Mercedes had gone from win to win this season, but on Sunday the championship suffered quite a surprise defeat at Silverstone, England. It definitely did good for the World Series.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull were a combination that was able to cut the Mercedes winning streak. Verstappen, 22, achieved his first win of the season with excellent tactics and tire control.
- An incredible day. Absolutely fantastic. Everything went perfectly, the Dutch rejoiced according to Auto Motor und Sport.
Who, after the time trials, would have thought that Verstappen, who left the fourth square, would drive the checkered flag 11 seconds ahead of Mercedes English star Lewis Hamilton as the winner?
Pirelli's tires starred in the World Series' 70th anniversary competition. Mercedes ran into surprisingly great difficulties with medium-hard and especially hard tires. It was only at the start of the race that the pace of the black Mercedes was as everyone expected.
The situation of Valtteri Bottas, who dreams of a World Championship title, in the championship battle became even more difficult. Nastola dropped third in Sunday's race and also in the World Championships.
After five races, Hamilton already has 34 points more than his 30-year-old Finnish teammate. Verstappen wedged between the Mercedes duo in the leaderboard.
Bottas was very disappointed after the race and blamed the rare race tactics for the failure of his rare team.
- Very frustrating. When you leave the pole position and come third to the finish line, it is not ideal, Bottas lamented.
- In Tallinn, we slept at some point when Max got past us, and my tactics were far from ideal. We have a lot to learn from this day.
Verstappen set off on harder tires than Mercedes men and was able to move beyond his first depot stop.
Bottas said the stable unexpectedly asked him to slow down a bit after Verstappen had passed after the first depot stop.
- When I lost the top spot to Max, I asked the stable if I could drive harder. I got the message that the most important thing is to keep the tires in good condition.
Valtteri Bottas was able to taste the sparkling drink again. However, third place was a clear disappointment after the time trial pile round.
Photo: ANDREW BOYERS / Reuters
Bota was also struck by the fact that Hamilton easily got past with the fresher tires and took second place only a couple of laps before the finish. Already approaching the seventh World Cup, the British made their latter depot stop clearly later than Bottas.
- I definitely should have stayed longer on the track before the second depot stop. The last “stint” was way too long, and that’s why I fell behind Lewis, Bottas marveled at the tactics devised.
Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff completely disagreed with Bottas.
- No loss due to tactics. Our car was too slow this time. Even in previous races, there have been signs that we are losing our lead in hot conditions - not only compared to other top teams but also to the middle caste, Wolff analyzes on Sky Sports.
Championship aspirations soared in Red Bull camp. The hotter the weather in the following races, the better for the stable star driver Verstappen.
- Next weekend in Barcelona may be 34 degrees. Two races are coming up in Italy at the beginning of September, and it should be very warm there too, said Red Bull's F1 consultant Helmut Marko, looking hopefully through the season ahead.