Five seconds penalty earner Hamilton was catching the German on every lap but ultimately ran out of time and finished almost seven seconds behind. Following the race Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff praised Ferrari’s pit-stop strategy and perfect top podium finish.
“We had a problem with the generator and couldn’t bleed Valtteri’s tyres and therefore we were a few PSI too high and then couldn’t get the pace back again. But Ferrari executed very well.” Wolff said
“We tried to maintain the order and not interfere as it’s an awful call but at a certain stage you have to decide if you are losing the race or making a call.
“The main thing was we couldn’t drive at the pace the car had.
“It’s pretty evenly matched. On a single lap we have a tiny advantage and maybe in the race, with managing tyres Ferrari have that tiny advantage. You can’t really judge from today. We don’t know what the outcome would’ve been if Lewis had been at the front early on.
“We’re three races down and we have always maintained that philosophy of [equal drivers]. I know it’s a very tough call and I don’t want to make it yet.”
Mercedes non-executive director and triple-time F1 world champion Niki Lauda tells Sky F1: “There were a few deciding factors. Our pit stop had a problem as there was a problem with the pressure of the gun. The second was the penalty for Lewis as without that he could have won the race.
“Ferrari altogether did everything right and deserved to win.
“Valtteri had high tyre pressure so could not do the speed. Why should we hold each other up if one car has a problem.”