Sebastian Vettel - We didn't have the pace to challenge Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel - We didn't have the pace to challenge Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel - We didn't have the pace to challenge Mercedes

The race was won by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Verstappen's win in Red Bull's home race confirmed his status as F1's form man following his second place last week in France and a third position at the Canadian GP before then. We wanted to recover the maximum points that we could, and at that stage we were all in pain about the mistake that we'd made.

It cost defending champion Hamilton the lead in the Formula One championship, as he fell one point behind Vettel again after the ninth of 21 races.

Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo was also forced to retire on his 29th birthday.

Speaking in the wake of yesterday's race, where Mercedes double DNF, and Ferrari's 2-3, handed the lead in both championships to the Italian team, asked whether the Maranello outfit had considered asking Raikkonen to move aside for him, Vettel was emphatic.

But the Mercedes driver's opportunities wouldn't eventuate, with tyre problems further preventing his ability to win the race. "A positive day but it could have been better". I think that's one of our main losses. However, the auto was very good, we had a very good pace and we didn't have any issues with the tyres; in fact, the vehicle was very good on them, even if I had to manage the Softs for a long stint, which again proves we have made good progress since Barcelona. "We understand. It's my mistake".

Grosjean wrapped FP2 as the seventh-quickest driver with a time of 1:05.429, which was.599 of a second better than his best lap in FP1.

The German, whose team did not invoke orders for Raikkonen to cede position as might have been expected, clawed back the overall lead by a single point from Mercedes rival Hamilton.

But while Red Bull and Ferrari quickly brought in both drivers for fresh tyres, the Mercedes garage did not make the same call for Hamilton.

Hamilton, who is due to sign a new £40million-a-year extension with Mercedes, added: 'I am not going to lie we're going to have to work on all areas.

James Vowles is the man in charge of strategy at Mercedes and is now under increasing scrutiny.

Mercedes played it safe when they did not bring Hamilton in for new tyres following a late safety vehicle in China.

Verstappen led Raikkonen by more than six seconds but with everyone behind the Dutchman seemingly anxious to protect tyres, he was unchallenged.

"I don't know what to say to you guys".

"We started to see an exhaust leak where temps were going through the roof, but we thought we will keep going in the hope we can try do things to cool it down", Horner explained.

It was clear that tyre wear was emerging as a critical factor. Magnussen's run plan, however, ended abruptly with 35 minutes left in the session after sustaining a cut right-rear tire.

On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.

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