Hamilton then executed the race strategy perfectly, including some really strong and aggressive overtaking moves when he needed to. Fortunately, the Mercedes he was driving had the pace to match other teams’ cars.
Second place went to Kimi Räikkönen of Lotus who had managed to fight his way up from sixth on the grid and pass Vettel. Vettel applied strong pressure on Räikkönen in the closing stages but had to settle for third in the end.
In the opening moments of the race, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso moved up from fifth to fourth, with his team mate Felipe Massa coming up to fifth, despite being clipped by Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg. Unfortunately, Rosberg’s woes weren’t over. He would later retire from the race on lap 65 because of an engine failure.
Hamilton made his first stop on lap nine and was followed to the pits by Vettel two laps later. Both emerged behind Jenson Button of McLaren. However, while Hamilton got past the slower McLaren, Vettel found himself stuck behind it for 13 laps. He made a bold attempt to get by on lap 17 but the challenge resulted in a minor collision that damaged the front wing of his Red Bull.
Mark Webber, also of Red Bull Racing, showed why he’s one of the best drivers in the current F1 lineup. A very strong first stint saw him recover from tenth on the grid to fourth. He almost caught Vettel but in the end finished fourth. Behind the Australian was Alonso, rounding out the top five.
Sixth place went to Lotus’ other driver Romain Grosjean, who was followed by Button in seventh. In the closing laps, Massa tried to pass Button, but it was just too high a target and so the Brazilian had to settle for eighth. Ninth place went to McLaren’s other driver Sergio Perez while the Williams of Pastor Maldonado was tenth.
Sebastian Vettel remains at the top of the 2013 Drivers’ Championship standings, sitting on 172 points. Thanks to his continued strong performance, Kimi Räikkönen now moves up to second with 134 points and is just one ahead of Fernando Alonso who drops to third.
In the 2013 Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing commands 277 points versus the 208 points of Mercedes AMG and the 194 points of Ferrari.
Teams now enjoy their summer break and will be back in four weeks for the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps. _______________________________________