Vettel breaks Hungaroring lap record to earn 48th career pole

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel achieved his 48th career pole position in Formula 1 and led a Scuderia Ferrari one-two at the Hungaroring.

Vettel was fastest in final practice earlier, leading the way in Q1, and was the first driver to lap under under one minute, 17 seconds in Q2, before Hamilton made a second run.

The four-time champion then set a time of one minute, 16.276 seconds best on his first run in Q3 to take pole, which proved enough to get the job done despite Vettel lapping slightly slower on his second attempt.

Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen snatched a brake at Turn 1 on his first run in Q3 so was down in fifth, but The Iceman improved dramatically on his second run to leap into second position, within two tenths of Vettel’s mark.

Hamilton went off at the fast Turn 4 on his first run in Q2 and did so again in Q3. He struggled for grip throughout qualifying, complained of vibrations through the tyres, and ultimately wound up only fourth quickest, more than four tenths of a second off the pace.

Mercedes struggled in the first sector of the lap compared to Ferrari and Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only third fastest, 0.163 seconds clear of Hamilton.

Max Verstappen was second quickest in Q1 and third in Q2, but Red Bull faded from the pole position fight in Q3.

Verstappen was fifth fastest, a tenth behind Hamilton, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was sixth, only 0.021 seconds adrift despite missing most of final practice with a hydraulic problem.

Nico Hulkenberg lapped quicker than Ricciardo in Q2 and ended up best of the rest for Renault in seventh, just under a tenth clear of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda.

Stoffel Vandoorne made Q3 for the second race in a row and qualified ninth, three tenths behind Alonso.

Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso rounded out the top ten.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was P11, missing the Q3 cut by a tenth of a second thanks to a superb final flying lap in Q2 from Sainz.

Esteban Ocon was best of the Force Indias in P12, ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, Ocon’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean’s Haas.

Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen matched Perez to the thousandth of a second in Q1, but missed the Q2 cut by account of setting his best time later than the Force India driver.

Lance Stroll’s Williams was only 0.007 seconds further back in P17, while emergency stand-in team-mate Paul di Resta outstandingly split the Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson to qualify P19 for his first Grand Prix since 2013.

Paul di Resta achieved this despite not having driven a 2017-spec Formula 1 car before, and only turning his first laps of the weekend in qualifying after Felipe Massa fell ill in final practice.

The former Force India racer gradually worked down to a time 0.766 seconds slower than Stroll, only 0.029 seconds slower than Wehrlein, and over a tenth clear of Ericsson. Williams rightly called this a “fantastic job” in difficult circumstances.

The Sauber drivers ended up more than seven tenths adrift of Stroll’s Williams, despite planning to run their year-old Ferrari engines at full power for the first time this season, after having cooling updates fitted to the cars.

So a fantastic result for Ferrari. A front row lock-out for the red cars. Sebastian Vettel is in prime spot to extend his championship lead but never discount Lewis Hamilton. Despite qualifying in fourth position, the Mercedes is still the car to beat. Bring on the racing action.

Hungarian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:

1    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m16.276s
2    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m16.444s
3    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m16.530s
4    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m16.693s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m16.797s
6    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m16.818s
7    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m17.549s
8    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m17.894s
9    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m18.311s
10    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m18.415s
11    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m18.495s
12    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m17.468s
13    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m18.538s
14    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m18.639s
15    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m18.771s
16    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m19.095s
17    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m19.102s
18    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m19.839s
19    Paul Di Resta      Williams-Mercedes    1m19.868s
20    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m19.972s

Hamilton scores British Grand Prix victory as Ferrari hit puncture trouble

Lewis Hamilton was victorious at Silverstone after a dominant drive and with a late drama for his championship rival, the Mercedes star has slashed the points gap to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to a single digit.

Hamilton led from lights to flag, crossing the line 14 seconds ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completing the British Grand Prix podium.

There was late drama as Raikkonen and Vettel suffered front left tyre problems with three and two laps to go respectively, when running second and fourth.

Raikkonen pitted and rejoined to take third with Vettel – who had reported blistering after a big lock-up – falling right back to seventh position as he had to drive further on his wrecked tyre.

It was Hamilton’s fourth victory of the season, his fourth consecutive British Grand Prix win and fifth Formula 1 triumph at Silverstone.

At the start, Raikkonen challenged Hamilton into the first corner, but the leader held firm and set about building an advantage.

Vettel made a slow start, slipping behind Verstappen before retaking the position only for the Red Bull driver to go back past around him on the outside at the Loop.

The race was neutralised when the safety car was deployed to clear debris after Daniil Kvyat ran wide onto the grass, lost control and hit Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz.

At the restart, Hamilton pushed clear, first holding a steady gap to Raikkonen before putting the hammer down ahead of the pitstops.

Further back, Vettel put pressure on Verstappen, attacking down the inside of Stowe, only for the Red Bull to hold on around the outside.

Verstappen managed to stay ahead under braking for Vale, squeezing Vettel wide into the chicane and prompting the Ferrari driver to raise his hand in frustration.

Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to pit, with Red Bull reacting by bringing Verstappen in next time around.

But a problem with a wheelnut delayed Verstappen, meaning he rejoined behind Vettel and did not have the pace to respond.

Raikkonen pitted soon after, with Hamilton following suit on the next lap and rejoining comfortably in the lead, ahead of Bottas, who had yet to pit having run deep on softs after starting ninth following a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

It wasn’t until lap 33 of 51 that Mercedes called in Bottas, the only driver in the top ten to start on the softs, in for the super-softs, and he rejoined fourth.

