Let's be honest, if anyone outside of the Mercedes F1 Team wins a Grand Prix this season, everyone is surprised. Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen did just that on Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone. He claimed victory thanks to ingenious team strategy and brilliant tyre management.

ICYMI: Our top ten finishers after a gripping finish to the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 👀#F170 🇬🇧 #F1 pic.twitter.com/Tkc7d9eZM4

— Formula 1 (@F1) August 9, 2020

In last week's British Grand Prix, the entire Formula 1 community bore witness to the revelation of a huge chink in the Mercedes armour. As both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas experienced delamination on their tyres in the closing laps, it became clear that they are not so invincible after all.

Bottas suffered immensely at the British GP but Hamilton managed to salvage a win thanks to some courageous driving on an already deflated front left tyre. Verstappen lost out on the victory after the team decided to make an extra pit stop so he could go for the fastest lap bonus.

A week later, everyone is back in Silverstone for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. The same tyre issue cost Mercedes the race and Red Bull did not let Verstappen miss the victory again. This time, their strategy worked out perfectly.

As expected, Mercedes dominated qualifying. Bottas led Hamilton in the front row while returning Racing Point driver Nico Hulkenberg snatched third place. Verstappen was all the way back in fourth but his victory was practically decided even before the race started. His Red Bull started on the hardest available tyre compound while both Mercedes cars were on the medium tyres.

Verstappen immediately overtook Hulk at the start of the race and it was clear that the Mercedes cars were not going to be able to build a significant gap like they usually do at the head of the field. He tracked them closely and soon, their tyres started to show blistering like they did in the previous race. The Mercedes team radio was inundated by calls from nervous drivers who were worried about another tyre blow-out.

Soon, both Mercedes cars had no option but to pit and let Verstappen take the lead. All three cars were very close to each other but Verstappen's tyres looked pristine even as the Mercedes cars started feeling the need to head to the pits again. It slowly became clear that the Red Bull is able to manage its tyres more efficiently.

Even the hard tyres started blistering on the Mercedes cars and Hamilton started complaining that something was wrong with the car to cause the tyres to deteriorate so quickly. Verstappen eventually pitted to switch to mediums on the 26th lap, a good 13-14 laps later than the Mercedes cars. By this time, he had built a large enough gap to come out ahead of Hamilton and just behind Bottas. However, with fresh tyres, he immediately overtook Bottas after just one corner.

Six laps later, both Verstappen and Bottas pitted again at the same time, allowing the Red Bull to stay in front. Hamilton tried to stay out longer but after his own pit stop, he had to work his way back up the grid. He only managed to overtake as far as his teammate before the chequered flag was waved.

It was a brilliant strategy for Red Bull and it became clear that the season could prove to be a lot more competitive if the Mercedes cars continue to struggle with tyre management.

Celebrated and hydrated! 🙌🍾 # F170 🇬🇧 https://t.co/KQqE37xw3n

— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) August 10, 2020
Max Verstappen