The victory was Vettel’s second of the season after the four-times world champion won the opener in
“Yes guys, that’s what I’m talking about,” whooped Vettel, who was helped by the safety car being deployed after his first pit stop with the Mercedes duo still out, as he took the chequered flag.
“It was a really great day. It was on the last half of the out-lap, when all the fireworks were going off, that I was like ‘I love what I do’,” he said.
The Briton served the penalty at his second stop, frustration evident from his shaking helmet, before charging back and taking more than one second a lap out of Vettel’s advantage before running out of time.
“The pit lane was really my fault... I tried really hard to catch up, but there was a long way to go,” said Hamilton, who thanked Bottas for his gentlemanly conduct in letting him through twice.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said Bottas’s hopes had been hit even before the lights went out on the grid when a problem with a generator left the Finn starting with the wrong tyre pressures.
“From then on, we were on the back foot,” he said.
Bottas kept the lead for the opening laps, with Vettel getting ahead of
“It was a great team effort today, and I felt like we are quick. I tried to put Valtteri under pressure. But the early pit stop worked,” said Vettel. “Lewis obviously was a very big threat again towards the end... but the car was a dream today.”
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, with Daniel Ricciardo fifth for Red Bull and Brazilian Felipe
Mexican Sergio Perez finished seventh for Force
McLaren’s nightmare continued, with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne failing to start and Fernando Alonso retiring on the final laps but classified 14th.
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1:33:53.374
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes +6.660s
3 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes +20.397
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari +22.475
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull +39.346
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams +54.326
7 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India +1:02.606
8 Romain Grosjean (France) Haas +1:14.865
9 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Renault +1:20.188
10 Esteban Ocon (France) Force India +1:35.711
11 Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) Sauber +1 lap
12 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso +1 lap
13 Jolyon Palmer (Britain) Renault +1 lap
14r. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren +3 laps
r. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber +7 laps
r. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso +45 laps
r. Lance Stroll (Canada) Williams +45 laps
r. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull +46 laps
r. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Haas +49 laps
r. Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium) McLaren +57 laps
Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton - 1:32.798, lap 46.
Points Standings - Drivers
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari - 68
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes - 61
3 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes - 38
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari - 34
5 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull - 25
6 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - 22
7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams - 16
8 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - 14
9 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - 10
10 Romain Grosjean (France) Haas - 4
11 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Haas - 4
12 Esteban Ocon (France) Force India - 3
13 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Renault - 2
14 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - 2
1 Ferrari - 102
2 Mercedes - 99
3 Red Bull - 47
4 Force India - 17
5 Williams - 16
Toro Rosso - 12
7 Haas - 8
8 Renault - 2Reuters