Sebastian Vettel took the lead as his team mate was in support mode with both Mercedes pushing to get the early break.
There was an obvious game plan by Ferrari to hold Hamilton back from taking the lead early in the race. As Vettel was pulling away from Leclerc there was a decision to pit Leclerc who returned to the circuit setting fastest laps. Vettel pitted then pushed hard to end his race with a K…loss energy and pulled off the track.
The VSC was activated and the lead was contained to a close line of cars all ready to pounce onto one another for more points within their own mini-race-sets throughout the grid.
With George Russell’s Williams taking a line off the track with a wheel nut issue as a full safety car was activated. This allowed Leclerc to pit for soft tyres in the hope of chasing the win.
Bottas defenced perfectly to come home in second, Lewis Hamilton winning the race with Charles Leclerc finishing in third.
Rookies Albon and Norris finished well in 5th and 8th respectively.
Vettel was grilled post-race for more intel on the Ferrari race strategy. He was guarded in his reply as we all expect. Some tension appears evident in Ferrari with their drivers.
Next race Japan 11-13 October.
|4||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||53||+14.210s||12|
|5||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||53||+38.348s||10|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||53||+45.889s||8|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||53||+48.728s||6|
|8||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||53||+57.749s||4|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||53||+58.779s||2|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||53||+60.821s||0|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||53||+62.496s||0|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||53||+68.910s||0|
|14||10||Pierre Gasly||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||53||+70.076s||0|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||53||+73.346s||0|
|NC||88||Robert Kubica||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||28||DNF||0|
|NC||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||27||DNF||0|
|NC||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||0||DNF||0|
Note – Magnussen received a 5-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.