Two punctures in the final moments of the race, but nevertheless Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen made it to the podium in third place.
The race got off to a false start as an extra formation lap was needed because Palmer had stopped on track. That meant the race distance was down to 51 laps, but there was excitement right from the start, with Kimi and Seb fighting with Verstappen. Then came a collision between the two Toro Rossos which brought out the Safety Car. Kimi hung on to Hamilton, while Seb, who had a few difficulties at the start, was fourth.
Racing restarted on lap 5, with Kimi matching the leader’s pace, while his team-mate had to be patient before getting his place back. It was a thrilling duel, but in the end, it was decided on the strategy call: a scheduled pit stop for Seb on lap 19 saw the German fit the Soft tyres. The number 5 Ferrari came out ahead of the Force India duo in fifth place. On lap 24, it was Kimi’s turn to pit to go from the Supersofts to the Softs.
Shortly after that, Hamilton did the same, but on fresh rubber, the Iceman was the fastest man on track. Bottas came down pit lane on lap 32 and came out behind the Scuderia Ferrari duo.
Shortly after that, Hamilton did the same, but on fresh rubber, the Iceman was the fastest man on track. Bottas came down pit lane on lap 32 and came out behind the Scuderia Ferrari duo. Seb reacted, setting his best lap in1:31.872. On lap 43 came the first duel, as Seb repulsed the attack under braking.
But the move ruined his tyres and he lost the position on the Hangar Straight. “I can get to the finish” came his reassurance over the radio and indeed he would, while out in front, with only two laps remaining, Kimi’s left front tyre suddenly let go. The Finn pitted and took on Supersofts, while he was helped by the fact Verstappen also needed to make an unexpected stop. But on the last lap, Seb also got a puncture, again a left front. He dived into pit lane and managed to stay in the points.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “My race wasn’t going too bad until a few laps before the end. I suddenly had the problem, my front left tire let go with no warning; the air stayed in the tire but the rubber part, came off. It’s disappointing because without that issue the second place was secured, and we deserved a better result. We had made some changes to the car and they seemed to have improved the feeling. When it’s like this you are confident and you can push; I hope that it will be a similar story in the future races. However, today we were lacking a little bit of speed against our rivals. We did what we could but obviously there’s some work to be done to catch up the Mercedes in places like this. This is definitely not our strongest type of circuit. I’m interested to see what happens in the next race, I guess the Hungarian track should suit our car better.”