Lewis Hamilton worry, Max Verstappen surprise, Sebastian Vettel slammed

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Vettel made contact with Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), which damaged the front wing on the Ferrari, while Bottas had to nurse his vehicle back to the pits with a punctured rear tyre.

The 31 points that Mercedes scored at the Paul Ricard Circuit moves their season total thus far to 237 points and extends their constructors' championship lead over Scuderia Ferrari to 23 points. Max had decent pace, but I could maintain the gap at around five seconds.

Mercedes customer team Force India had to retire Perez's vehicle with an engine issue, which Wolff said sparked a concern about what could happen to Hamilton, team-mate Valtteri Bottas or the two Williams drivers.

Just after the run-in between Vettel and Bottas, there was further trouble when Pierre Gasly ran his Toro Rosso into the back of Esteban Ocon's Force India, knocking them both out of the race and bringing out the safety auto. Valtteri was way, way ahead and left him a lot of space.


"I hope when we get to Austria, the journalists ask him if he will change his approach because that is what l heard for so many races", Verstappen said.

Hamilton, who still felt Vettel should have been given more than a five-second penalty, and his rival have been full of mutual respect since their rivalry took off in earnest last season.

Verstappen was next in second place, but the Dutchman, having cruised in place since the first-lap carnage, was some 20 seconds up the road and unreachable.

"I think it's really so lovely down here and I've really enjoyed my week", he said. We're all going into that first corner at great speeds.


Another driver whose F1 future is up in the air is Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. "I'll keep my head down, work hard and hopefully the luck will turn around at some point - I think it is about time".

"We were strong as a team, although unfortunately we could not turn that into a flawless points result", said Bottas. The former two-time champion failed to finish his third consecutive F1 race when his McLaren had a problem with its back left tire and he was forced to retire late.

"Obviously for Valtteri it was very bad because it affected his race and he had nothing to do with it, so I went to him after the race [to talk to him]".

"Ultimately you shouldn't really be able to finish ahead of him if you took him out of the race".


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