Scuderia Ferrari recorded its fourth win and second one-two finish of the year, which are the 228th and 83rd respectively in the team’s history. This was Seb Vettel’s seventh win in red and the 46th of his career. For all those back in Maranello, this result was the crowning glory for the huge effort they have put in, which came at the end of a race that was anything but easy, even if both cars started from the front row.
A second good getaway
The two SF70H cars maintained those positions off the line, with Kimi tucked in behind Seb, while battle raged behind them and Ricciardo was already out following a collision. As Daniel was stuck on track, the Safety Car was called out for quite a while – five laps in fact – as oil had to be cleaned up off the track surface. The Ferraris made a second good getaway when the race restarted and they were followed by Bottas, Verstappen, who would have to take a 10” penalty for hitting his team-mate, and then Hamilton. In this phase of the race, the Reds were the quickest cars on track, the only ones lapping under the 1’23”.
Incredible final laps
At one third distance, nothing had changed, except that the two leading cars were backing off to spare their equipment. Then Seb came on the radio saying there was something wrong with the steering, which was pulling to the left down the straight. Kimi closed in until the gap closed to just over a second. The number 5 Ferrari pitted at the end of lap 32, after his closest pursuers had already changed tyres. The Supersofts made way for the Softs. Next time round, Kimi came in and emerged back on track just behind his team-mate. The lap times went up and down, partly because of the need to pass backmarkers. On lap 43, the Ferrari duo was back out in front, after a very late stop from Verstappen. Behind them the two Mercedes changed places without a fight. With 15 laps remaining, the top three cars were covered by just two seconds. Seb then pulled out a bit more on lap 58, his fastest of the race. Kimi did likewise to ensure Hamilton could not get into the DRS range. The final laps were nerve wracking, as Seb could not take the lines he would have liked through the corners but he held firm, as did Kimi right behind him. What a great way to finish, delivering a wonderful reward to a team that knows that it can never give up.
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