He used the fresher, softer rubber to gradually reduce the gap to Vettel and then launched an attack on the run to Club, but the Ferrari driver locked up and kept the position.

On the next lap, Bottas was much closer to Vettel on Hangar Straight and swept around the outside of Vettel with ease before they reached Stowe.

Bottas then inherited second when Raikkonen suffered the tyre issue, with Verstappen pitting late as a precaution and rejoining in fourth, ending a run of three successive retirements.

His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo produced an impressive recovery drive to take fifth, having started P19 after a series of grid penalties for engine component and gearbox changes and dropping to last early on having run into the gravel when trying to pass Kevin Magnussen.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best finish of the season with sixth, losing out to Ricciardo late on, but his team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to take the start after reporting brake-by-wire and hydraulic problems on the formation lap.

Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez gave Force India an eighth double points finish in ten races with eighth and ninth ahead of Felipe Massa. They had ended up in a three-way battle that developed as they queued behind the long-running Magnussen before the Haas finally pitted.

McLaren again failed to score – although Stoffel Vandoorne was not far behind Massa in P11. Fernando Alonso retired midway through the race having got up to P14 from his back of the grid start.

So a brilliant result for the home crowd favourite. That was an important victory for Lewis Hamilton in terms of the championship.

The late race drama from Ferrari was unfortunate. Both for the drivers and team. Kimi Raikkonen was heading for second position but a puncture cost The Iceman a runner-up spot. Third was the end result.

As for Sebastian Vettel. This was a difficult race, fighting against Max Verstappen. The championship leader also suffered a puncture, much to the delight of the Silverstone crowd. Sebastian dragged his Ferrari around to take seventh.

Only a single point between the Mercedes driver and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as the title race hots up. It’s game on for the championship.

British Grand Prix race results, 51 laps:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1h21m27.430s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    14.063s
3    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    36.570s
4    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    52.125s
5    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m05.955s
6    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m08.109s
7    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m33.989s
8    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
9    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
10    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
11    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
12    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
13    Romain Grosjean    Haas/Ferrari    1 Lap
14    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1 Lap
16    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
17    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
–    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    Retirement
–    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    Collision
–    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    Not started

Drivers’ standings:

1    Sebastian Vettel    177
2    Lewis Hamilton    176
3    Valtteri Bottas    154
4    Daniel Ricciardo    117
5    Kimi Raikkonen    98
6    Max Verstappen    57
7    Sergio Perez    52
8    Esteban Ocon    43
9    Carlos Sainz    29
10    Nico Hulkenberg    26
11    Felipe Massa    23
12    Lance Stroll    18
13    Romain Grosjean    18
14    Kevin Magnussen    11
15    Pascal Wehrlein    5
16    Daniil Kvyat    4
17    Fernando Alonso    2
18    Jolyon Palmer    0
19    Marcus Ericsson    0
20    Stoffel Vandoorne    0
21    Antonio Giovinazzi    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    330
2    Ferrari    275
3    Red Bull-Renault    174
4    Force India-Mercedes    95
5    Williams-Mercedes    41
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    33
7    Haas-Ferrari    29
8    Renault    26
9    Sauber-Ferrari    5
10    McLaren-Honda    2

Hamilton on British Grand Prix pole

Home crowd favourite Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth British Grand Prix pole position at Silverstone for Mercedes.

The British Grand Prix hero took the top spot early in the 12-minute Q3 session that decides the top ten on the grid with a lap of one minute, 27.231 seconds using the super-soft Pirellis that proved the tyre of choice for all.

That put Hamilton two tenths of a second ahead of world championship rival Sebastian Vettel, and on his second run he delivered a mighty lap of one minute, 26.600 seconds to provisionally seal his 67th pole position in F1 – now just one behind Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 record.

Initially Hamilton was been investigated for a potential impeding incident at the end of his first run in Q3 when Haas driver Romain Grosjean complained of being held up by him at Club corner.

In the end, the race stewards came to the conclusion that while Hamilton had got in Grosjean’s way, he had not cost the Haas driver anything. So the qualifying results and pole position stands. Much to the relief of the racing fans.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen jumped from fourth to second on his final lap, ending up 0.547 seconds slower than Hamilton.

Vettel struggled on the first two sectors of his final lap, meaning he ended up third and two-tenths off his team-mate.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest, with a lock-up at Turn 3 among the places he lost time on his second run, but has to serve a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

Max Verstappen was fifth quickest, with Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg sixth to earn his best starting position of the 2017 season for the Enstone-based team.

The Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were seventh and eighth, with Stoffel Vandoorne ninth on his first appearance in Q3.

Grosjean was tenth and slowest in Q3 after first losing three tenths behind Hamilton on his first run, then only making a small improvement on his second.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer missed out on making Q3 by less than a tenth of a second, setting P11 ahead of Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.

Fernando Alonso proved unable to join McLaren team-mate Vandoorne in Q3, with his final flier half-a-second off and only good enough for P13.

Alonso will start at the back thanks to a 30-place grid penalty for new power unit components being introduced.

Despite this set back, Alonso did set the quickest time in Q1 thanks to smart thinking from McLaren to use the slicks as the track conditions improved.

Carlos Sainz was P14 ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Williams driver Lance Stroll was fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1 thanks to a last-gasp effort by Alonso to jump from last to first.

It started to rain 12 minutes before the session, leading to a flurry of drivers going out at the start of Q1 using a mix of intermediate and slick rubber before it emerged it was too damp for the latter.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was fastest early on using intermediates, then stopped at Luffield reporting a loss of power, leading to the session being red flagged for five minutes.

