Ricciardo and Bottas clash after Aussie's overtaking masterclass

01 August, 2018, 04:55 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • 1:18Max Verstappen Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel look back on the Friday practice sessions at the Hungarian Grand Prix

With this victory, Hamilton increased his lead in the driver's standing to 24 points.

The Finn, who like Hamilton agreed a new contract with the team only two weeks ago, had believed he could race to win, but was forced into a damage limitation race after an early pit stop.

Bottas defended his position for the next 20 laps as both Vettel and Raikkonen charged at the Mercedes driver in a battle for second.

The German built a handsome advantage but was slowed down by backmarkers as his first stint came to an end, and issues with changing his front-left tyre saw him return to the track behind Hamilton and Bottas.

Vettel was runner-up, 17.1sec behind, and survived a late collision with Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas, who also banged bodywork with Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Now, he is almost a clear win adrift of Hamilton in their private battle to become the first driver of their generation to win a fifth world championship. 'Our bosses stopped reading what Christian Horner is saying about us since 2015, ' said the Frenchman. Wolff, speaking after the race, said: "The result feels bittersweet".

To Vettel's credit, he did his best to damage the limitation after his off-colour qualifying display, but Ferrari had the quicker vehicle this weekend.

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"We know that consistency is the key, scoring points, and I did myself no favours last week", said Vettel. In Baku he lost places, too aggressive on the restart, in France he clipped Valtteri Bottas in turn one and then went off into the barriers in the wet in Germany.

Raikkonen had pitted a lap earlier, falling to fifth behind Ricciardo, who had yet to stop.

Hamilton now has 213 points to Vettel's 189 after the 12th of 21 races this year and before the championship takes a European summer break.

"But I don't think we should overestimate anything just because we won on a supposed Mercedes route", Vettel said, referring to Silverstone.

"But with the gap that he had, I think it would have been hard to catch - and then it's a completely different story, especially around here to overtake". He broke his front wing but Vettel somehow continued without damage or a puncture, keeping Raikkonen at bay in the process to finish a distant second behind Hamilton. "There is still a long way to go this season and the important thing is for the team to work in a calm and determined fashion, giving its all during the second half of the season". "We need to keep on taking it one race at a time if we want to come out on top", Wolff added.

In addition to this, he is leading this season's championship at the halfway stage, with another championship imminent as he has historically been stronger in the second half of the season.

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