Breaking open a bottle of champagne, Ferrari driver
Sebastian Vettel celebrated his surprising victory over Lewis Hamilton of
Mercedes. Luck as you have it played soil sport for Hamilton when the Brit was
forced to slow down behind the virtual safety car after Romain Grosjean's Haas
stopped mid track. Hamilton who had already used up a pit stop was bested by
Vettel as the situation prevailed in favour of the latter. Gaining the lead
from Hamilton, Vettel continued to dominate the race with the Brit having to
settle in for second.
The win for Vettel marked the 230th victory for Ferrari and
the 9th for Sebastian Vettel in his stint with Scuderia. This was the German's
48th win in his entire career. Hamilton was off to a blistering start at the
beginning of the race and looked a favourite to win but fortunes favoured
Vettel who started off third on the grid. Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen who
began the race second on the grid finished in third. The combined wins of both
Ferrari drivers have put the team in the leading position for the Drivers' and
Constructor's championship with 25 and 37 points respectively.
Any pit stops made under the virtual safety car take 10
seconds less than those made when the cars are at full pace. This time gain is
what allowed Vettel to snatch the lead from Hamilton. Mercedes has officially
claimed that due to a software glitch Vettel was able to capitalise on the pit
stop. Silver Arrows Chief, Toto Wolff stated
“We were trying to build enough of a gap with Raikkonen to avoid the undercut
and we were trying to have enough gap to the Haas to have the Safety Car gap.
Everything was under control. We took a bit of a risk of putting Lewis on a
soft compound to go to the end, but it was the only choice to avoid Kimi
jumping us. The pace was good. Then we calculated the VSC (Virtual Safety Car)
gap which was needed. Our computer said 15 seconds was the necessary time in
order to jump us. The drivers oscillate within one second in the delta. Then
suddenly the cameras showed us the pit exit. Sebastian came out in front of us.
The software or system we have been using for five years just gave us the wrong
number. Lewis did nothing wrong. It was down to a software bug or an algorithm
that was simply wrong.”
Both Haas cars did not finish the race with team principal
Guenther Steiner indicating the wheel nuts on both cars were cross threaded
meaning that the tyres were not fixed correctly before either car left their
pit box. Steiner said, "It was just
a bad pit stop". On lap 34 Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap. Force
India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished outside the points table,
standing at 11th and 12th respectively.
POS DRIVER CAR PTS
1 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 25
2 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 18
3 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 15
4 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 12
5 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN RENAULT 10
6 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 8
7 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 6
8 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 4
9 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 2
10 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1
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