2017 Season Review – Hamilton’s record-breaking fight

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regulations. A move away from the engine formula to create faster cars with wider tyres and more downforce. But who would take Nico Rosberg’s crown this season?

Australia                                                  

A new era began when F1 rolled into Albert Park with Lewis Hamilton going head to head with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in a fight for pole. Hamilton had the upper hand after the German made a mistake losing a quarter of a second to the Mercedes under breaking. It was a good start for Valtteri Bottas in his first start for the Silver Arrows. Australian Daniel Ricciardo crashed out of Q3 and started tenth.

Vettel piled on the pressure on Hamilton from the start and jumped the Englishman when he made his first pit stop. That allowed him to then open the gap up over the Mercedes driver, who was unable to respond. He couldn’t clear soon enough the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo’s home race was worsening, after starting a lap down the RBR11 ground to a halt in the middle of the race and that caused him to retire from the race.

Sergio Perez was another winner at the start getting past Daniil Kvyat at the start then pasting his team-mate mid-race, with a move around halfway mark with a fine round-the-outside move at Turn 3.

But it was Vettel who sealed the victory for the first time in 2017 with his start.

China

The build-up to the Chinese Grand Prix was difficult. Thick fog threated the race with Friday’s Practice being heavily interrupted by the weather. Hamilton always had performed well in Shanghai and it was another perfect performance by the Brit who took his fifth career pole in Shanghai.

Vettel wasn’t far off, in the end, it was just six centimetres which handed Hamilton pole. For the second race in a row, it was the same top four as in Melbourne. Verstappen failed to make it out of Q1 after technical problems and then the session came to an early end as   Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi brought the red flags out.

The Italian came out of the last corner and went over the kerb onto the astro turf which sent him into a spin. He then spun across the track into the tyre wall which took his front suspension off.

Hamilton went on once again to dominate in Shanghai and took the grand slam of pole, fastest lap and the win. He had learnt from the mistake in Melbourne, getting a better start and pulled away from Vettel at the start of the race.

Conditions in Shanghai also played to his strengths as he has always managed to perform very well in wet/dry conditions. Giovinniza’s debut weekend wasn’t getting better, he was caught out on the pit straight and aquaplaned as he cross the finish line losing control of his car and spun off into the wall.

That crash allowed the rest of the field to have a free stop and switch onto slick tyres.

McLaren’s once again suffered a double retirement because of reliability problems

Bahrain

Bottas took his maiden pole in Bahrain after going two tenths faster than his team-mate Hamilton, who made a mistake on his final run in Q3. Vettel failed to convert his strong running in the day light into qualifying pace, also the German also losing time in the last sector as well as the first sector.

It was a close fight between Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel. But it was the Ferrari driver who came out on top thanks to a penalty for Hamilton after he was gifted the lead when Bottas made his first stop. The stewards decided that the three times champion had held up Daniel Ricciardo in his first stop.

In the midfield, there was a taster of what would shape up throughout the season to be an intense midfield battle with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso trading places throughout. Eventually, the Renault power meant that Alonso was easy pickings.

Things weren’t going better for the second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne, He failed to start because of an MGU-H failure. The beginning of the straining of the partnership between McLaren and Honda and the eventual divorce

After a back injury in January, Pascal Wehrlein’s debut for Sauber saw the German finish twelfth.

Russia

Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix was a very close fight between Ferrari and Mercedes. Vettel and Raikkonen both out-qualified the Mercedes duo, who looked as if they were unable to improve on the final run in Q3. Ferrari looked in strong form all weekend and looked strong in Q3, from the start of the session the team appeared to be close to the Mercedes on pace.

Come Sunday it was Bottas who started better after the first start was aborted. The Finn got ahead of Vettel before a safety car, caused by a collision between Palmer and Romain Grosjean. Bottas then withstood Vettel’s pressure, with Raikkonen third. Hamilton meanwhile was looked as if he was in a race by himself in fourth.

The Englishman looked to struggle on the second stint with the tyres, leaving him unable to catch Raikkonen. However, he clearly had the pace to stay ahead of Verstappen. It was another disappointing afternoon for Alonso who said he was “sad” after his McLaren ground to a halt, at the entry to the pits as he tried to get the car back to the garage.

But it was an emotional afternoon for Bottas who took his debut victory. “It feels a bit surreal. Hopefully, it’s the first of many. It was definitely one of my best races personally ever.” Bottas had achieved the dream the first Grand Prix win, propelling himself into the title race.

