Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg started 1-2 on soft tires, with the Red Bulls piloted by Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo lined up 3-4 on supersofts. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) started fifth, also on supersofts, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen P6 on softs.
Hamilton locked up his tires going into Turn 1 in the first lap and went through the grass but retained the lead. Rosberg followed, chased by Verstappen. A crash further pack in the field brought out the safety car. Green-flag racing resumed to start Lap 3 and Hamilton had built a 2.8-sec lead by Lap 10 (of 71).
Hamilton pitted from the lead eight laps later with a 5.7-sec edge, taking mediums. Rosberg grabbed mediums in Lap 21. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) set an all-time Formula 1 speed record, tripping the traps during Lap 27 at 231.1 mph, the first time a driver crossed 230 mph.
Hamilton led Rosberg by 7.8 sec during Lap 60. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) closed to within 1 sec of Verstappen (P3) during Lap 67. Ricciardo, meanwhile, was closing on Vettel. Hamilton held an 8.3-sec advantage over Rosberg at the checkered flag.
Verstappen was the third car to cross the finish line, but Vettel was given P3 on the podium following a post-race penalty the Dutchman received for leaving the course while defending his position going into Turn 1 to start Lap 68. Red Bull advised Verstappen to surrender the spot (in an effort to avoid the penalty and perhaps retake the position), but he refused.
Driver standings (Top 10)
Nico Rosberg (Germany), Mercedes – 349
Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain), Mercedes – 330
Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull – 242
Sebastian Vettel (Germany), Ferrari – 187
Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari –178
Max Verstappen (Netherlands), Red Bull – 177
Sergio Perez (Mexico), Force India-Mercedes – 85
Valtteri Bottas (Finland), Williams-Mercedes – 85
Nico Hulkenberg (Germany), Force India-Mercedes – 60
Fernando Alonso (Spain), McLaren-Honda – 52
Mercedes (Rosberg, Hamilton) – 679
Red Bull Racing (Ricciardo, Verstappen) – 427
Ferrari (Vettel, Raikkonen) – 365
Force India-Mercedes (Hulkenberg, Perez) – 145
Williams-Mercedes (Felipe Massa, Bottas) – 136
McLaren-Honda (Alonso, Jenson Button) – 74
Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Carlos Sainz Jr., Daniil Kvyat) – 55
Haas-Ferrari (Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez) – 29
Renault (Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer) – 8
MRT-Mercedes (Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon) – 1
Next event: Grand Prix of Brazil – Sao Paulo, Nov. 11-13, 2016