It was a double podium finish for Ferrari with the win by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikonnen’s third place which will bring back a bit of peace within the team from Maranello, even though the huge gap enjoyed by Mercedes, especially Lewis Hamilton, since Bottas confirmed he is a good second driver.
Lewis Hamilton was sensational for the whole grand prix by setting a striking pace. This must make everyone think about the future, especially at Ferrari since the gap to be closed is impressive. If he had not been forced to start from pit-lane he would very probably have imposed a gap of eighteen seconds on his rivals.
Raikonnen was able to manage and ease the Englishman’s cavalcade despite having tyres that were more worn and bringing home a precious place on the podium. Ferrari was confirmed that it is the second force of the championship, except for problems of reliability. With this win Vettel has practically assured his place as vice champion.
I heard and read a lot of criticism directed at Hamilton for his mistake in qualifying. In all sincerity I would be more careful because I had the impression that it was the result of some experiment already planned for 2018. I feel that Mercedes wants to use these two grands prix to test some innovative developments. Looking at the incriminated episode in slow motion something did not convince me. It was as if Englishman was surprised by the unexpected behaviour of the rear of his car…
It was a grand prix full of overtaking and run at a fast pace with a good in house struggle between Red Bull’s Verstappen and Ricciardo which confirmed that it is the championship’s third force. I enjoyed watching two old hands, Massa and Alonso, fight for all the 71 laps within the space of two tenths of a second. They were the protagonists of a clean race and a regular fight. Despite a motor with less power compared to Williams’ Mercedes, Nando was constantly able to keep within nine tenths of a second from the Brazilian.
Now we only have to go Abu Dhabi where the curtain will be drawn on this season.
Gian Carlo Minardi