wnol.info September 26 2017

Vettel victories could force a Mercedes rethink

September 26 2017, 07:19 | Van Peters

"The auto was really fantastic to drive", Vettel said.

"Lewis obviously was a very big threat again towards the end. but the vehicle was a dream today". We made the call.

Bottas was disappointed but said the team directives made sense.

"There's no race results as I've been hoping for so it's always the next one".

After instructions from the team, Bottas allowed Hamilton through on lap 27 for second place as he dropped to third to fend off Raikkonen in the Ferrari behind him. "I had a good feeling yesterday already, and it was just confirmed today". "It was a really tricky race today". I think the second stint was not that far off.

When the racing began again on the seventeenth lap, Vettel was at the head of the order, followed closely by Bottas.

"Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn't know where he was", Hamilton said.

Lewis Hamilton believes he lost time during a botched entry to the pit lane. "I tried my hardest to catch up". "We will regather as a team and come back fighting. Losing points for the team is definitely painful".

A masterclass from Vettel on track, and the right strategy calls from his Ferrari team off it, enabled the four-time champion seal his second win of the campaign and take an early advantage over Hamilton in the title race. Hamilton pushed past his teammate to finish second, and Bottas completed the podium finishing in third. And that's how the race finished.

Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull, despite Renault power unit issues halting his programme early, just ahead of Romain Grosjean, who clocked up nearly twice as many for Haas. The four-time world champion, endured a torrid time previous year, and was even warned by the Ferrari hierarchy that he would have to earn his next contract - with his current deal expiring at the end of this season. A lap later, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz crashed into Williams' Lance Stroll shortly after leaving the pits.

This forced Mercedes to pit their drivers at the same time, and after a rather slow pit stop from Bottas slowed both drivers' stops, Vettel claimed first in a rather easy fashion.

Hamilton is current on 61 points in the drivers' championship, seven behind Vettel, with Bottas in third place on 38 points.

There was some frantic action behind the leaders, with Fernando Alonso battling it out in midfield.

"So yes I see the point, but still it's tough when you're on pole and trying to win a race".

Vettel's struggle with tyres came in the following lap and he pitted immediately, feeding back into the pack ahead of Ricciardo in fourth.

"Three races into the season, you don't want to go there yet".

Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton to pass so he could chase Vettel, but the gap was just too big. "People say "you finished second, you should be happy" but that's not why we exist".

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