Ferrari’s Q3 tyre choice cost them decent qualifying positions, and to add insult to injury, Vettel clashed with Verstappen during the race and finished 6th with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton taking the chequered flag.
We believe that by now it is safe to say that the FIA Formula 1’s Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships are withing grasps of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. We thought that the championship would not be decided before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; Ferrari and Vettel were leading both championships in the first half of the season, and Mercedes very close behind. The latter, however, managed to turn the tides and take the lead in both championships. They now lead by 67 points in the Drivers’ Championship and 78 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
The latest round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship ended with Lewis Hamilton taking the chequered flag after a near-perfect race weekend. Lewis was the quickest in all practice sessions and qualified on pole on Saturday. You can see our Qualifying Report here.
Come race day and an excellent start by the championship leader and his rival. Lewis managed to pull away and Sebastian found himself in P6 after starting from P8. Max Verstappen who had qualified in P3 found himself under pressure from the Iceman. He went off track and went into Kimi when he rejoined. The move earned Max a 5-second penalty, damaged the Finn’s car, and allowed Sebastian to take P4.
Later in the race, Sauber’s Charles Leclerc crashed into Haas’s Kevin Magnussen triggering a safety car period. Fernando Alonso who had started from 18th found himself battling in P13 by the time the crash happened.
Disaster struck for the Maranello team on Lap 8 when Seb’s bid to overtake Max on Turn 13 ended with a crash. Max escaped the crash with minor damage. The German, on the other hand, picked up quite some damage on his car and found himself last in the race. The incident was later deemed a racing incident and no further action was taken.
On Lap 22, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were both handed 5-second penalties. Stroll for causing a collision, and Alonso for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo pitted on Lap 24. Hamilton followed on Lap 25 and held on to the race lead. Ferrari, in a strange move, opted to keep Vettel out.
It was beginning to look as if the Soft compounds were better than the Medium ones in the last 20 laps of the race. Verstappen who was 5 seconds behind Bottas found himself going faster and closing in on the Finn.
On Lap 40 Charles Leclerc had to retire from the race after a failure in his car. This instantiated a Virtual Safety Car period that would not affect the race outcome.
Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag. Valtteri finished second, and Max Verstappen completed the podium. Sebastian Vettel ended 6th with a fasted lap award.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||TAG||14.295|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||TAG||19.495|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India||Mercedes||1’19.379|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India||Mercedes||1’28.055|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||Honda||1 Lap|
|12||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||Ferrari||1 Lap|
|13||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||Honda||1 Lap|
|14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||Renault||1 Lap|
|15||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||Renault||1 Lap|
|16||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams||Mercedes||1 Lap|
|17||Lance Stroll||Williams||Mercedes||1 Lap|