The session got going again with ten minutes remaining, with Alonso running on intermediates but opting to pit with just enough time to bolt on super-softs and complete his out-lap before the chequered flag.

He managed to do that, crossing the line moment before the flag, leading to him taking top spot by 1.3 seconds and relegating Stroll into the dropzone. Alonso was one of only two drivers, alongside Ocon, to use slicks in Q1.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was P17 ahead of Sauber duo Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

Ricciardo was quickly shuffled down the timing screens, ending up P20, but is current due to start one place higher despite his five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox because of Alonso’s drop.

So a fantastic result for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. A popular pole position for the Silverstone crowd favourite. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel is third on the grid but the title fight is still on. Bring on the race.

Qualifying standings, Silverstone:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m26.600s
2    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m27.147s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m27.356s
4    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m28.130s
5    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m28.856s
6    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m28.902s
7    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m29.074s
8    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m29.418s
9    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m29.549s
10    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m27.376s
11    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m30.193s
12    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m30.355s
13    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m31.368s
14    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m31.482s
15    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m42.573s
16    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m42.577s
17    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m42.593s
18    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m42.633s
19    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m42.966s
20    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m30.600s

Bottas fends off Vettel to score second F1 victory

Valtteri Bottas fended off the challenge against Sebastian Vettel to score his second Formula 1 victory in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Bottas resisted the late attack from the Ferrari to secure the win by just six tenths of a second.

Vettel has extended his championship lead to 20 points over Lewis Hamilton, who recovered well from eighth on the grid after his gearbox-change penalty but was denied a podium by Daniel Ricciardo.

Bottas made a lightning getaway from pole position to comfortably lead Vettel into the first corner, although his start was so good it prompted an investigation into whether he had jumped it.

He had to wait 20 laps to be cleared – with the review revealing his reaction to the lights changing was just 0.2 seconds – and by this time had stretched his lead to 7.6 seconds over the chasing Ferrari.

Bottas ran a long opening stint, eventually pitting on lap 41 of 71 and emerging with a reduced lead of just 2.5s seconds

Vettel engaged in a race long pursuit of Bottas and was getting close to strike but eventually falling just short.

An aggressive first lap set Ricciardo on his way to his fifth podium in a row. That’s great consistency from the Red Bull driver.

Ricciardo attacked Kimi Raikkonen into Turn 1 but had to continue the move all the way up the hill into Turn 3, eventually claiming the place and forcing the Ferrari wide in the process.

Raikkonen dropped behind Romain Grosjean’s Haas as a result of Ricciardo’s move, and it took two laps for the works Ferrari to finally make it past the customer car at Turn 4.

The longest first stint of any of the frontrunners meant Raikkonen, who stopped on lap 44, fell behind the recovering Hamilton as the tyre strategies played out.

Hamilton had been gifted a position at the start by a clutch-related poor getaway from Max Verstappen, and worked his way past Sergio Perez’s Force India and Grosjean in the opening stint as well.

The Mercedes driver complained about his tyres once he swapped his super-softs for ultra-softs, but charged in the closing stages and got within DRS range of Ricciardo with three laps to go – though he could not find a way past.

Raikkonen finished a lonely fifth, while Grosjean scored his best result of the season with sixth.

Behind Grosjean came the Force Indias, with Perez leading Esteban Ocon, while the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll charged into the points after a disappointing qualifying left them P17 and P18 on the grid.

They were helped by a first-lap collision that was caused when Verstappen started slowly from fifth on the grid and was collected at Turn 1 by Fernando Alonso, whose McLaren had been rear-ended by Daniil Kvyat.

The Toro Rosso driver was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident, which led to Verstappen stopping further round the lap and Alonso returning to the pits immediately with terminal damage.

Kevin Magnussen, who complained of no power steering, and Carlos Sainz were the only other retirements.

So not the most thrilling Austrian Grand Prix but for Valtteri Bottas, this was the perfect result. Supreme reaction to the five red lights at start, resisted the pressure from championship leader and a second victory for Mercedes.

As for the Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton title fight. The Ferrari driver extends his lead to 20 points with the British Grand Prix coming up next. The home support for Hamilton will be very vocal and passionate at Silverstone.

Austrian Grand Prix, race results after 71 laps:

1    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1h21m48.527s
2    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    0.658s
3    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    6.012s
4    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    7.430s
5    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    20.370s
6    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m06.281s
7    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
8    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
10    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
11    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1 Lap
12    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
13    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1 Lap
14    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    2 Laps
16    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    3 Laps
–    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    Retirement
–    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    Retirement
–    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    Collision
–    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    Collision

Drivers’ standings:

1    Sebastian Vettel    171
2    Lewis Hamilton    151
3    Valtteri Bottas    136
4    Daniel Ricciardo    107
5    Kimi Raikkonen    83
6    Sergio Perez    50
7    Max Verstappen    45
8    Esteban Ocon    39
9    Carlos Sainz    29
10    Felipe Massa    22
11    Lance Stroll    18
12    Nico Hulkenberg    18
13    Romain Grosjean    18
14    Kevin Magnussen    11
15    Pascal Wehrlein    5
16    Daniil Kvyat    4
17    Fernando Alonso    2
18    Jolyon Palmer    0
19    Marcus Ericsson    0
20    Stoffel Vandoorne    0
21    Antonio Giovinazzi    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    287
2    Ferrari    254
3    Red Bull-Renault    152
4    Force India-Mercedes    89
5    Williams-Mercedes    40
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    33
7    Haas-Ferrari    29
8    Renault    18
9    Sauber-Ferrari    5
10    McLaren-Honda    2

Bottas comes out on in Austrian GP qualifying

Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Sebastian Vettel to pole position in the Austrian Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton will start no better than eighth place thanks to a gearbox penalty.