As Formula One returns to Europe and with it two all between Ferrari and Mercedes, could either team steal a march? In addition, would Bottas really be in the title hunt for the long haul?

Spain

Throughout winter testing, Ferrari looked really strong in Barcelona, so could they continue that brilliant form. Hamilton looked to up his game as he threw down the gauntlet in qualifying, fastest in all three sessions. But as it was becoming clear in every race so far, the gap between Hamilton and Vettel was just a tenth.

However, for Verstappen and Red Bull, hopes that the first European race of the season would bring them close enough to challenge both Ferrari and Mercedes. However, while they closed up on the top two it proved not enough to allow them to fight for pole.

Hamilton translated pole into leading the race as Vettel fought off his teammate Raikkonen. That pushed the Finn into the path of Verstappen, with the two making contact and causing terminal damage to their cars. It was not only Ferrari and Red Bull who lost a car, Bottas was forced to retire after a water leak.

At the front, the battle continued, with Hamilton hanging on to take victory from Vettel. That narrowed the championship to six points. A major benefactor from three of the top six cars retiring was Force India, who were rewarded with an impressive result as Sergio Perez finished fourth and Esteban Ocon fifth.

While Fernando Alonso wanted points in his home race before his trip to Indy, he could only manage thirteenth. However, it was the best result of the season for McLaren so far.

Monaco

Throughout practice, it looked as if Vettel and Ferrari had the slight edge over Mercedes. But for the first time since Mangny-Cour in 2008, it was Kimi Raikkonen who took pole. Red Bull was in the mix too as Verstappen was third fastest ahead of Bottas, while Hamilton was only thirteenth.

Mercedes were expecting this race to be difficult because of the low-speed nature of the circuit. However, they must have been surprised by how far they were off the pace, especially as Hamilton failed to make it into Q3. But, he was struggling for grip in Q2 going off at Massenet, then lost time as he was pulled over by the FIA to the weighbridge leaving him unable to give it one last go and putting him out in Q2.

Raikkonen led most of the race until a late safety car meant Vettel got ahead. Vettel had gone longer than his teammate on his first stint on the tyres. Also using the same method was Ricciardo, as he jumped Bottas using the overcut to get ahead of the Finn.

Meanwhile, Hamilton got ahead of the Haas of Grosjean to finish seventh. In his final Grand Prix, Button was certainly having fun, he attempted a move on Wehrlien’s Sauber.

However, he failed to make the move, tipping the German over landing him in the barriers at Portier and breaking the suspension of his McLaren. Things would get worse for the Swiss team, as Marcus Ericsson crashed under the safety car at Ste Devote.

Canada

Montreal has always played to the strengths of Hamilton, he had won the race five times before could he make it six. However, with Ferrari’s dominance of street circuits, this season stop the Mercedes driver claiming another win or would the high-speed circuit favoured Mercedes.

It was a close fight between the two men, but Montreal’s high-speed straights put the Englishman ahead once again by three tenths. That allowed Hamilton to take a sixty-sixth career pole, after which he was clearly speechless. He had equalled boyhood hero Ayrton Senna, with the family of the late three times champion presenting him with a race-worn helmet. That session also smashed Ralf Schumacher’s pole record.

Hamilton went onto once again dominate the Circuit Giles Villeneuve, pulling away from teammate Bottas from the very start. The threat Mercedes expected following Monaco never materialized, following Vettel being forced into an early stop after brushing against Verstappen.

That also meant the Ferrari was forced into a two-stop strategy. Verstappen’s recovery was short-lived, as a battery problem forced him into retirement. Chaos shortly followed as Sainz tangled with Grosjean forcing Alonso to take avoiding action.

Alonso’s return from Indy was going well until the same ugly problems with the Honda power unit raised their head forcing him to retire. But, after six difficult races and at his home race Lance Stroll sealed his first points of his career.

Until now, it had been a friendly and respectful fight between Vettel and Hamilton, but would that boil over in Baku?

Azerbaijan

Baku was the backdrop for round eight, with Hamilton once again taking pole from Bottas as the Mercedes duo clearly had the slight edge. But Ferrari was not far off the pace.

Ricciardo crashed out at the most critical part of the session, meaning the top teams were unable to go fighting for the last few tenths as they struggled for heat with just a single out lap. While Verstappen had looked close to the top two when it mattered he was eight tenths off.

