Red Bull saw both drivers finish in the points at Silverstone, but a dramatic last lap came close to yielding the team’s first win of 2020.
Max Verstappen advanced from 3rd on the grid to finish 2nd in the British Grand Prix, taking a podium for the third race in a row after a late tyre failure for the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
The team opted to change Verstappen’s tyres to guarantee a finish and go for the fastest lap bonus point, but when Lewis Hamilton suffered a tyre failure a third of the way through his final lap, Verstappen closed up at a rate of knots and finished just 6 seconds behind the reigning world champion.
Meanwhile, Verstappen’s teammate Alex Albon came home to finish in 8th place, with the Anglo-Thai driver hamstrung by poor qualifying and a five second time penalty for hitting Kevin Magnussen’s Haas right at the end of lap one.
Speaking after the race, Verstappen defended Red Bull’s call to make the second stop, saying it couldn’t be guaranteed he could’ve got a puncture as well, and he voiced his pleasure at landing second.
He said “I know everyone is asking whether we should not have pitted for the soft tyre because we could have won but could have, would have, should have. You can always ask these questions with hindsight but I don’t regret anything and I believe we made the right decision to pit for fastest lap at the end.
“We did the right thing and who knows if I would also have got a puncture, you just can’t predict these things as it does not happen very often in F1 these days. At the end of the day Mercedes deserved to win as they were faster than us, some people are saying Lewis was lucky but he was actually unlucky to get the puncture in the first place and so was Bottas.
“I’m happy to finish second as it looked like third was all that was possible and again we have scored good points. I was four or five tenths off Mercedes every lap but a second faster than the cars behind, so it was a pretty lonely race.”
Meanwhile, Albon accepted his was to be an afternoon of damage limitation after the collision with Magnussen caused damage to his car and he got a penalty for his part. He also said work has to be done to improve.
He said, “Eighth isn’t what I want but it’s damage limitation after the damage to the car and penalty at the start of the race. I think the incident with Kevin was 50/50, he made a mistake and left a gap so I went for the move. When I realised he didn’t see me and he closed the door I tried to get out of the way but we touched. There was a big difference of speed going into the corner and it couldn’t be avoided.
“We had a lot of work to do this weekend but we did the best we could and the race pace was okay fighting back through the field. I’m happy we’ve got another race here at Silverstone next weekend as I love this track and we can use what we’ve learned this week and put it into practice.”