With two wins from the opening three races of the season, Vettel is pitted in a championship battle with Lewis Hamilton, who finished above his Mercedes team-mate and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas for second, but was unable to chase down the race victor despite a fast-finishing strategy.
The obstruction occurred as a result of Mercedes double stacking under the Safety Car. Vettel took the lead in the absence of Bottas and Hamilton. "But for now the team has done a really, really great job". I try to handle it the best way I can, but it eats you up a little bit inside and you have just got to end up trying to cope and move forward.
"I lost two tenths from Turn 10 to 11 because DRS didn't engage in qualifying and I lost half a tenth out of the last corner, so I should have easily been on pole".
One explanation was high tire pressures at the start of the race, with a generator failure causing Bottas to start with the wrong pressures, but the Finn says that problem only hurt him until his first pit stop.
Bottas was struggling by now, the tyres on his Mercedes overheating. Vettel went for his second pit stop on lap 33, thus putting Hamilton into the first position.
Hamilton managed to recover from that setback as he got past Ricciardo and Bottas, but could not catch up to the race leader in time. "This was my fault".
"You have two cars starting on the front row, if they run second and first you just have to let them race".
"I got hit from the side", the Williams rookie exclaimed. "Losing points for the team is definitely painful".
"Right from the first lap I felt the vehicle was there", Vettel said on the podium.
"We had the flawless storm at the beginning our generator broke on the grid and we couldn't bleed Valtteri's tyres, so it was the wrong tyre pressure on this vehicle", Wolff said.
This put Bottas in second place, but he then backed off to let the quicker Hamilton through to chase Vettel down. It's a very tough call.
Third place in the championship standings now rests with the other Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas on 38 points. The only goal was the victory. I felt right from the beginning that we had the speed to win today.
"Beyond that the tyre never really came good, I was on [Filipe] Massa's pace and we know we're quicker than that, so it was a odd chain of events from the beginning of the race". "I know that gap can not come from driving, so I'm sure we'll find some reason for why I struggled more than Lewis".
"Three-hundred meters behind me and they overtake me on the straight", Alonso told his team over the radio midway through the race. The pace still wasn't there in the second and third stint.
"Three races into the season, you don't want to go there yet".
"I think we are about equal", he said.