70th Anniversary Grand Prix

The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (officially known as the Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020) was a one-off Formula One motor race held on 9 August 2020 at the Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, United Kingdom, the second of two back to back races at the venue, after the 2020 British Grand Prix seven days earlier.[1] The race was the fifth round of the rescheduled 2020 Formula One World Championship. It was held as a 70-year commemoration race of the Formula One World Championship at the same circuit which hosted the first championship Grand Prix in 1950.

70th Anniversary Grand Prix
Race 5 of 17[a] in the 2020 Formula One World Championship
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Layout of the Silverstone Circuit
Layout of the Silverstone Circuit
Race details
Date 9 August 2020
Official name Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020
Location Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone, United Kingdom
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.891 km (3.660 mi)
Distance 52 laps, 306.198 km (190.263 mi)
Weather Sunny
Attendance 0[b]
Pole position
Driver Mercedes
Time 1:25.154
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Time 1:28.451 on lap 43
First Red Bull Racing-Honda
Second Mercedes
Third Mercedes
Lap leaders

The race was won by Red Bull-Honda driver Max Verstappen.[2] This was the first non-Mercedes victory in 2020, the first victory for Red Bull at Silverstone in the 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid engine era and their first win at the venue since the 2012 British Grand Prix (won by Mark Webber), and the first Honda-powered win at the track since the 1989 British Grand Prix.[3] At this race, runner-up Lewis Hamilton equalled the record for most Formula One podiums (155), previously accomplished by Michael Schumacher.[4]


Impact of the COVID-19 pandemicEdit

The opening rounds of the 2020 championship were heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Grands Prix were cancelled or postponed after the planned opening round in Australia was called off two days before the race was due to take place, prompting the FIA to draft a new calendar. When the calendar was redrafted following the pandemic the Hungarian and British Grands Prix had swapped dates with the Hungarian Grand Prix moving to 19 July and the British Grand Prix taking the 2 August date.[5] The early cancellation and indefinite postponements prompted a series of double races. The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix was added to the calendar as a one-off event to ensure confirmation of new events.[citation needed] It was the first race in the history of the World Championship not to have a geographical name.[citation needed]

There had been doubts over whether Silverstone would be able to host Formula One due to quarantine measures proposed by the British government;[6] hopes were raised again by an apparent intervention by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson encouraging his ministers to give Formula One an exemption for racing to go ahead.[7] The British Government did give approval for Formula One at Silverstone.[8]

The addition to the calendar of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on 9 August, also at Silverstone, means that for the first time in twenty-seven years the United Kingdom will host two Formula One races in the same season. The last season to have two British races in a season prior to this was the 1993 season when Donington Park hosted the European Grand Prix and Silverstone hosted the British Grand Prix.[9] It was later revealed that Silverstone had offered to hold as many as 12 races in total during the season.[10]

Similarly to the opening three rounds, both the British Grand Prix and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix will be held 'behind closed doors' without spectators.[11][12] Northamptonshire Police reiterated the importance of fans staying away from Silverstone for public health reasons during the two Grand Prix weekends and that strict measures would be in place to stop unauthorised persons from entering the circuit.[13]


The drivers and teams were the same as the pre-season entry list with the only exception being Sergio Pérez, who was replaced by Nico Hülkenberg, as had also been the case at the British Grand Prix seven days earlier.[14] Robert Kubica took part in the first practice session for Alfa Romeo Racing, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi.[15]

It had been widely reported that Pérez would miss the Grand Prix as he tested positive for the coronavirus (which can cause COVID-19) three days before the British Grand Prix, which would be in line with the current British government requirement for those who have tested positive to self-isolate for ten days.[16] United Kingdom COVID-19 quarantine rules prior to 30 July (the day of Pérez's negative test) stated that persons must self isolate for seven rather than ten days, meaning Pérez could race in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix if he returned a negative the Thursday before that race.[17] However, it was reported following qualifying for the British Grand Prix that since Formula One was relying on the goodwill of the relevant authorities to host races, the FIA would demand that Pérez undergo a ten-day isolation period, although no formal announcement was made by Formula One or the FIA on the matter.[18] On 6 August, Racing Point confirmed that this was not the case and that Pérez would be able to race provided he returned a negative coronavirus test.[19] However, Pérez did test positive, and thus Nico Hülkenberg was confirmed to enter instead of him.[20]

