The game was set and Lewis fired in a series of new fastest laps as he slashed the deficit to Vettel from 20s to just 6s. But ultimately, the charge just wasn’t quite enough to catch the Ferrari, who claimed his second win of 2017.
Post-race, Lewis was kicking himself for his mistake in the pit lane. But, on a tough day at the office, the triple World Champion still came away with P2 in the race and the same position in the Championship after three races – just seven points shy of Vettel.
“It’s been a challenging weekend,” said Lewis. “The start of the race was OK but Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn’t know where he was and I lost a position there. It was really hard to follow but we generally had similar pace.
“Under the Safety Car, I just misjudged it myself the situation; that was my fault, so my apologies to the team. I had good pace in the second and final stints and we honestly thought we could catch Sebastian. But the five second penalty made that twice as hard.
“I believe it was the right choice to go with the Soft in the final stint. I think that was the best call as I still had a long way to go. Our guys have been making good calls all year so far. I tried my best to recover from the mistake but it wasn’t quite enough. We still come away with good points.”