Vettel wants to beat, not battle Mercedes


Hamilton was concerned about his overheating rear tyres with Ferrari hoping they would prove the three-time champion's downfall.

Speaking to Sky F1, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said: "His race was pretty much gone after contact in Turn One".

"This one I was on a knife edge the whole way, flat chat, first trying to catch him... and when you are flat chat you are using your whole body to balance the auto".

After starting from pole position, Stevenage-born Hamilton lost the lead to Vettel on the run to the first corner. It was only about maintaining the lead from there and Hamilton did so seamlessly.

Such a win - the 55th of his illustrious career - saw Hamilton cut Vettel's championship advantage to just six points after five races. This is why I race.

"I lost almost two kilos during the race".

The two men, with seven world championships between them, fought a wheel-to-wheel duel in Spain on Sunday with Hamilton emerging the victor and now six points behind the German.

But, Vettel had to lament for wasting the lead he got at the beginning of the race.

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"We just had a close battle and if it had gone a different direction then obviously it could be different".

Verstappen's race was over just seconds after it began when his auto was on the receiving end of a knock between Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.

"I'm really happy to be spraying some champagne again", said Ricciardo.

"He was respectful, and still that respect stayed the same, but I think you could sense he was angry".

"I didn't want him to win, I wanted to win, so I'm not entirely happy but at the same time I have nothing to complain or moan about as he drove past us on the track and they did a better job as a team". Both Raikkonen and Verstappen received damages to their suspensions, forcing them to retire from the race.

One of the main issues that Hamilton and his Mercedes team have been trying to work out since the start of the 2017 Formula One season is the weight of its W08 challenger as they have been struggling to get near the 728kg weight limit for auto and driver. "I tried to brake as late as possible". Vettel stayed second, with Daniel Ricciardo a distant and lonesome third.

Hamilton ran an alternative strategy, picking medium tyres for the middle stint while Vettel held them off until the end, and also benefited from pitting just as a virtual safety vehicle period was ending. "I was doing what I could to say in front, but as soon as I was alone he just flew past".

The race turned static during a period of virtual safety vehicle, with cars forced to lap at controlled speeds while a Stoffel Vandoorne's crashed McLaren was cleared away.