bottas.

Verstappen took only a handful of corners to regain top spot after he resisted Bottas' defence.

Both Verstappen and Bottas came in with 20 laps remaining for a second time, while Hamilton remained out on wearing rubber. On lap 41 of 52 Hamilton boxed for fresh rubber.

Hamilton emerged down in fourth but the 35-year-old started to light up the time charts, posting the fastest lap of the race before taking Leclerc at Stowe for third. He then set his sights on hunting down Bottas and, with two laps to run, he got his man around the outside of Brooklands.

As Verstappen cruised to the flag, Hulkenberg finished seventh, while Sebastian Vettel was outside the points in 12th following an opening-lap spin.