Mercedes now in F1 title fight with Verstappen, says Wolff – F1

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff believes his drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are now in a title fight against Red Bull and Max Verstappen.

Following his spectacular victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Verstappen has moved up to second in the F1 drivers’ standings on 77 points, 30 behind leader Hamilton, despite retiring in the first race in Austria.

Prior to last weekend Wolff had consistently cautioned that the season was far from over, despite dominant performances from Mercedes in the early races, and he believes that Verstappen’s Silverstone win proved that the contest is still open.

“I think we have,” he said when asked if F1 now has a title fight. “I kind of enjoy the situation because everyone was saying, ‘OK, this is going to be a walk in the park for Mercedes,’ and here we go.

“That wasn’t at all a walk in the

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Styrian GP: Perez leads Verstappen in first practice – F1

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Racing Point’s Sergio Perez set the fastest time in opening practice for Formula 1’s first Styrian Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen, as Mercedes avoided soft tyre running.

Austrian GP winner Valtteri Bottas finished third ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with Ferrari again significantly adrift of the top times.

In a session that began six degrees hotter than the equivalent session from last weekend’s event at the Red Bull Ring, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr set the initial pace, as several squads – including Renault and Alfa Romeo – fitted aerodynamic measuring devices for the early laps.

Red Bull’s Alex Albon took over at the head of field with a 1m06.344s on the medium tyres just over 10 minutes into the 90-minute session, improving that mark before Verstappen took over with 1m06.087s – also on the yellow-walled mediums.

Verstappen continued to lower the best time in the session’s opening half

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Horner: Verstappen had to “buy into” hard tyre gamble for 70th Anniversary GP – F1

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen had to “buy into” the crucial decision to qualify on the hard tyre in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Verstappen was the only driver to use the hard in Q2 of qualifying for the second Silverstone race, meaning he had to commit to using it in the first stint, and it paid off when the Dutchman scored a victory over the two Mercedes drivers in a dominant style that even his own team hadn’t anticipated.

Horner said Verstappen and the team had to balance the pros and cons of doing something different before opting for the alternative strategy ahead of the race.

“Obviously he had to buy into it,” Horner said.

“So we run the simulations, we come up the risk and the reward. And we felt that if we just do the same as Mercedes following last week’s performance, we’d end

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70th Anniversary Grand Prix RECAP: Max Verstappen wins as Lewis Hamilton ends up second | F1 | Sport

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70th Anniversary Grand Prix

70th Anniversary Grand Prix: Max Verstappen won at Silverstone on Sunday (Image: GETTY)

Max Verstappen and Red Bull delivered a masterful performance on Sunday as Mercedes’ 100 per cent start to the season ended at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. The Dutchman, who started fourth on the grid, managed his tyres to perfection and made the most of the perfect strategy at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton came home in second, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas slipping to third in the drivers’ standings after filling the last step on the podium.

Charles Leclerc can be proud of his efforts for Ferrari, but co-star Sebastian Vettel was left scratching his head once again after finishing down in 12th.

Racing Point posted their best result of 2020 after a week of controversy surrounding the FIA’s ruling on their brake ducts.

Express Sport were on hand with live updates on all the action as F1

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Verstappen explains why he defied Red Bull tyre warning in 70th Anniversary GP – F1

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Max Verstappen says he was confident managing his tyres while chasing the Mercedes pair during the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, which was why he pushed on despite Red Bull’s warnings.

Verstappen charged to victory thanks to impressive tyre management over his first stint on the hard compound Pirellis which allowed him to pull out an advantage over Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after their first stops.

Opting for the alternative strategy by starting on the hard tyres, Verstappen knew his opening stint and tyre management would be crucial and after seeing the Mercedes duo struggling he started to close the gap which led to Red Bull warning him to drop back to look after his own tyres.

