Valtteri and Lewis lined up P1 and P2 on the grid, both on the UltraSoft tyre compound.
Off the line, Valtteri had a strong start to maintain position on the long run to Turn 2, while Lewis fended off a challenge from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to keep P2.
– The top three remained in close proximity before Valtteri pitted from the lead on lap 12 for Soft tyres, with Lewis following him in two laps later for the same compound.
– Lewis emerged behind Vettel’s Ferrari, but took the place back a few laps later with a move up the inside at Turn 4.
– With Lewis suffering from blistering and Vettel closing in, the team decided to swap Valtteri and Lewis around, in order to maximise points for the Championships.
– Max Verstappen went for a long first stint on Softs and took over the lead, before pitting on lap 43. Lewis claimed back the lead, with Valtteri close behind.
– Lewis crossed the line to claim his 70th F1 win, with Valtteri finishing runner-up to give the team a 1-2 finish.
“After the margin of yesterday’s Qualifying that was a really, really tough race,” explained Technical Director, James Allison. “The pace of the Ferrari put us under pressure all the way through the first stint and we rather fumbled things as a consequence, allowing us to lose the place to Sebastian at the first stop.
“Lewis spared our blushes with a beautiful overtaking move and put thing back on an even keel for us. But a little later in the race we got into a degree of difficulty once again when Lewis followed Valtteri quite closely from behind, damaging his rear tyres.
“At that point we were fearful of losing a position to a hard-charging Vettel. With Valtteri in front and on rubber that was working well, we took the very difficult decision to allow Lewis to go in front and have a car with good rubber protecting the 1-2 that would come our way if we would just look after the tyres to the finish.
“And that’s what happened in the end, we managed to get the 1-2, but it was a desperately difficult day for Valtteri. He took this disappointment like a Trojan, but I could see standing next to him on the podium looking into his eyes that it was hurting him.
“Valtteri is a brilliant teammate and a racer of real quality who had the pace to win today and who will have much better days ahead – and here’s to that!”