Verstappen storms to unlikely victory over Mercedes duo

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands holds up the trophy on the podium after taking first place in the 70th Anniversary Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein,Pool)

SILVERSTONE – Max Verstappen sprung what could be the surprise of the Formula One season by beating Lewis Hamilton to win the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday.

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

“I didn’t see it coming but after the first stint it seemed we were really good on tires,” Verstappen said after his ninth career win. "We had a lot of pace in the car. I didn’t have any tire issues and we kept pushing.

“It was an incredible result to win, so everything worked out well and I am very happy.”

Mercedes had been expected to cruise to its fifth win from as many rounds this season. But both Hamilton and Bottas struggled with their tires to clear the way for Verstappen to take an unlikely win.

“It was a massive challenge," Hamilton said. “Congrats to the Red Bull team and to Max. They didn’t have the problems we had today.

“It was definitely unexpected to have the blistering as hardcore. as we experienced. I was nervous the tire was going to explode but I am grateful I managed to progress and get through the race.”

Charles Leclerc finished fourth for Ferrari ahead of Red Bull's Alexander Albon. Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was sixth.