1000th race won by Hamilton ahead of Bottas and Vettel

Verstappen 4th, Leclerc 5th

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By Olivier Ferret

14 April 2019 - 09:52
1000th race won by Hamilton ahead (...)

Lewis Hamilton won Formula 1’s 1000th world championship race, getting the jump of polesitting team-mate Valtteri Bottas off the line at the start to take a lead he then held for the full race distance. Sebastian Vettel was third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Hamilton made a good start from second place on the grid to power past Bottas, who afterward admitted he had been disadvantaged by momentary wheelspin on the start/finish line.

Starting from the same side of the grid as Hamilton, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also got away well to steal P3 from team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Behind them, Verstappen held fifth off the line, with Red Bull team-mate Pierre Gasly also retaining his starting position of sixth ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Further back, there was trouble for McLaren as both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris got tagged in a battle with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. Norris was pitched into the air briefly and sustained floor damage while Sainz damaged his front wing. Both pitted for repairs at the end of the first lap and rejoined at the back of the field. Kvyat was soon handed a drive-through penalty for causing the collision.

By lap 10 Hamilton had opened up a solid lead ahead of his team-mate, but fourth-placed Vettel was now pushing to get past Leclerc. Despite the younger driver’s protestations that he was quicker than the German, Leclerc was told to defer to the four-time champion and on lap 11 he pulled across to allow Vettel through to third place.

At the end of lap 17 Verstappen headed for the pit lane to take on hard tyres. Sensing a threat, Ferrari mirrored the move with Vettel on the next lap and the German rejoined just ahead of the Dutch driver.

With Vettel on cold tyres, Verstappen smelled blood and the Red Bull driver launched a bold attack down the inside into the hairpin. He got past but locked up slightly and Vettel was able to hold a wide line and retained his position, with Verstappen being forced out onto the grass.

It was the Dutch driver’s only realistic chance and once Vettel’s tyres were working well, he began to pull away from the Red Bull.

The race then settled until the second round of stops, again triggered by Verstappen. The Dutchman pitted at the end of lap 34 for medium tyres and Ferrari responded by bringing in Vettel for the same compound a lap later. Mercedes then brought in their drivers for medium compound Pirellis.

Bottas dropped to third in that round of stops but he soon closed in on Leclerc and despite a brave defence by the Ferrari driver, the Finn was able to get past to reclaim P2.

Vettel now also began to close on Leclerc and armed with fresher tyres there was little fuss in getting by as Leclerc gave way and swiftly made his own pit stop for mdeiums. The Monegasque’s pit stop allowed Max to power past and reclaim fourth place, with Leclerc eventually rejoining almost 15 seconds behind the Red Bull.

The order at the top remained unchanged in the final laps, with Hamilton cruising to a 75thcareer win ahead of Bottas, Vettel and Verstappen.

However, behind fifth-placed Leclerc, Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull was plotting a late charge.

Vettel had held the race fastest lap, a 1:34.836s, since lap 37, but holding a an almost 30s advantage over Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Gasly took a free pit stop on lap 53 for soft tyres. He duly claimed fastest lap with a time of 1:34.742 to take another point to add the eight earned for sixth place ahead of Ricciardo, Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen and Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon, who delivered an excellent drive to claim a point for 10thplace after starting from the pit lane.

Pos.DriverCarGapPit
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 56 laps - 1h32m06.350s 2
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 +6.552 2
03 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 +13.744 2
04 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 +27.627 2
05 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 +31.276 2
06 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 +89.307 3
07 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 +1 lap 1
08 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 +1 lap 1
09 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 +1 lap 1
10 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 +1 lap 1
11 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 +1 lap 2
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 +1 lap 2
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 +1 lap 2
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 +1 lap 2
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 +1 lap 2
16 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 +1 lap 1
17 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 +1 lap 1
18 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 DNF 4
19 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 DNF 4
20 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 DNF 2

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