Verstappen responded over his team radio, “this the only chance of being close to the Mercedes, I’m not just sitting behind like a grandma” and duly kept the pressure on before the first

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Verstappen 70th Anniversary GP win an “amazing performance” – Horner – F1

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Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner has called Max Verstappen’s victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix an “amazing performance”, adding that the Dutchman’s race pace came “so easy”.

Verstappen was the only top runner to start on the hard tyre, and he converted that into a surprise race win with a brilliant performance where he ran a long first stint.

He was ultimately able to pit and come out just behind Valtteri Bottas, who he then passed, before he gained the lead for the final time later in the race when Lewis Hamilton made his second stop after a long middle stint.

“It was an amazing performance today,” Horner told Sky F1. “I mean, the pace in the race was beyond what we expected. We started on that sort of reverse strategy, and Max was just chilling out to the beginning of the race.

“And the pace in

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Bottas: Mercedes “sleeping” when Verstappen got ahead in F1 70th Anniversary GP – F1

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Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes was “sleeping at some point” when Max Verstappen managed to get ahead en route to victory in the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Bottas led the early part of the race after starting on pole position, but struggled for pace after switching to the hard compound tyre for the second stint.

Red Bull opted to keep Verstappen out for a long first stint on the hard tyre, during which he was able to match Bottas’ pace despite the Finn having pitted for a fresher set.

It meant that by the time Verstappen took his first pit stop, he emerged just behind Bottas before passing into Brooklands on his out-lap, before going on to take a commanding victory.

Bottas ultimately finished the race third on a two-stop strategy after being passed by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages.

“Very frustrating obviously, starting from pole

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F1 70th Anniversary GP: Verstappen beats Hamilton and Bottas at Silverstone – F1

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Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas as the softer tyres and hot temperatures at Silverstone led to Red Bull defeating Mercedes in Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s hard starting tyres paid off immediately in the first stint, while polesitter Bottas lost out in a late wheel-to-wheel fight with Hamilton, who had run longer in the middle phase of the race.

Charles Leclerc took another unexpectedly high result for Ferrari with fourth, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel had to put in a recovery drive after spinning at the start.

At the start, Bottas held the lead off the line while behind the two Mercedes cars Verstappen immediately launched past Hulkenberg to seize third.

In the pack behind, Vettel spun at the first corner after getting onto the inside kerb at Abbey while following Leclerc – with Vettel fortunate not to wipe out Carlos Sainz Jr as he snapped

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Verstappen ‘didn’t see victory coming’ in 70th Anniversary GP – F1

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Max Verstappen was surprised to beat both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers to victory in Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, saying he “didn’t see it coming”.

Verstappen was able to give his rivals a lesson in tyre management by stretching out his first stint on the hard compound Pirellis, pulling out a gap on Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after their early stops.

Emerging from the pits after his first stop just behind Bottas, Verstappen quickly passed the Mercedes driver before moving off the medium tyre just six laps later, moving back to hards.

A final push to cover off a possible one-stop strategy for Hamilton was ultimately not required as Mercedes called the world champion in for a second time, returning the lead to Verstappen.

Having downplayed Red Bull’s chances throughout the weekend, Verstappen conceded after the race that he did not expect to beat the Mercedes drivers to victory.

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Verstappen leads Hulkenberg praise: “He definitely deserves to be in F1” – F1

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Max Verstappen led the Formula 1 paddock’s praise for Nico Hulkenberg after his impressive display in 70th Anniversary Grand Prix qualifying, saying he “definitely deserves” to be on the grid.

Racing Point stand-in Hulkenberg charged to his best qualifying result in over four years on Saturday at Silverstone, taking third place on the grid behind the two Mercedes drivers.

It marked Hulkenberg’s best Saturday result since the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix, when he took third in qualifying before moving up to second on the grid due to a penalty.

Hulkenberg’s running in the Racing Point RP20 car has been limited since his late call-up last week following Sergio Perez’s positive test for COVID-19, ruling him out of both Silverstone events.

Prior to his return last weekend, Hulkenberg had not driven an F1 car since his final appearance for Renault at the end of last season, when he was dropped in

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