Max Verstappen admits he was surprised to pull off a victory at Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, beating both Mercedes drivers in the process.

Starting on the Hard compound tyre, the Red Bull driver was able to better manage his tyres compared to the Medium-shod Mercedes drivers and pulled clear of the pair when they pitted earlier.

Verstappen quickly battled past Valtteri Bottas following his own stop before switching back to the Mediums six laps later as Red Bull stopped for the second time on the same lap as Bottas.

The Dutchman himself back in the lead when the long-running Lewis Hamilton finally pitted for a second time in the closing stages and went on to secure Red Bull’s first win at Silverstone since 2012.

"I didn't see it coming," Verstappen said.

"But you after the first stint, it seemed like we were really good on tyres. Of course that is a question mark, how Mercedes is going to go on the hard tyre.

"We had a lot of pace in the car, I didn't really have a lot of tyre issues at all. We just kept pushing, and [it's] an incredible result of course to win here.

"We had a great day. I think everything worked out well we had the right strategy. Everything was running smoothly. I was incredibly happy to win.”

Verstappen explained he was desperate not to let a rare opportunity to beat Mercedes slip through his fingers.

"We so far [this season] didn't really have an opportunity in all the races to push them, and I could see we were pushing them,” he said.

"So I tried to put the pressure on. They had to pit, and from then onwards, I could do my own pace, and basically built that that advantage to the end.”

With his first victory of the season, Verstappen has now leapfrogged Bottas in the drivers’ championship standings to move 30 points behind leader Hamilton.

Asked whether he thinks Red Bull has a car capable of beating Mercedes at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen replied: "I don't know, I think we do need to use soft tyres, that seems to suit our car.

"But we'll see again in Barcelona. I think at the moment, we are just very happy that we just won."

 

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