Bottas’s Mercedes led the Ferrari of championship leader Vettel by less than a tenth after the first runs in Q3, with Hamilton’s Mercedes 0.131 seconds further back in third.

All drivers lost their opportunity to improve on the second Q3 runs after Romain Grosjean’s Haas broke down at the exit of Turn 3 while he tried to adjust his engine settings, and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull spun into the gravel at the exit of Turn 7.

Bottas therefore secured his second pole in Formula 1, and will share the front row with team-mate Hamilton’s title rival Vettel.

Hamilton was already more than two tenths down on his earlier best through the first sector on his second lap and he also suffered a wobble on the exit of Turn 4, so would not likely have qualified better than third fastest.

He used the super-soft Pirelli to progress through Q2, so will start the race on an alternative tyre strategy following his five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, just ahead of the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who was struggling with oversteer through Turn 3 before his high-speed spin.

Grosjean ended up seventh quickest thanks to a strong first run, while Force India team-mates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were eighth and ninth, separated by less than a tenth.

Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso made Q3 for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix and completes the top ten.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg only just failed to displace Ocon’s Force India from the top ten shootout in Q2, falling short by 0.047 seconds.

Hulkenberg was only five thousandths of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso’s Spec-2 engined McLaren-Honda, which failed to improve during its second run.

Alonso’s team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, running the quicker Spec-3 Honda power unit, was happy to qualify P13, the 0.139 seconds gap to Alonso being the closest Vandoorne has managed to get to his illustrious team-mate so far this season.

Daniil Kvyat had a difficult qualifying session and ended up only P14 for Toro Rosso, while Kevin Magnussen ended up last of the Q2 runners, having failed to participate in that segment of qualifying after his Haas suffered a rear suspension failure in Q1.

Vandoorne escaped Q1 for only the second time this season, denying Renault’s Jolyon Palmer a place in Q2 by just 0.029 seconds with a late improvement.

Palmer failed to improve on his final lap, dropping nearly a tenth compared to his earlier best, so he wound up P16.

Williams endured its worst qualifying session of the season, with both drivers failing to escape Q1. This was such a big contrast to 2014, in which the team recorded a front row lock-out at the Red Bull Ring.

Felipe Massa was more than two tenths away from making the cut and was only P17, while team-mate Lance Stroll was another 0.074 seconds down in P18.

Marcus Ericsson got the better of Sauber team-mate Pascal Wehrlein, lapping only 0.249 seconds away from Stroll, having been more than half a second off the next fastest car in final practice.

So an anticlimax end to qualifying caused by a yellow flag. Bottas the winner in qualifying – his second pole position this season – but all focus are on Vettel and Hamilton following that bash in Baku. Sebastian is in a good position to score big thanks to second on the grid, while Lewis has work to do with eighth.

The Austrian Grand Prix is going to be fascinating in terms of the championship and supreme between the title rivals. Bring on the battle at the Red Bull Ring!

Austrian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:

1    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m04.251s
2    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m04.293s
3    Kimi Raikkonen       Ferrari    1m04.779s
4    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m04.896s
5    Max Verstappen        Red Bull-Renault    1m04.983s
6    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m05.480s
7    Sergio Perez      Force India-Mercedes    1m05.605s
8    Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes    1m04.424s*
9    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m05.674s
10    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m05.726s
11    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m05.597s
12    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m05.602s
13    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m05.741s
14    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m05.884s
15    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    No time
16    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m06.345s
17    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m06.534s
18    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m06.608s
19    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m06.857s
20    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m07.011s

*Five-place grid penalty for changing gearbox

Ricciardo wins chaotic Baku race as title rivals clashed

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was victorious in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix featuring Formula 1 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton controversially clashing behind the Safety Car.

Hamilton and Vettel had a on-track run-in while the race was being neutralised, earning Vettel an 10-second penalty that would have given Hamilton a comfortable cruise to victory had the headrest on the Mercedes not come close.

Those dramas left Ricciardo, who qualified tenth position and looked well and truly out of contention after stopping early to have debris cleared out of a brake duct, in position to take his fifth race victory.

Ricciardo headed home Valtteri Bottas and Williams driver Lance Stroll, who picked up a maiden podium just two weeks after his first Formula 1 points finish in Montreal.

Bottas had been a lap down after a first-lap collision with fellow Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen but was allowed to unlap himself during one of the race’s many interruptions.

Mayhem ahead allowed Valtteri to find his way into third, and he reeled in Stroll before inching ahead of the Williams in a near-photo-finish for second.

The Bottas and Raikkonen clash happened as the Ferrari got ahead of him for second into Turn 2 on lap one after the Mercedes lost momentum with wheelspin out of the first corner.

Bottas kept to the inside line, bounced off the kerb and into Raikkonen, who tagged the wall but continued in fifth while Bottas limped to the pits.

That allowed Vettel into second position behind Hamilton, and he was trailing by three seconds when the race’s first Safety Car appeared on lap 11 of 51 as Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso parked on track.

Max Verstappen was pressuring Sergio Perez for third at this point, but had to retire with yet another engine issue.

The safety lasted for several laps and allowed all the leading runners to swap their super-softs for softs.