That friendly rivalry came to an end as Hamilton and Vettel prepared for the restart after a collision between the Force India’s on the first restart as they crashed into each other at Turn Two caused a red flag. Perez got alongside Ocon and his front wing made contact with the front tyre.

That brought the safety car back out leading to the red flag because of the amount of debris on track. That also lead to conqenues from the team and a war of words to break out on social media, after the Frenchman accused Perez of “trying to kill him.”

That lead to Force India clamping down on racing within the team. But all the drama saw Stroll go from strength to strength as he gained his first podium. But that Q3 crash hadn’t affected Ricciardo as the chaos saw the Australian rise from tenth to take the victory.

The fight had been respectful until now, so what impact would the Baku race have on the championship going forward? Would it give an advantage to either of them.

Austria

Bottas put in another good performance to put himself a tenth ahead of Vettel, who was unable to respond to the Finn’s lap. Bottas had looked very strong all weekend, unlike his teammate Hamilton who was forced to abort his final run in Q3. The Englishman already knew going into qualifying he would take a penalty for a gearbox change and did his best Q2 lap on the more durable supersofts.

It was a strong session for Haas both cars in the top ten. In recent years Williams had been in the mix at the Red Bull Ring and even got pole, but it was shaping up to be a dismal weekend. Both cars were out in Q1 as the team struggled to find the balance one cars.

Bottas was on lighting form, with some accusing the Finn of jumping the start to lead at turn one. He built that lead throughout the race, as Vettel was caught in traffic. That was despite the Finn blistering his tyres, however, the short lap meant that Vettel needed to get through the traffic.

It was another good start by Ricciardo who attacked Vettel into the first corner, staying with him on the long run to Three where he made the move stick. That battle allowed Romain Grosjean to get pass the Ferrari aided by Ricciardo, as he closed up.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was working his way up charging his way through to fourth. Before being stuck in the closing stages of the race behind the Red Bull.

Max Verstappen’s race was over before it had really begun. The Dutchman only made it to the first corner, before being hit by Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, as a result of the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat misjudging his braking and hit pushing it into Verstappen.

The Toro Rosso driver was awarded a drive-through penalty for the incident, which led to Verstappen stopping further round the lap and Alonso returning to the pits immediately with terminal damage. That penalty meant the Russian finished the race being the last of the runners in sixteenth.

Britain

Hamilton took pole position despite an investigation into impeding the Haas of Grosjean. The Mercedes driver was half a second faster than Raikkonen on the supersofts, while title rival Vettel struggled in the first two sectors. Bottas was also struggling, he lost time after a lock up.

It was another disappointing qualifying for Williams, with Massa only fifteenth and his team-mate Stroll sixteenth, while Palmer just missed out on Q3 after Vandoorne pushed him out.

Hamilton was again in dominant form, leading from the very start of the race and building that gap, leading every lap to take victory for the fifth time at Silverstone. But behinds it was turning once again was the battle of the Finn’s.

However, the race swung towards Bottas in the closing stages as Raikkonen suffered a puncher forcing him to pit with two laps to go. Things were not going better for Vettel either; he was also forced to stop with two laps to go with a tyre failure!

Ferrari’s gamble of running long stints backfired dramatically on track. But Vettel’s chances of winning the race was effectively over early on as he slipped behind the Red Bull early on.

Verstappen finished fourth, despite his own tyre problems in the closing stages. Despite the tyre woes, it was a brilliant race for the Dutchman who hung on to finish ahead of his team-mate Ricciardo. It was a good race for the Aussie who recovered from the back to finish fifth.

It was a great race for Renault’s Hulkenberg in sixth, earning his team there best result since the team returned as a works manufacturer last season. But while Hulkenberg got a good result for the team, team-mate Palmer’s race was over before the start, he suffered a break by wire issue and hydraulic problems on the formation lap. That caused the first start to be aborted.

Hungary

Ferrari looked in very good form with Vettel beating his teammate Raikkonen by a tenth in qualifying. Vettel looked as if he had the advantage because Mercedes where struggling in the tight first sector of the lap. Bottas beat Hamilton to third place, as he struggled with his tires on his final lap in Q3 costing him four tenths.

Massa was replaced by the former Force India, Driver Paul di Resta after feeling unwell. The Scotsman had his first taste of a 2017 car in the anger of qualifying, it was a respectable afternoon and he will start nineteenth.

