Despite starting Mercedes’ home race from second on the grid, Hamilton was almost immediately P1 as he powered off the line to lead into the first corner. It was a lead that he would not relinquishing, not even in the pit stops, as after 67 laps and a few drops of rain, Hamilton raced to his fourth successive win. His winning strategy was supersofts, softs, supersofts, softs as he adopted a three-stop strategy.
Hamilton’s latest victory, his sixth of the campaign, allowed the reigning World Champion to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 19 points over Rosberg. In contrast to Hamilton’s easy run to the line, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Nico Rosberg battled hard for the final two places on the podium. P2 was initially held by Verstappen, who made an incredible start, while Rosberg dropped to fourth as he was unable to get off the line with any pace. He had a brief wheel-to-wheel fight with Ricciardo but the Aussie held fast to third. “You’re on plan B,” Mercedes told Rosberg.
He overtook Verstappen after the second round of stops in a tussle that earned the German a five-second penalty for forcing Verstappen off. “He pushed me off the track,” the Dutchman argued at the time. Rosberg also found himself ahead of Ricciardo as the Aussie leapfrogged his team-mate, Verstappen going from second to fourth. The third round of stops saw Rosberg come in first, take his five-second penalty – which was actually eight – with Verstappen in next and then Ricciardo a lap later. They emerged P2, P3, and P4 with Ricciardo ahead and Rosberg off the podium. The quartet held those positions to the flag…Read more