Hamilton sped up early on the main straight for the lap 16 restart and immediately established a lead over Vettel, who had to fend off pressure from Perez, while Raikkonen fell behind Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon to sixth.

The race was immediately suspended again due to debris in several parts of the circuit, and another chaotic restart followed a few laps later.

First, Vettel made contact with the rear of Hamilton’s car as the leader tried to back the pack up for the restart.

Vettel was furious, pulling alongside Hamilton and angrily gesticulating at his rival on the exit of Turn 15 – as his Ferrari whacked against the side of the Mercedes.

Vettel then had to fend off Massa and Perez into Turn 1, although he kept position successfully again.

Instead, there was drama for the Force Indias, as Ocon tried to edge past Perez on exit of Turn 2 but made violent contact, with Raikkonen picking up a damaging puncture from their debris.

Red flags eventually came out this time. Perez and Raikkonen required long periods in the garage for repairs, while Ocon dropped to the back.

At the restart after a 20-minute stoppage, Hamilton and Vettel – now back on super-softs – maintained position with relative ease, as Ricciardo dived into third past both Stroll and Massa, who retired due to a broken rear damper shortly afterwards.

That overtake was crucial for Ricciardo as soon afterwards Hamilton was called to the pits for a loose headrest to be replaced and Vettel’s 10-second stop-go penalty was applied.

Ricciardo was left free to lead to the finish, while Vettel and Hamilton, now in that order, fought back through the field in tandem.

But they could do no better than fourth and fifth, catching the Bottas and Stroll battle on the final lap.

Ocon and Haas driver Magnussen had both run in a podium position after the red flag, but were shuffled back to sixth and seventh in the end.

Carlos Sainz recovered from a first-lap spin – that he blamed on team-mate Kvyat rejoining from the run-off area – to take eighth, with Fernando Alonso scoring McLaren-Honda’s first points of the season in ninth.

The Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein took tenth after a battle with team-mate Marcus Ericsson that included contact before the team asked Ericsson to let Wehrlein through as Stoffel Vandoorne gained on them on fresh tyres.

Vandoorne could not pass either Sauber and finished in P12.

Romain Grosjean was a lap down in P13 due to braking problems.

Raikkonen and Perez’s repaired cars were eventually retired, while Jolyon Palmer went out very early with engine problems.

So a dramatic and exciting Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Full of incidents with the championship contenders colliding into one another. A popular winning thanks to the honey badger and brilliant result for the Stroll, the first Canadian podium result since Jacques Villeneuve in 2001.

As for Alonso and McLaren-Honda. Finally, a points finish with ninth. The chaos certainly helped Fernando with this result but it can be taken as a positive step towards competitiveness.

Congratulations Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing in winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Suffered an issue during the race but came back fighting and taking a shocking victory. That’s Aussie grit!

Azerbaijan Grand Prix, race results after 51 laps:

1    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    2h03m55.573s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    3.904s
3    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    4.009s
4    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    5.976s
5    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    6.188s
6    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    30.298s
7    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    41.753s
8    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    49.400s
9    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    59.551s
10    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m29.093s
11    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m31.794s
12    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m32.160s
13    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
14    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    Not running
–    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    Retirement
–    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    Retirement
–    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    Accident
–    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    Retirement
–    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    Retirement
–    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    Retirement

Drivers’ standings:

1    Sebastian Vettel    153
2    Lewis Hamilton    139
3    Valtteri Bottas    111
4    Daniel Ricciardo    92
5    Kimi Raikkonen    73
6    Max Verstappen    45
7    Sergio Perez    44
8    Esteban Ocon    35
9    Carlos Sainz    29
10    Felipe Massa    20
11    Nico Hulkenberg    18
12    Lance Stroll    17
13    Kevin Magnussen    11
14    Romain Grosjean    10
15    Pascal Wehrlein    5
16    Daniil Kvyat    4
17    Fernando Alonso    2
18    Jolyon Palmer    0
19    Marcus Ericsson    0
20    Stoffel Vandoorne    0
21    Antonio Giovinazzi    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    250
2    Ferrari    226
3    Red Bull-Renault    137
4    Force India-Mercedes    79
5    Williams-Mercedes    37
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    33
7    Haas-Ferrari    21
8    Renault    18
9    Sauber-Ferrari    5
10    McLaren/Honda    2

Hamilton scores his 66th career pole at Baku

Lewis Hamilton won the Mercedes duel from Valtteri Bottas in qualifying to record his 66th career pole at the Baku Street Circuit.

This latest achievement in Formula 1 means Hamilton is just two poles away in equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 68. The form that Hamilton is on, the triple champion can surpass this and record more.

Hamilton was the only driver to lap under one minute, 42 seconds in Q1 and was comfortably fastest with a single run in Q2 as well.

He let Bottas get briefly ahead during the initial runs in Q3, after locking up and running wide at Turn 16 near the end of his quickest lap, before Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull hit the wall at the Turn 6 right-hander, bringing out the red flags and spoiling a potentially faster lap for Hamilton.

That incident turned the session into a one flying lap dash once the Red Bull was cleared, and Hamilton pulled out an awesome effort on his final run to claim pole by almost half a second from Bottas.

Both Ferraris struggled in qualifying, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel taking to the escape road at Turn 3 during their first runs.

Raikkonen recovered best to claim third on the grid, but over six tenths of a second down on the Mercedes of fellow Finn Bottas.

Vettel was fourth in the sister Ferrari, fractionally ahead of the surviving Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez pipped Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon by less than a tenth of a second to complete the top six, while Lance Stroll narrowly outqualified Williams team-mate Felipe Massa for the first time to claim a career-best eighth on the grid.