The race was Ferrari’s from the off with both Mercedes struggling to get close enough to pass Raikkonen and Vettel, that was despite both teams appearing to be very evenly matched on their race pace. Hamilton was released by Bottas in the closing stages to try and get past the Ferrari.

However he didn’t have enough pace to catch the Ferrari, so in a sign of his respect for his teammate, he gave the position back to him. Hamilton later admitted that he thought it could have been the moment, he could have lost the championship.

Meanwhile, both Red Bull’s collided at turn two, Ricciardo went around the outside of Verstappen after he suffered oversteer causing them to crash. That earnt Verstappen a ten-second penalty at his first stop. Ricciardio said “I mean there’s not much else to describe or say. That was amateur to say the least.”

It was also a good race for Alonso who finished sixth after leaping Sainz during the pit stops. di Resta’s return to the driving seat ended with him retiring from the race because of an oil leak in the closing stages as he battled with the Sauber

At the halfway point in the season, Vettel lead by fourteen points over Hamilton with Bottas a further nineteen point behind his teammate. While in the constructors Mercedes led Ferrari by thirty-nine points.

So could Ferrari take their first championship in a decade or will Mercedes fight back?

Belgium

Hamilton returned at his best following the summer break, beating Vettel to take pole by two tenths. It was another special day for the Mercedes driver, who equalled the record number of poles set by Michael Schumacher. It was a great come back from the German, who appeared to be struggling to get the lap together.

Meanwhile, it was a great session from Verstappen who out-qualified Ricciardo to start his ‘home’ grand prix fifth. The two were behind Raikkonen, who suffered vibrations from the rear of his car throughout the session. Then he says that he “F***** it up” his final run of the session, so he aborted his lap.

The race soon turned into a two horse race between Hamilton and Vettel, as they remained within two seconds of each other. However it was described by both of them as a “fun” battle, but Hamilton was able to successfully defend off the German and built the gap.

The two Force India’s came together once again on the way to Eua Rouge. Ocon got alongside Perez on the way down to the corner, the Mexican then squeezed his teammate into the wall, with them making contact with Ocon’s wing punchering the rear of Perez.

Verstappen’s home race was brought to an end after he was forced to retire because of an engine failure. That hindered the progress of Raikkonen, he was found not to have slowed down enough for the yellow flags. That earned him a five second stop and go penalty.

It was a decent result for Hulkenberg with seventh place, ahead of Grosjean and Massa. Things also where looking up for Alonso who was running well in the early stages, before the realities of the Honda power saw him drop out of the race.

Italy

Qualifying at Monza was heavily impacted by rain throwing up a mixed grid, and that was even before penalties were awarded. Hamilton put in a really good strong lap in the wet conditions to set the new all time pole record, after going a second faster than Verstappen. It would be Stroll who started third, thanks to penalties.

It was another dominant performance by the Mercedes in the race, with Hamilton building his lead over Bottas from the start as Stroll was soon left behind by the power of the two works Mercedes. Ferrari was also unable to match the pace finishing the race half a second down, allowing Hamilton to take the lead of the championship.

But it was also a good afternoon for all the Mercedes powered cars who to go.”

It was a great race for all of the Mercedes powered cars as the Williams and Force India’s were running not far off the pace of the front-runners. But both Stroll and Esteban Ocon were unable ultimately to withstand the pressure of the works Mercedes of Bottas.

Monza was always going to be a tough race for McLaren, both cars appeared to be swamped by the midfield and fell away. That was before first Vandoorne and then Alonso on the final lap of the race retired.

Singapore

Mercedes always expected that Singapore was going to be a difficult weekend, and it was proving so as Vettel took pole ahead of Verstappen. The Ferrari driver broke the pole record as Hamilton could only manage sixth, and was half a second off the pace.

The gap between Hamilton and Bottas was seven tenths, while the Finn was only two tenths faster than the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg. So could Vettel retake the lead in the championship as Mercedes struggled?

Any chance of doing so was over in moments as Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all crashed as the headed down into the first corner. It was the Finn who got the better start, getting alongside Vettel as Verstappen hit the rear of the Ferrari. That took all three cars out on the opening lap.

That made Hamilton the race leader as he sailed off into the night to take the win. Ricciardo also looked in good form holding of Bottas for second place, but the story was now becoming about which of the midfield teams could take the most from the race.

