Weather: 26C Cloudy / Dry
Start Position: 17th (Kvyat Penalty)
Start Tyre – Option
Lap 9 – Prime
Lap 20 – Option
Best Lap: 1:37:649
Race 3 got under way and within just 3 corners I had worked my way in to 8th, battling with cars which I knew were much quicker than me but I had got there and was determined to stay there.
By the time lap 5 had come around we were still running in 8th a total of 7.9 seconds behind the car in front but also had Bottas, Massa and Magnussen hounding me behind me in our group of four cars.
At the end of lap 7 both Bottas and Massa needed to pit putting them towards the back of the field but I knew with them not being held up behind me they would be matching if not beating my lap times but I needed to push to lap 9 otherwise I wouldnt be able to make the next two stinks work with the tyres.
Lap 9 came and both myself and Magnussen dived in to the pits. It was going to be close but Massa and Bottas went past when we were exiting the pits, luckily I kept Magnussen behind me as I exited in 12th, just two places behind scoring a point.
Massa must have put Options on as at the end of lap 14 he was in again for another stop. This moved me up to 11th for the time being.
The next lap Bottas jumped in to the pits for his second stop and came out just as I was braking for turn one. We were neck and neck, wheel to wheel for the first 4 corners but I was able to dive in front putting me in 10th place.
By lap 17 the tyres were showing signs of wear, oversteer was really kicking in and I couldnt get the power out of the corners which left me in Bottas’ grasp going in to the first corner where I was left standing by DRS.
I came in for my second and final stop on lap 20 in 11th place and returned on a fresh set of Option tyres in 13th.
Lap 22 came and a swift move with DRS pushed me back up to 12th but the posibility of points was well out of my sight by now. 12th would be a good finish though and much better than previous races.
On lap 24 I was absolutely shafted by a penalty for ignoring blue flags. I didnt “ignore” them. I moved out of the way twice and both times the passing car decided to follow my line. Still, I took the penalty on lap 25 and returned in 17th, below my target. 16th was too far ahead so I turned the engine mode down and just made my way to the finish unspectacularly.
Rosberg took the win followed by Hamilton in second and Vettel in 3rd. Hulkenberg took another impressive finish in 7th and put me to shame!
So the points table after the third round looks like this.
- Rosberg – 50 (Up 3)
- Hamilton – 45 (-)
- Alonso – 45 (Down 2)
- Vettel – 36 (Up 2)
- Ricciardo – 30 (Up 2)
- Raikkonen – 28 (Down 2)
- Magnussen – 26 (Down 2)
- Hulkenberg – 18 (-)
- Massa – 13 (-)
- Button – 9 (New)
The top 3 in the Constructors Championship is as follows.
- Mercedes AMG – 95
- Ferrari – 73
- Red Bull – 66