Ricciardo ended up slowest in Q3 following his crash.

The pace of the top five teams ensured there wasn’t much of a fight to make it through to Q3.

The Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz weren’t fast enough to challenge the Williams and Force Indias, but were comfortably quick enough to outpace Kevin Magnussen’s Haas (even with the benefit of an aerodynamic tow from Sainz), Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault – which lost power after only one run in Q2 – and Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber, which the Mercedes junior driver heroically dragged into the top 15.

A last-ditch effort from Magnussen ensured a Haas made it through to Q2 at the expense of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda, which ended up P16, fitted with a ‘spec 2’ engine, and just 0.017 seconds shy of beating Wehrlein’s Sauber into Q2.

Alonso is set to drop to the rear of the grid thanks to his 40-place grid penalty for various engine component changes, which will promote Romain Grosjean’s Haas and the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.

Stoffel Vandoorne was slowest of those that ran in qualifying, 0.235 seconds adrift of Ericsson, and will also cop a hefty grid penalty – including five places for an unscheduled gearbox change after final practice.

Jolyon Palmer was classified last in qualifying, without a lap time. He sat out the session after a high-pressure fuel leak caused his Renault to cook itself during the early stages of practice three.

The speed advantage from Mercedes was highly impressive in qualifying. The long, home straight really showcase the power and to be over a second clear from rival Ferrari underlines the dominance of this hybrid era of Formula 1.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is going to be fascinating on Sunday. Can Hamilton reduce the points gap to Sebastian Vettel? What can Valterri Bottas do? Is he able to challenge for victory? Bring on the race.

Qualifying positions, Baku:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m40.593s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m41.027s
3    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m41.693s
4    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m41.841s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m41.879s
6    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m42.111s
7    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m42.186s
8    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m42.753s
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m42.798s
10    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m43.414s
11    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m43.186s
12    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m43.796s
13    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m44.267s
14    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m44.603s
15    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m43.347s
16    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m44.468s
17    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m44.795s
18    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda     1m44.334s*
19    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda     1m45.030s*
20    Jolyon Palmer       Renault –

*Grid penalties for power unit change

Dominant Hamilton wins at Canada

Lewis Hamilton scored a dominant lights-to-flag victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, significant reducing the points lead to title rival Sebastian Vettel.

The Mercedes driver lead away from pole position and remained unchallenged for most of the 70-lap race to cross the line 19.7 seconds clear of his  team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium, with Vettel recovering to fourth position having dropped to last after sustaining damage at the start.

That happened when Max Verstappen made a storming getaway from fifth, going around the outside of Vettel at Turn 1 to take second behind Hamilton.

But with Bottas simultaneously attacking Vettel on the inside, the Ferrari found itself squeezed and damaged its front wing on Verstappen’s left-rear wheel.

Vettel continued initially but was soon forced to pit when part of the front wing broke off, dropping him to P18 and last.

The race had been neutralised on the opening lap, when the safety car was called into action following a collision between Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean.

Sainz appeared to move across on Grosjean on the straight after Turn 2, causing contact that pitched the Toro Rosso into a spin approaching Turn 3.

The out-of-control Sainz violently collected an innocent Felipe Massa. Both were out but unhurt, while Grosjean had to pit for a new front wing.

Hamilton held off an attack from Verstappen at the safety car restart but that challenge ended very soon when the Red Bull pulled off track at Turn 2 with a mechanical problem, prompting a virtual safety car.

Bottas was promoted to second place but was unable to provide a challenge to his team-mate. Hamilton had this race in his control and recorded his third win of the season and sixth in Canada.

He moved to within 12 points of championship leader Vettel as Mercedes achieved its first one-two of the 2017 campaign.

While the Mercedes had a trouble-free race with a one-stop strategy, Ferrari made a mid-race switch to a two-stopper for its out-of-position drivers.

Kimi Raikkonen had dropped behind Sergio Perez’s Force India when he made a mistake in the early laps.

Vettel made rapid progress through the midfielders and was closing on his team-mate into the second half of the Canadian Grand Prix when their strategies changed.

Raikkonen was first to make an extra stop and initially stayed ahead of Vettel, only to run off-track at the final chicane when his car developed brake problems that left him limping to the finish.

That left Vettel clear to chase down a podium battle in which Ricciardo was hanging on ahead of the Force Indias.

Esteban Ocon was catching Perez after making a later pitstop, prompting Force India to ask them to swap places.

Perez insisted the team let them race and it proved costly as their wheel-to-wheel fight allowed Vettel to get a run and dive down the inside of Ocon into the first corner in a bold move.

While Ocon sliding over the run-off, Vettel continued his chase after Perez, running off track briefly at Turns 8 and 9 but then making a pass stick at the final chicane for fourth.

Despite an angry Ocon’s best efforts, Perez clung on to fifth position.

Raikkonen nursed his Ferrari home in seventh, just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault.

Lance Stroll scored the first points of his Formula 1 career with ninth in front of his home crowd.

The Williams driver earned that by battling through the midfield after a relatively early stop.

A late pitstop meant Fernando Alonso ran as high as fourth, despite losing ground taking to the grass to avoid the Sainz and Massa collision on lap one.

Even after being passed by Stroll’s more powerful Williams, Alonso stuck with the rookie and was on course to score McLaren-Honda’s first point of 2017 only to retire with yet another Honda problem on the penultimate lap.