Sainz was the biggest benefactor as Hulkenberg gave him fourth after he was forced into an extra stop with a hydraulic problem, Hulkenberg initially returned to the track in tenth, but was forced to retire.

Malaysia

Hamilton beat Raikkonen by four-tenths of a second on his final run in Q3 taking pole position. It was a difficult afternoon for Vettel, the German failed to qualify despite fitting a new power unit in between FP3 and qualifying. Until that point of the weekend, Ferrari had looked very strong.

While Ferrari was aware of the turbo issue, they decided to run the risk as the change would have led to a grid penalty. But now with the failure, they had to change the part.

Hamilton had to fight in the race with Verstappen after the Dutchman got past him in the early phase of the race before going onto taking victory. It was another strong win for the Dutchman as he managed to fend off Hamilton in the much faster Mercedes.

The Brit would later say he would be relishing future fights with Verstappen. For Vettel, it was a perfect recovery from the back to fourth, however despite putting the pressure on Ricciardo in the closing stages of the race was unable to take third place.

Things were looking up for McLaren as Vandoorne made a great start, he was running behind Perez, but the power of the Honda engine wasn’t a match for the Mercedes powered Force India. But the Belgian hung on to fifth place which was the best result of his career.

Ocon fought his way back to tenth following a spin at the start and that sent him onto the grass. Pierre Gasly finished fourteenth in his first Grand Prix, the Frenchman held of Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg.

So had Ferrari began to throw away the title? And had Mercedes begun to build their advantage as the final races would decide the outcome of the championship!

Japan

Hamilton was in fine form at Suzuka out qualifying Vettel by three tenths to seal his first pole at the circuit. Throughout the session Hamilton looked unstoppable as he was consistently faster than the German, breaking the lap record by over a second, beating Vettel.

Ricciardo out-qualified his teammate Verstappen for the first time in seven races, the Australian finding a fraction more than his teammate, to take fourth.

Come race day, Vettel’s hopes of recovering the ground he had lost in the last two races were in tatters before the race began. Ferrari was working on his car on the grid, trying to repair a spark plug issue. When the race started, it became clear that they were unable to race and was swamped by the Red Bull’s, Sainz and Bottas.

The German was unable to run anywhere near the front and was eventually was forced to retire. That was the realistic end of Vettel’s title hopes as Hamilton went on to take victory, meaning he could wrap the title up at the next race.

Verstappen picked up the challenge during the race to Hamilton after his great start passing teammate Ricciardo and the failing Ferrari. In the closing stages, his tyres begin to lose grip meaning he was not able to mount a sustained attack on the Mercedes.

It was another strong race for Ocon and Perez, the Frenchman had ran as high as third earlier in the race. However, that speed defect meant he was unable to fend off the Red Bulls and Raikkonen.

With Ferrari’s Asian meltdown and Hamilton’s four wins in five races, that meant he had a chance to wrap the title up as early as the next race in Texas.

United States

Hamilton was again in the form in Austin, where he beat Vettel to pole by two-tenths of a second. The Englishman had appeared all weekend to have the slight advantage over Vettel. He had topped all three practices and qualifying sessions. Bottas, who still had a very narrow chance of the title was third after losing time on his last lap.

Hamilton continued his brilliant weekend on Sunday, despite losing out Vettel at the start. The race turned into a tactical battle between the two title rivals, but Hamilton used the better strategy. Despite Ferrari trying to pressure the Mercedes, to no effect.

Hamilton again was in good form in the race as well, despite losing out to Vettel at the start he immediately was able to come back at his rival passing him into turn twelve. From where he hung on despite another tactical battle with the German, that put him on the brink of a fourth world title.

Verstappen had been a threat to Vettel as the Red Bull piled the pressure on the German’s teammate Raikkonen if he got past he could have hounded the Ferrari. However, the Dutchman went wide exceeding track limits when he passed the German for third, the stewards decided he had exceeded track limits awarding him a five-second penalty dropping him to fourth.

Bottas’s fifth-place allowed Mercedes to wrap the constructors up, the Finn had been fighting with Verstappen before an engine failure caused the Dutchman to retire.

After Japan, it was announced Palmer was being replaced by Sainz, the Spaniard was delivering pulling an impressive move on Perez at turn nineteen. But, that put him into the path of Ocon, who accused his teammate of holding him up.

Things were not going as well for Hulkenberg, Alonso and Ricciardo who were all forced to retire with engine problems. Wehrlien was another retirement following contact with Magnussen, which earned him a five-second penalty.

