Despite an underwhelming qualifying from Vettel in the Ferrari on Saturday afternoon, the Ferrari seemed to like Sunday a lot better.
Starting seventh on the grid behind his teammate, Vettel made his way onto the podium after an exciting last few laps in a scrap with the two Red Bulls.
At the start of the race Vettel seemed to be stuck behind Massa in the Williams, who was on the faster tyre, for a few laps and was unable to catch up with his teammate.
Once the Williams was out of the way Vettel seemed to be on the charge. When all the cars in front of him made their first pit stop Vettel stayed out on the soft tyres which seemed to be doing the same lap times as race winner, Lewis Hamilton, on fresh medium tyres.
Finally, Vettel made his pit stop and made the soft tyres last for an impressive 32 laps.
Not much action was happening at the front of the race for a while but with ten laps to go Vettel was closing on Verstappen. With the advantage of fresher tyres Vettel was very close to Verstappen but, he also had the other Red Bull of Ricciardo behind him (who was on the soft compound tyre). Vettel was fighting both Red Bulls for the last podium position.
Going into turn one, Verstappen locked up under pressure and cut across the corner. Vettel wasn’t afraid to show his emotions and was sending colourful language down the team radio as he felt like Verstappen should of given him third place after gaining an advantage by cutting the corner.
Last lap and Vettel was still fuming about the Verstappen incident that he wasn’t concentrating on Ricciardo making his move on the inside. Vettel squeezed Ricciardo on the inside under braking and contact was made between them both.
Vettel finished fourth behind Verstappen who was under investigation. Verstappen got a five second time penalty which promoted Vettel to third.
However, Vettel was also under investigation on his defensive move on Ricciardo as it was deemed ‘dangerous’ under the new rules. He was given a ten second time penalty two hours after the podium celebrations and was demoted to fifth place.
This has all been very controversial. If Verstappen would have given up his place after he gained an advantage, like he was told to, there wouldn’t be so many penalties that have changed third place on the podium three times.
Vettel’s penalty was harsh. He did make contact with Ricciardo but he avoided causing a collision which would of ended both of their races. However, some argue that it may have been justified but, with the FIA’s inconsistency, Vettel was caught out under the new rules which may seem unfair as we have seen Verstappen in the past couple of races making very dangerous moves but no penalty awarded.
Overall, Vettel had a solid race. His pace looked good on both the soft and medium compound tyre and was matching Mercedes pace. The last few laps was where it all came to life and was probably the most exciting part of the race. Unfortunately for him, post race drama demoted him to fifth place overall and losing his already controversial podium spot.
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