Bottas penalised for Ricciardo clash

Lewis Hamilton Barbara Palvin at the F1 Grand Prix 2018

Lewis Hamilton Barbara Palvin was spotted at the F1 Grand Prix 2018

It was a great finish for Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, looking easily set to take the fifth place his team had targeted, but as he made a dart for P4, Bottas stayed deep in the corner and struck the Australian's vehicle - with a steward's inquiry set for after the race.

When asked if being a "wingman" was to be expected driving at Mercedes alongside Hamilton, who extended his championship lead to 24 points with victory, Bottas replied: "I think we need to speak after this race".

"We came here knowing Ferrari would be really quick this weekend so to come out with these points, we'll definitely take it as a bonus", said Hamilton in a pitlane interview after embracing team members.

"We should go to the garage", he said.

Hamilton's qualifying lap on Saturday will go down...

Bottas trailed home fifth, while Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly eased clear of his midfield rivals to take a fine sixth place, in front of Haas' Kevin Magnussen.

Lewis Hamilton Barbara Palvin at the F1 Grand Prix 2018
Lewis Hamilton Barbara Palvin enjoyed an F1 experience

Bottas subsequently back-tracked on his own remarks, posting a message of support for Wolff and Mercedes on social media.

After one lap under Virtual Safety Car conditions, Hamilton resumed his charge.

Lining up in fourth place on the grid, Vettel grabbed third from Raikkonen immediately but could not find a way past Bottas who slotted in behind Hamilton as a defense against the red threat. This left Vettel in pursuit of Hamilton, but despite some swift laps, he remained seven seconds adrift of Hamilton before the champion pitted after 25 laps.

The Mercedes driver had earlier clashed with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, whilst the German had gone ahead of him. Held by traffic and still on his original worn softs, Vettel began to struggle and his lead tumbled to 9.5s by lap 39 when he pitted. Both Mercedes moved back in front of him and stayed there, with Bottas doing some excellent work to keep Vettel behind him. For Ferrari, it was not an encouraging position given their raw speed advantage in practice. However there was too little time for him to make up the gap to Hamilton. On lap 51, Stoffel Vandoorne slowed and retired from an encouraging ninth at Turn 1, causing a Virtual Safety Car to be deployed.

Hamilton, who appeared to have the best vehicle in the field, was helped by Bottas through much of the race as Bottas ran in second and kept hard-charging Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen in the rearview mirror as Hamilton pulled away.

The start was not exactly ideal for Bottas, as Raikkonen and Vettel started extremely well, with Vettel overtaking his teammate in the second corner.

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