Hamilton: Respect for Vettel is the highest

"I think he's been a real breath of fresh air for everyone so obviously he's got a great following and he's definitely been in some great situations in some races".

The 32-year-old is no stranger to close title runs.

First, the German blew past Raikkonen before going wheel-to-wheel with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at turn seven, producing puffs of blue smoke as the cars touched tyres.

Vettel recovered from a poor start from row one and, after being stuck behind Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen early on, began to show the pace that swept him to victory in Melbourne two weeks ago.

Vettel recovered from a mishap-filled start to finish in second place, 6.2 seconds behind the Mercedes driver.

Vettel was up to the challenge of working his way back up the field, however, eventually passing Verstappen on lap 28, before unsuccessfully attempting to wrangle the lead from Hamilton. He was still able to salvage the day by finishing in sixth place.

The next race takes place in Bahrain on Sunday and Raikkonen will be eager to impress after Marchionne's comments over the weekend.




The victory enhanced the Briton's reputation as one of Formula One's greats as he moved closer to Michael Schumacher in a number of different areas. Yes, I caught up with the Red Bulls in the end but it was too late. So for us it is really good news we had another race where we were really close and were able to put some pressure on.

"On true pace, both Ferrari and Mercedes should be ahead with both of their drivers so we still need to work very hard to catch up", he explained.

"I didn't expect that at all, especially after starting 16th".

Bottas apologised to his team for an embarrassing spin while weaving to warm his tyres behind the safety auto, which dropped him down to 12th. However, a crash for Sauber's Antonio Giovinazzi, meant the safety vehicle was deployed again and Hamilton and co could pit without losing time. Bottas will have to become more consistent and not make costly errors if Mercedes intends to win yet another Constructor Title. At that time I was chilled at the front.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon secured another double points finish for Force India with fighting drives in tricky conditions.

"They have a very, very strong team and have done really well in the last couple of years, smashing a lot of records and being flawless without any mistakes really". Antonio Giovinazzi followed up with a huge crash into the main straight pit wall.

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