Tyre choicesEdit

Pirelli brought the medium hardness range of C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres for teams to use in the race, by contrast the 2020 British Grand Prix held on the same circuit layout the week before saw the hardest available C1, C2 and C3 selection used – the change was made to add strategic interest to the second race and to make sure the teams use the three practice sessions. This came after plans to have a reverse starting grid at the second event were opposed by Mercedes.[21]

The previous race at Silverstone had seen three cars – those of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr. – experiencing punctures in the closing stages. Following the race, proposals were made to retain the same tyre compounds for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, since the softer compounds planned to be used would be more susceptible to wear and degradation.[22] Pirelli decided to stick to its original selection of the C2, C3, and C4 tyres, albeit with increased minimum tyre pressures stipulated.[23] Furthermore, the planned running of 2021 prototype tyres in the second practice session was scrapped in order to allow teams more time to optimise the running of their race packages (meaning car and tyres) with the new tyre pressure limits.[24]


The first practice session passed without incident and ended with Valtteri Bottas fastest ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.[25] The second session ended with Hamilton quickest followed by Bottas and the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo. Towards the end of the session, Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari and Antonio Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo both suffered engine failures, with the latter bringing out the red flag and ending the session prematurely.[26] The third practice session ran uninterrupted and ended with Hamilton fastest ahead of Bottas and McLaren driver Lando Norris.[27]


Valtteri Bottas took pole ahead of Lewis Hamilton only by 0.064 seconds in the third part of qualifying (Q3) with Nico Hülkenberg qualifying 3rd ahead of Max Verstappen in 4th and Daniel Ricciardo 5th. Both the Mercedes pair (Hamilton and Bottas) and Ricciardo did their best Q3 laps on the medium tyre as opposed to the soft tyre which, in theory, should have been faster. The rest of the top 10 on the grid was Lance Stroll in 6th, Pierre Gasly 7th, Charles Leclerc 8th, Alexander Albon 9th and Lando Norris 10th. Esteban Ocon originally qualified 11th but received a three-place grid penalty for impeding George Russell in the first part of qualifying (Q1). Sebastian Vettel struggled, failing to get through to Q3, only managing 12th fastest in his Ferrari, he was at a loss to explain his lack of performance.[28] Carlos Sainz Jr. was 13th fastest ahead of Romain Grosjean in the Haas while Russell made a 4th successive Q2 appearance this season. Daniil Kvyat was 16th and knocked out after Q1 after having his best lap time deleted for breaching track limits in that session. Rounding out the grid were Kevin Magnussen in 17th, Nicholas Latifi in 18th, Antonio Giovinazzi in 19th and Kimi Räikkönen 20th and last.[29][30]

Bottas set a new record for most consecutive Q3 appearances. This was the 67th consecutive race in which Bottas has qualified in the top ten, having done so at every race weekend since the 2017 Australian Grand Prix. He beats the previous record of 66 consecutive Q3 appearances, set by Hamilton between the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix and the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix.[31]

Qualifying classificationEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Qualifying times Final
Q1 Q2 Q3
1 77   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:26.738 1:25.785 1:25.154 1
2 44   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.818 1:26.266 1:25.217 2
3 27   Nico Hülkenberg Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 1:27.279 1:26.261 1:26.082 3
4 33   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda 1:27.154 1:26.779 1:26.176 4
5 3   Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:27.442 1:26.636 1:26.297 5
6 18   Lance Stroll Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 1:27.187 1:26.674 1:26.428 6
7 10   Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1:27.154 1:26.523 1:26.534 7
8 16   Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.427 1:26.709 1:26.614 8
9 23   Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda 1:27.153 1:26.642 1:26.669 9
10 4   Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1:27.217 1:26.885 1:26.778 10
11 31   Esteban Ocon Renault 1:27.278 1:27.011 N/A 141
12 5   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:27.612 1:27.078 N/A 11
13 55   Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1:27.450 1:27.083 N/A 12
14 8   Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1:27.519 1:27.254 N/A 13
15 63   George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1:27.757 1:27.455 N/A 15
16 26   Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1:27.882 N/A N/A 16
17 20   Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1:28.236 N/A N/A 17
18 6   Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1:28.430 N/A N/A 18
19 99   Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 1:28.433 N/A N/A 19
20 7   Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 1:28.493 N/A N/A 20
107% time: 1:32.809


