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No team orders from Ferrari, insists Sebastian Vettel

But it was a familiar story at the front, with Ferrari's Sebastian stretching his championship lead over Hamilton to 25 points after a comfortable win.

'The auto was in a really different place to where it's been before, ' explained Hamilton.

Vettel has denied there was anything amiss with Ferrari's decision to pit Raikkonen first, although the Finn was noticeably downbeat after finishing in second place. It was clear that, I think they had the same plan to be honest so the lead auto normally gets priority so if I had a choice at that point, sitting behind Kimi, if I was going in the pits first, that's maybe what you like to do, because you are sooner on the fresher tires so I think it's probably one of the rare occasions where the over-cut turned out to be positive, so I'm really glad I made that work.

"They're going to be pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will get the maximum on all of his weekends".

There is a delicious irony in the fact that after weeks of calling on Mercedes to throw all its efforts behind Lewis Hamilton's bid for the title, the (mainly British) media is now aghast at the possibility of Ferrari adopting the self-same policy for Sebastian Vettel.

"It's very hard for the leading auto (here) to get jumped by the second vehicle unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle... so that's very clear".

Vettel had been out-qualified for pole position by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who led the first phase of the race up until the pitstops.

"First of all they deserved to be there, they had the quickest vehicle out there".

It seemed to be a case of the Ferrari team giving preferential treatment to Vettel with Raikkonen's stop looking like it came far too early.

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"I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn't over", said Hamilton.

"It wasn't clear how the tyre would perform", Wolff said.

"They are finally where we were back in the days where you finish one and two and have to explain why the right guy won", he added.

"I was devastated [after qualifying] but we still came away with some points", he said.

"I think I have shown good performance this weekend and the team knows my potential".

With leads in both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships one third of the way through the season, Ferrari are beginning to look increasingly formidable in their attempt to win a first world title in nine years. McLaren sub Jenson Button went down the inside and upended Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein - turning him upside down into the barriers and hilariously picking up a three-place grid penalty for his next race.

"I don't think Daniel had priority over Max going into the race".

'But the more races we do, the more we learn and the stronger we get. Things just didn't come right to us, the vehicle was in a hard place. 25 points is a long way away - it was hard to get just six points [after Spain] in firing range.

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