While Alonso climbed into the grandstand to meet fans, his retirement elevated the recovering Grosjean to the final point – just ahead of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen – who lost ground with a penalty for overtaking Stoffel Vandoorne under virtual safety car conditions.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat had a crazy race – failing to get away for the formation lap, then being given a drive-through penalty for regaining his grid slot, a further time penalty as the race stewards deemed their first sanction was “incorrect” and then having a chaotic pitstop just after complaining of vibrations. He ultimately retired from last place.

This was the perfect weekend for Lewis Hamilton. Equalling his hero’s qualifying achievement with 65 pole positions and scoring a grand slam in the race by leading every lap and setting the quickest time. Just 12 points separate the two title rivals. It’s game on for the championship.

Canadian Grand Prix, race results after 70 laps:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1h33m05.154s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    19.783s
3    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    35.297s
4    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    35.907s
5    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    40.476s
6    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    40.716s
7    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    58.632s
8    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m00.374s
9    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
10    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
11    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1 Lap
12    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
13    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
14    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
15    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    2 Laps
16    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    Engine
–    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    Wheel
–    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    Battery
–    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    Collision
–    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    Collision

Drivers’ standings:
1    Sebastian Vettel    141
2    Lewis Hamilton    129
3    Valtteri Bottas    93
4    Kimi Raikkonen    73
5    Daniel Ricciardo    67
6    Max Verstappen    45
7    Sergio Perez    44
8    Esteban Ocon    27
9    Carlos Sainz    25
10    Felipe Massa    20
11    Nico Hulkenberg    18
12    Romain Grosjean    10
13    Kevin Magnussen    5
14    Pascal Wehrlein    4
15    Daniil Kvyat    4
16    Lance Stroll    2
17    Jolyon Palmer    0
18    Marcus Ericsson    0
19    Fernando Alonso    0
20    Antonio Giovinazzi    0
21    Stoffel Vandoorne    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    222
2    Ferrari    214
3    Red Bull-Renault    112
4    Force India-Mercedes    71
5    Toro Rosso-Renault    29
6    Williams-Mercedes    22
7    Renault    18
8    Haas-Ferrari    15
9    Sauber-Ferrari    4
10    McLaren-Honda    0

Hamilton upstages Vettel to take Canadian pole and equals Senna’s pole record

Lewis Hamilton beat his Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix and equal his hero’s achievement of 65 pole positions.

Ferrari had set the pace in practice, but when it mattered in qualifying Hamilton produced the result. The Mercedes driver lapped below one minute, 12 seconds for the first time this weekend in Q1 and never looked back.

Hamilton was fastest of all in Q2 before setting a new lap record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to claim pole in Q3.

Hamilton took provisional pole with a one minute, 11.791 seconds lap on his first run, before Vettel attempted to respond, falling short by just 0.004 seconds thanks to a wild moment coming out of the Turn 6/7 chicane.

Hamilton then lowered his own benchmark with one minute, 11.459 seconds on his second run to seal pole, before Vettel shaved 0.006 seconds off his own best time.

This allowed the Ferrari driver to beat Hamilton’s earlier Q3 best, but still left Vettel 0.336 seconds short of taking the top spot.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest. He was fractionally quicker than his Mercedes team-mate in Q1 and not far behind in Q2, but was well beaten in Q3, finishing over seven tenths of a second down.

Friday pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen brushed the wall in Q1 and ended up fourth fastest overall for Ferrari, complaining of a “really shit” first corner on his quickest lap.

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo claimed row three of the grid, separated by 0.154 seconds, with Verstappen lapping within two tenths of the second.

Felipe Massa was seventh fastest for Williams and the only other driver to lap below one minute, 13 seconds, ahead of Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, and impressive Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, who rounded out the top ten.

Neither Toro Rosso driver made it through to Q3, after a messy session that featured a spin for Carlos Sainz at Turn 1 and Daniil Kvyat glancing the wall at Turn 9 and picking up a puncture.

Kvyat wound up P11, 0.284 seconds shy of the cut, while Sainz was P13.

Fernando Alonso split the Toro Rossos by lapping his McLaren-Honda in P12, only 0.003 seconds shy of beating Kvyat and despite initially complaining of having less power available from the engine than he’d enjoyed in Q1.

Romain Grosjean struggled with a lack of grip from his final set of ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, saying they gave him “absolutely nothing” as he wound up P14.

Jolyon Palmer was P15 in the second of the two works Renaults, also complaining of “no grip”. He was within two tenths of team-mate Hulkenberg in Q1, but struggled badly in Q2, including suffering a brief off at Turn 1.

A crash for Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber at the same corner ended Q1, as it forced several drivers to abandon late efforts to improve.

Having complained about being used by his team-mate ‘unfairly’ for a tow in the second half of the session, Sainz managed to squeak into Q2.

Sainz lapped 0.131 seconds clear of Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren-Honda, which was eliminated in Q1 for the sixth time in seven attempts this season.

Lance Stroll also failed to escape the bottom five in qualifying for his home race, the Williams rookie finishing the session 0.027 seconds behind Vandoorne in P17.

Kevin Magnussen complained of encountering traffic “every single lap” as he wound up only P18, less than two tenths clear of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.

Wehrlein lapped slowest of all, 0.315 seconds down on Ericsson, and ended up with his Sauber missing its rear wing after he approached Turn 1 on too wide a line and lost the rear of the car under braking.

So a fantastic qualifying result for Lewis Hamilton. The triple champion received a race worn helmet presented by the Ayrton Senna family as a honour for equalling the great driver’s record of 65 pole positions. The emotions from Hamilton said it all.