Pre-race ceremoniesEdit

An anti-racism ceremony was held on the track before the race.[34]

Race reportEdit

In the race start, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton got a clean getaway, with Max Verstappen almost immediately passing Nico Hülkenberg for third. At turn 1, Sebastian Vettel spun, dropping him to last place. Hamilton tried to close up to and overtake Bottas at Copse corner unsuccessfully. Pierre Gasly, who was using the soft compound tyres, pitted on lap 7. Over the next few laps, the drivers using the soft tyres pitted for hards or mediums compound tyres. A few laps later, Mercedes began struggling with their tyres, with the heat accelerating tyre wear and causing blisters. On lap 13, the race leader Bottas pitted, with Hamilton subsequently pitting on the next lap, allowing Verstappen to inherit the lead and race in clean air. Despite Mercedes now having newer tyres, they kept losing time to Verstappen due to heat degradation and blistering. On lap 26, Verstappen pitted for the medium compound tyres. Mercedes' undercut briefly worked with Bottas getting ahead of Verstappen, but Verstappen made quick work of Bottas to retake the lead of the race.

On lap 31, Daniel Ricciardo spun while trying to race Carlos Sainz Jr. for 12th. Both Verstappen and Bottas made second pit stops for the hard tyres. Charles Leclerc inherited fifth place after Hülkenberg pitted, lapping around the same pace as the leaders. Hamilton pitted on lap 42, to avoid risk of a tyre failure (which happened in the previous race), ending up behind Leclerc. Kevin Magnussen was forced to retire due to a tyre shortage. Hamilton made quick work of passing Leclerc to take third place. Hülkenberg was forced to pit again due to vibrations in his car, dropping him to seventh. Meanwhile, Bottas struggled with pace, falling behind Verstappen, with Hamilton catching up to him. Hamilton got past Bottas on the DRS straight before Brooklands on lap 50. On lap 51, Alexander Albon got past Lance Stroll to take fifth. Verstappen won the race, around 11 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Race classificationEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 33   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda 52 1:19:41.993 4 25
2 44   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 52 +11.326 2 191
3 77   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 52 +19.231 1 15
4 16   Charles Leclerc Ferrari 52 +29.289 8 12
5 23   Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda 52 +39.146 9 10
6 18   Lance Stroll Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 52 +42.538 6 8
7 27   Nico Hülkenberg Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 52 +55.951 3 6
8 31   Esteban Ocon Renault 52 +1:04.773 14 4
9 4   Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 52 +1:05.544 10 2
10 26   Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 52 +1:09.669 16 1
11 10   Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 52 +1:10.642 7
12 5   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 52 +1:13.370 11
13 55   Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 52 +1:14.070 12
14 3   Daniel Ricciardo Renault 51 +1 lap 5
15 7   Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 51 +1 lap 20
16 8   Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 51 +1 lap 13
17 99   Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 51 +1 lap 19
18 63   George Russell Williams-Mercedes 51 +1 lap 15
19 6   Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 51 +1 lap 18
Ret 20   Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 43 Tyre shortage2 17
Fastest lap:   Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 1:28.451 (lap 43)
  • ^1 – Includes one point for fastest lap.
  • ^2Kevin Magnussen received a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and rejoining unsafely, but it was unapplied as he retired from the race.[35]

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw several Grands Prix cancelled or rescheduled. The revised calendar consisted of seventeen races.
  2. ^ The Grand Prix was held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
  3. ^ Racing Point was deducted 15 points after a protest from Renault was upheld regarding the legality of their car.[39]


