With Charles Leclerc starting seventh and Carlos Sainz 15th after a crash in Q2, the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers hoped to use the changing weather conditions to their advantage.
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Photos: Scuderia Ferrari.
As the lights went out, a first lap collision unfortunately took Charles Leclerc out of the race after a collision with Lance Stroll. It was also part of a collision which saw Valtteri Bottas collide with Lando Norris, and the pair ran into both Red Bulls, taking Bottas and Sergio Perez out also.
As the Safety Car came out, Carlos Sainz had avoided the turn one chaos and had made up an amazing 11 places, up to fourth from 15th. Due to excess debris after the turn one accident, the race was then red-flagged.
After thirty minutes or so the track was cleared, and the drivers left the pit lane to take a second standing start. As the drivers came round the final corner, a number of drivers, including Sainz pitted, leaving only Hamilton on the grid. Sainz re-joined the race in seventh, with George Russell as far as second.
As Russell headed to the pits with a puncture, Sainz moved up to fifth after Hamilton decided to pit for dry tyres and he was able to hold the position throughout the first part of the race, moving up as high as third after pit stops for Latifi and Tsunoda ahead.
On lap 33, Sainz pitted for a set of hard-compound tyres, leaving the pit lane to take fourth position. Hamilton was now behind the Ferrari, but Sainz looked to keep the Mercedes behind on the fresher tyres.
A stop for Fernando Alonso on lap 39 promoted Sainz up to third, now hoping to hold on to the final podium position until the chequered flag. Behind Sainz, Hamilton told his team that he was now starting to struggle on his hard compound tyres.
Hamilton opted for a second stop on lap 48, coming out in fifth behind Alonso, as he looked to now chase down the top four in the last 20 laps.
Within the last 20 laps, Alonso started to close up on Sainz. By Lap 54, Hamilton had also caught the pair and was now in the battle for third place. However, as Hamilton and Alonso battled over fourth, Sainz was able to build a two second gap back to the Alpine.
With five laps remaining, Hamilton had found his way past Alonso into fourth position, and was now behind Carlos. After a fantastic race long effort, Sainz sadly lost third to Hamilton on lap 67.
As Esteban Ocon took the chequered flag for a fantastic first F1 win with Alpine, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton followed him home in second and third. Sainz held off Alonso for fourth and scored great points for the team in the sole remaining Ferrari.
A few hours after the race had concluded, it had been decided that the stewards would disqualify Vettel from second place after his Aston Martin failed to provide the mandatory 1 litre of fuel required by the FIA after the race, thus promoting Sainz to third place.
Written by Cóilín Higgins.
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