Ferrari fined €50 000 after F1 mechanic injured

Max Verstappen's damaged Red Bull following a puncture

4:53PM Verstappen's damaged car a close-up Max Verstappen's damaged Red Bull following a puncture Credit SKY SPORTS F1

Vettel now leads Hamilton by 17 points after two of the 21 races. The scuffle between the two ended with Verstappen getting a puncture.

Meanwhile, Hamilton, who recovered from ninth to third, pulled no punches in his damning assessment of Max Verstappen after branding the Red Bull driver a "d***head" following their second-lap collision. He pulled over on the side of the track because of an electrical failure, prompting the safety vehicle to come out.

"My job is to go when the light says so". The pair touched, with Gasly managing to retain position. The Briton soon set his sights on Magnussen ahead, making the pass one lap later, with Gasly falling into his clutches the lap after that, putting up not much of a fight to keep the defending world champion back.

Vettel was nearly overtaken by Bottas on the last lap but made a crucial blocking move and won by only 0.6 seconds for his 49th career win.

Bottas nearly overtook Vettel on the last lap, but Vettel made a crucial blocking move and won by only 0.6 seconds.

Bottas finally pitted after 21 laps, in a 3.8 seconds stop for medium tyres that were expected to see him complete the race - while both Ferrari ran on softs. Bottas had a flawless drive right till the end, bringing in the gap of eight seconds from the German, down to under a second at the last lap, but unfortunately ran out of laps before making the final overtake.

Asked whether his win was down to Mercedes' level dropping off or Ferrari's rising, Vettel told Autosport: "It's a hard one".

"These tyres were done, done, in the last 10 laps", Vettel told his team over the radio.

When asked if he thinks the teams need to face bigger penalties to make pitstops safer, he added: "I don't think so".

The win was Vettel's second in succession at the start of 2018 but the manner of victory was in stark contrast to his somewhat fortunate success in Australia two weeks previously.

Raikkonen wasn't especially apologetic when he commented on the incident after the race.

This left Bottas as the lone driver to challenge a rapidly fading Vettel.

Raikkonen's left tyre was still being attended to when he slammed on the power and he drove straight into the leg of the mechanic who was badly hurt.

"A bit sad because one of our mechanics got injured", Vettel said. [But it was] mostly the fact I had a better feel with the auto.

Bottas came close to overhauling the future victor, but not close enough. "But it wasn't quite enough", Bottas said. A mistake at Turn 1 allowed Bottas to further close, setting the stage for a grandstand finish.

In the final lap, Bottas was within a second's range of the German.

Vettel leads the championship on a ideal 50 points, 17 ahead of Lewis Hamlton.

Haas, who also use Ferrari tyres, also suffered similar problems at the Melbourne Grand Prix last month.

Hamilton expertly jumped up three places, passing Sebastian Ocon (Force India), Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Nico Hulkenberg (Renault).

"It doesn't matter how good things are unfortunately if you don't finish or score points", he said.

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