Sebastian Vettel has just as last year, the first race of the F1 season is won. The German profited optimally of a virtual safety car and I was able to reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen’s saviours. Stoffel Vandoorne won by uitvalbeurten a few spots and was pretty eighth.
For Lewis Hamilton it was yesterday, business as usual: the Brit crushed the competition during the qualifying and could start without problems his position to protect against the Ferrariduo Raikkonen-Vettel. Behind the top three was Kevin Magnussen (Haas) a strong start: the Dane went to Max Verstappen (Red Bull) immediately beyond. That upsets our northern neighbour is clearly not, because Verstappen went immediately on the attack. It led to some spectacular powerslides, but positions, he won’t. On the contrary: after 13 rounds went Stumbling around in the first corner, causing him to fall into the three positions took.
Good strategy, Ferrari, drama at Haas
With Sergey Sirotkin (Williams), Marcus Ericsson (Alfa Romeo Sauber) and Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso-Honda) fell three riders early on. All the way in the front seemed to be Hamilton freewheelend on the way to his first victory of the season. Ferrari decided on a strategy to try: the pulled out number two Räikkönen as the first within the round afterwards was Hamilton his example while Vettel his first stint and tried to stretch. In the meantime, ran the Hare, with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in a very impressive fourth and fifth place, complete failure: both riders had to deal with a failing wheelgun with their pit stops and had to fight strike. Grosjean parked his car on a dangerous spot, making a virtual safety car and afterwards even the real safety car, the track came up.
At Ferrari rubbed in the hands, because Vettel was immediately in and so precious time win. The strategic plan of the Ferrari was perfect: after Vettels stop continued the German first, for Hamilton and Räikkönen. Other big winners of the drama at Haas were Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren), who suddenly fourth and fifth layers. That all made for an intense second racehelft: Vettel came under heavy pressure from Hamilton for the victory, while Räikkönen repeatedly had to defend to Daniel Ricciardo from the podium.
Major changes would, in spite of the small differences did occur in front: Vettel came despite the threat of Hamilton as the first crossed the finish for the Brit, Räikkönen ensured that also the second Ferrari on the podium came. Thuisrijder Ricciardo fell just next to the podium, while Fernando Alonso, a handsome fifth place scored. Max Verstappen finished in a disappointing sixth place for Nico Hülkenberg (Renault), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Carlos Sainz (Renault).
Immediately dots for anonymous Vandoorne
For Stoffel Vandoorne was the all in all, a fairly anonymous end. Our compatriot departed from the eleventh place and would eventually have the misfortune of Grosjean and Magnussen to the ninth place work. Our countryman also came Carlos Sainz (Renault) passed by, but had, on the other hand, however, the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to pass. With his ninth place gathers Vandoorne, however, immediately two world cup spots.