Qualifying positions, Canadian Grand Prix:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m11.459s
2    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m11.789s
3    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m12.177s
4    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m12.252s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m12.403s
6    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m12.557s
7    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m12.858s
8    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m13.018s
9    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m13.135s
10    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m13.271s
11    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m13.690s
12    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m13.693s
13    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m13.756s
14    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m13.839s
15    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m14.293s
16    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m14.182s
17    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m14.209s
18    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m14.318s
19    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m14.495s
20    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m14.810s

Vettel wins street fight against Raikkonen to triumph at Monaco

Sebastian Vettel clinched victory in the Monaco Grand Prix over his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. While Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton finished down in seventh.

Pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen led the opening part of the race, but Vettel stayed out five laps longer before his pit-stop, and rejoined ahead of his team-mate.

Raikkonen could not respond with Vettel stretching his lead before the safety car was called into action when Jenson Button collided with Pascal Wehrlein at Portier, pitching the Sauber onto its side against the barrier.

But once the Monaco Grand Prix got back under way, Vettel was able to build a gap and crossed the finishing line 3.1 seconds clear of his team-mate to secure Ferrari’s first win at Monte Carlo since 2001.

Daniel Ricciardo, who survived hitting the wall at Sainte Devote after the race restart, also ran a long first stint, enabling him to jump the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and his own Red Bull team-mate of Max Verstappen to take third place.

Hamilton, who started P14, was the last driver to pit, switching from ultra-softs to super-softs and rejoining seventh.

The three-time world champion pressured Carlos Sainz in the closing stages, but could not find a way past, which means he leaves Monaco 25 points adrift of Vettel in the drivers’ championship.

Raikkonen made a brilliant getaway to lead away from pole, with Vettel fending off a half-hearted attack from Bottas to retain second.

The Iceman built a gap of around 2.1 seconds, but Vettel began closing that down and was within a second before Raikkonen was called into the pits.

Vettel pumped in a series of quick laps ahead of his stop and rejoined around a second clear of his team-mate, with Raikkonen seemingly giving up on the win from there.

Verstappen was furious when he found out Ricciardo had jumped him, labelling the situation a disaster, and though he pressured Bottas for much of the second stint, he couldn’t find a way past.

With 18 laps to go, Button, who was filling in at McLaren while Fernando Alonso competes at the Indianapolis 500, tried an ambitious pass on Wehrlein into Portier.

The two, who had run nose-to-tail for the entire race, made contact, with Wehlein’s Sauber flipped onto its side against the barrier, while Button pulled over at the exit of the tunnel with the front-left corner of the car heavily-damaged.

Wehrlein climbed out of the car, once it was righted onto its wheels, and was able to walk away unaided but went to the medical centre for precautionary checks.

It was a frustrating day for Sauber, with Marcus Ericsson carrying too much speed into Sainte Devote and hitting the wall when trying to pass the safety car to unlap himself.

Romain Grosjean finished eighth for Haas, ahead of Felipe Massa with Kevin Magnussen completing the top ten.

Stoffel Vandoorne was set to finish in tenth position and score McLaren’s first point of the season but he slid off at Sainte Devote when Sergio Perez attacked down the inside.

Perez, who had his race compromised when he was forced to pit early with a damaged front wing, then tried a bold pass on Daniil Kvyat at Rascasse for ninth.

The pair made contact, with Kvyat retiring and Perez pitting for another front wing, bringing to an end his 15-race point-scoring streak.

Jolyon Palmer was the sole finishing Renault in P11 with his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg retiring with a gearbox problem when running tenth.

So not the greatest Monaco Grand Prix. After an exciting qualifying session in which the sport’s most popular driver was on pole position, the main event was a let down. Kimi Raikkonen’s race was screwed over due to Ferrari’s pit-stop strategy and that allow Sebastian Vettel to benefit the most. Victory and 25 points in the championship.

Monaco Grand Prix, race results after 78 laps:
1    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    78    1h44m44.340s
2    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    78    3.145s
3    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    78    3.745s
4    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    78    5.517s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    78    6.199s
6    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    78    12.038s
7    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    78    15.801s
8    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    78    18.150s
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    78    19.445s
10    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    78    21.443s
11    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    78    22.737s
12    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    78    23.725s
13    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    78    39.089s
14    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    71    Collision
15    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    71    7 Laps
–    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    66    Spun off
–    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    63    Spun off
–    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    57    Collision
–    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    57    Collision
–    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    15    Gearbox

Drivers’ standings:
1    Sebastian Vettel    129
2    Lewis Hamilton    104
3    Valtteri Bottas    75
4    Kimi Raikkonen    67
5    Daniel Ricciardo    52
6    Max Verstappen    45
7    Sergio Perez    34
8    Carlos Sainz    25
9    Felipe Massa    20
10    Esteban Ocon    19
11    Nico Hulkenberg    14
12    Romain Grosjean    9
13    Kevin Magnussen    5
14    Pascal Wehrlein    4
15    Daniil Kvyat    4
16    Jolyon Palmer    0
17    Lance Stroll    0
18    Marcus Ericsson    0
19    Fernando Alonso    0
20    Antonio Giovinazzi    0
21    Stoffel Vandoorne    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Ferrari    196
2    Mercedes    179
3    Red Bull-Renault    97
4    Force India-Mercedes    53
5    Toro Rosso-Renault    29
6    Williams-Mercedes    20
7    Renault    14
8    Haas-Ferrari    14
9    Sauber-Ferrari    4
10    McLaren-Honda    0