“Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit that was a race” so tweeted the Australian F1 star after Sunday’s race.

Having qualified 10th after sticking the car into the wall near to the end of Q3 on Saturday, no-one really expected the Red Bull driver to be standing on the top step of the podium come Sunday.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton had everything under control from the start after qualifying on pole for the 66th time in his career (only 2 behind record holder Michael Schumacher), just ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas and the two Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. However things were not going to be straight forward for anyone.

The race featured three safety cars and a red flag (race stopped) on lap 23 to clear debris after several crashes left carbon fibre strewn all over the track. During one of the re-starts, Vettel seems to purposefully swerve into Hamilton after hitting the rear of the Mercedes, claiming the Brit had ‘brake-tested’ him – the stewards found no such action from Hamilton and dished out a 10 second stop-go penalty to Vettel which should have played into Hamilton’s hands but, a loose headrest forced him to pit to get a replacement. Shortly after, Vettel served his penalty but emerged from the pits ahead of his title rival. The two carved their way through traffic ending the race fourth and fifth. 

Ricciardo didn’t have it all his own way either, dropping to 17th early on after an un-scheduled pit stop to clear debris from his car. He fought his way up the field to 10th by the time the first safety car was deployed, and found himself in 5th at the final re-start. Once the safety car was in, Ricciardo pulled off a great move and passed both Williams drivers and moved himself in to 3rd and prime position to mop up the points as Hamilton and Vettel were called in to the pits.

Lance Stroll followed Valtteri Bottas home to round-out the top 3 after the Finnish Mercedes driver snatched 2nd place from the young Canadian at the line.

Vettel extends his lead slightly to 14 points over Hamilton with 12 races to go.

Next race:

Austria, 7th-9th July