Honda powered Red Bull’s Max Verstappen overtook Ferrari lead Sebastian Vettel on the second half of the race with wise pit-stop strategy, and the Ferrari duo finished on fourth and fifth.
At the final stage of the race a frustrated Vettel asked over the team radio: “Why are we so slow?”
“I guess we were just slow,” Vettel said, When asked instantly after the race if the team had given him an answer to his question, “I was struggling with the tires, but even ignoring the lap l pitted, it looks like everyone else was having way less problems than l was.”
Another one – Ferrari launched team orders at the early stage of the championship, as Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc — closed in on him at a important rate. It appeared as though Leclerc had more than enough pace to catch his teammate, but his performance suddenly dropped off at the end.
The reason for that loss of pace was revealed by the following radio exchange:
Leclerc: “Should I stay behind Sebastian, yes or no?”
Ferrari: “Yes, and back off to have some margin.”
Leclerc giggled in the post-race TV pen when told the exchange had gone viral, saying “I asked [to attack] but we had to keep positions.”