  1. ^ "F1 confirms first 8 races of revised 2020 calendar". Formula One. 2 June 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Max Verstappen roars to spectacular victory in 70th Anniversary Grand Prix". Guardian. 9 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  3. ^ "70th Anniversary Grand Prix race report and highlights: Max Verstappen defeats Mercedes duo for brilliant Silverstone win". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  4. ^ "70th Anniversary GP Facts & Stats: Hamilton matches Schumacher podium record". Formula1.com. 9 August 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  5. ^ "F1 Calendar 2020 – Enjoy a Record-breaking 22 Races in the 2020 Season". www.formula1.com. 19 August 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  6. ^ Cooper, Adam; Noble, Jonathan (19 May 2020). "British GP plans dealt big blow by quarantine measures". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  7. ^ Cooper, Adam (25 May 2020). "UK PM Boris Johnson tells ministers to help make British GP happen". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  8. ^ Collantine, Keith; Rencken, Dieter (31 May 2020). "F1 to confirm Silverstone double-header as government gives approval". racefans.net. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  9. ^ Hawkins, Billy (28 April 2020). "Formula 1: 2020 season could include TWO British Grands Prix with campaign to begin in Austria on first weekend in July". talksport.com. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Silverstone offered to host 12 F1 races in 2020". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix 2020". Silverstone. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix". Silverstone. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Northamptonshire Police issues F1 warning". 21 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  14. ^ "70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Entry List" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  15. ^ Smith, Luke (5 August 2020). "Kubica returns to Alfa Romeo cockpit for Silverstone FP1". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Perez tests positive, will miss British Grand Prix". planetf1.com. 30 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  17. ^ Smith, Luke (31 July 2020). "Racing Point awaiting clarification for Perez's F1 return".
  18. ^ "British GP: Lewis Hamilton's brilliance and another race for Nico Hulkenberg". 1 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Racing Point say Perez will race in 70th Anniversary GP – pending negative Covid test". Formula1.com. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Hulkenberg to stand in for Perez at Racing Point at 70th Anniversary GP". formula1.com. 7 August 2020.
  21. ^ Cooper, Adam (11 June 2020). "Tyre compounds will switch for second F1 race of Silverstone double-header". Autosport. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  22. ^ "Pirelli investigates tyre failures at British GP". 3 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  23. ^ Benson, Andrew (4 August 2020). "Pirelli discusses Silverstone tyre failures". www.bbc.co.uk/sport. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  24. ^ Cooper, Adam (5 August 2020). "Pirelli to scrap Silverstone FP2 tyre testing". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  25. ^ "FP1: Bottas heads Hamilton in opening 70th Anniversary GP session as Hulkenberg takes P4". formula1.com. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  26. ^ "FP2: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Ricciardo as Vettel suffers engine failure". formula1.com. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  27. ^ "FP3: Mercedes complete clean sweep of practice 1-2s as Norris takes P3 for McLaren". formula1.com. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Vettel has 'run out of answers' for Ferrari woes". Planetf1.com. PlanetF1. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Qualifying report: Bottas beats Hamilton to 70th Anniversary GP pole as Hulkenberg stars". www.formula1.com.
  30. ^ a b "Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020 – Qualifying". Formula1.com. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Valtteri Bottas' 2020 F1 Season In Statistics - Lights Out". www.lightsoutblog.com.
  32. ^ a b "Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020 – Starting Grid". Formula1.com. 9 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  33. ^ "Ocon handed three-place penalty for impeding Russell in Q1 at Silverstone". Formula1.com. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  34. ^ Collantine, Keith (9 August 2020). "Pre-race 'end racism recognition' to continue throughout season". Race Fans.Net.
  35. ^ a b "Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020 – Race Result". Formula1.com. 9 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  36. ^ Collantine, Keith; Rencken, Dieter (9 August 2020). "Magnussen retired because "we didn't have any more tyres"". racefans.net. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  37. ^ "Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020 – Fastest Laps". Formula1.com. 9 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  38. ^ a b "70th Anniversary 2020 - Championship". statsf1.com. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  39. ^ "Racing Point deducted 15 points and fined heavily as Renault protest into car legality upheld". formula1.com. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.

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