Lewis Hamilton put together an impressive recovery drive to finish third on the track and moved up to second when Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was disqualified after officials were unable to take the required fuel sample from his car following the race.
Hamilton now leads the Drivers’ Championship and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is on top of the Constructors’ Championship standings as F1 heads into its summer break.
Lewis Hamilton: “First of all, I want to say a quick congratulations to the Alpine Team and to Esteban – he’s been a shining star for some time now so it’s been a long time coming and I’m really, really happy for him. … We’ve had an amazing crowd this weekend and I’m grateful for the support.
“Today was definitely tough, it’s crazy to think we were the only ones on the grid at the start, but these things happen in an unpredictable race, and we will learn any lessons that need to be learnt. I gave it everything today and I had nothing left at the end. I came into this weekend not knowing how we would perform and considering the circumstances today, I’ll take P3!”
Valtteri Bottas: “I had a poor start with lots of wheelspin off the line, lost a couple of places and then into turn one, I was right on the gearbox of Lando and locked the wheels. I misjudged the braking point – it’s always difficult starting a race in those conditions, you’re always ‘guesstimating’ grip levels and today I got it wrong. I’ve spoken to Lando and Checo to apologise, it was my bad today and sometimes you have to hold your hands up.”
Toto Wolff: “A difficult start for Valtteri, he suffered wheelspin off the line and found himself sandwiched into the first corner and missed the braking point. A small mistake with large consequences and damage to several cars, and I’m sorry to McLaren and Red Bull – to lose out in an accident like that at the start of the race is tough to take.
“We then had a decision to make with Lewis on the race restart and I stand absolutely behind our decision, keeping him out was absolutely the right call for us, even if it was a little lonely for him out there. It would have been a gamble to pit from the lead, the track dried unbelievably quickly in the sun and it could have easily gone the other way, and then we would have looked foolish for bringing him in. It was a courageous drive from Lewis to carve his way back through the field and the win was possible at the end, but Fernando defended strongly and perhaps it wasn’t our day to win.”