However, Hamilton’s win meant he only required one fifth place in the next three races to become world champion.

Mexico

Vettel knew he needed a miracle if he was to take his fifth world title in all three of the remaining races. He started off well-taking pole ahead of Verstappen. Mercedes knew that Mexico would be favourable to Ferrari, but knew fifth was enough to seal the title.

There were problems for Toro Rosso with the power unit, Hartley abandoned his Q2 run with a loss of power while Gasly failed to set a time at all in qualifying after an engine issue in final practice that also resulted in a fifteen place grid penalty.

At the start, there was another twist in the title fight, as both Hamilton and Vettel both made contact forcing them to stop immediately. Vettel had tagged the rear tyre of the Mercedes on the way down to turn three causing him to hit Hamilton, both of them then were forced into a pit stop.

The Drama for the title rivals allowed Verstappen to sail off into the distance and take the victory. While Hamilton and Vettel knew now it would be a battle to make up ground, the Brit needed a fifth place and Vettel needed a podium at least to keep the slim title hopes alive.

However, Hamilton made better progress and was in the points before making that all-important move on Ocon to take fifth in the closing stages. He also had a great scrap with former foe Alonso over several laps, before making the move with three laps to go.

That sealed his place in history as the first British driver to win four world titles. But could he keep the momentum going to stamp his authority on 2017?

Brazil

It was Bottas who was in form in qualifying at Interlagos out qualifying Vettel by three tenths. Bottas put in the lap when it mattered as Vettel was impacted by the light rain when he was on his final run. Despite being champion, Hamilton’s session was a disaster as he crashed out failing to qualify meaning he would start last. Massa’s last home race would see him start tenth after nearly crashing out twice.

Vettel took the lead from Bottas into the first corner from where he managed to control the race through the pit stops. The German-built up a three-second lead over the Finn to take a well-deserved victory. While Hamilton worked his way back through the field to third after deciding to start from the pit lane.

It was another good recovery drive from Ricciardo, who started fourteen to finish sixth behind Verstappen. But, an emotional Massa bowed out for the final time in Sao Paulo with eighth, after a battle with Alonso. The pair would finish the race less than a second between them.

Both Grosjean and Ocon collided on the opening lap of the race, that earnt the Force India a ten-second penalty. That also helped Hamilton to recover ground, in a race, which could go in as one of the Englishman’s best drives and he finished less than three seconds behind Vettel.

Abu Dhabi

Bottas continued the form he had in Brazil in qualifying at the final race of the year, out-qualifying Hamilton following a very close battle with a tenth between them. However, Vettel struggled to find the pace to match the Mercedes going third fastest.

It was yet another nightmare for Toro Rosso with their hopes of holding off Renault and Haas in the constructor’s championship suffering another blow. Both Brendon Hartley, who will start last thanks to an engine penalty and Pierre Gasly both dropping out in Q1.

There was still plenty at stake for both Bottas and Vettel in the race, they both were fighting for the runners-up spot in the championship. Bottas drove off into the sunset dragging his teammate along, but it soon became clear that Hamilton was unable to get close enough to make the move.

The two Mercedes were in a race of their own as Vettel was falling behind as he was unable to respond in the first two sectors of the lap. That gave Bottas another win, which he described as “really important” for him. Could that help him to become a serious threat to Hamilton and Vettel in 2018? Time will tell.

It was a disappointing race for Ricciardo as he brushed the wall in the early part of the race before he was forced to retire with hydraulic issues.

Hulkenberg was the best of the rest for Renault finishing sixth, which allowed his Renault team to seal sixth place in the constructors. That was despite the German being awarded a five-second penalty in his battle with his former teammate Sergio Perez.

Massa and Alonso once again fought it out on track, the Williams stopping later meaning he fell behind the Spaniard.

Conclusion

2017 a season, which promised so much early on, came to an underwhelming conclusion. Ferrari could have pushed Mercedes all the way if they had not had the reliability issues in the second half of the year. Hamilton raised his game and got in Vettel’s head some belief after Baku.

Red Bull, we thought would be in the mix and if they had as we now know got on top of their wind tunnel correlation problems earlier maybe they could have been fighting at the front. McLaren had a disastrous season, but the move to Renault next year should see them come back.

But ultimately it saw Hamilton seal his place in Formula One, British and sporting history as 2017 was Hamilton’s Record-Breaking Fight

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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