Hamilton and Verstappen a cut above
“You guys are legends, thank you so much,” said Max Verstappen to his Red Bull mechanics on the radio after beating Valtteri Bottas to second place on Sunday. He certainly owes them a drink or three after sensationally crashing his car during a reconnaissance lap on the way to the grid, damaging his front-left suspension and wing. Verstappen thought he was out for the day after being caught out by the wet track at turn five, but his mechanics set to work on the grid, changing a pushrod in record time and with seconds to spare to keep him in the race. From there, Max went to work to repay them.
His start from seventh on the grid, after what had been a surprisingly difficult weekend for Red Bull, was stunning, as a wise choice to take the outside line around turn one helped catapult him up to third, behind Lance Stroll’s Racing Point. Verstappen was soon into second, and while there was never any question of him catching and passing Hamilton, he belied his earlier silly error by calmly fending off Bottas’s closing Mercedes. It’s arguable whether any other driver could have come between the black cars, on a day when Hamilton was so dominant he had time for an extra pitstop late in the race to bolt on a set of soft tyres and grab the extra point for fastest lap.
Lewis now heads for the Silverstone double-header in the lead of the world championship for the first time this year, five points ahead of Bottas and already 30 ahead of Verstappen, who has risen to a distant third.