London [UK], Mar. 25 (ANI): Getting the 2018 Formula One season underway, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel claimed his 48th Grand Prix victory as he beat the current World Champion, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, by 5.036 seconds to rack up 25 points to his name in the points table.
The four-time World Champions' victory came as a surprise to many after a dominant performance by the British driver in the qualifying round of the Grand Prix, who left his opponents in their wake and bagged the pole position.
However, after Hamilton dominated from pole for 20 of the race's 58 laps, Vettel took the lead by taking advantage of pitting under the virtual safety car and emerging in front.
Matching Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who was second at that point, Hamilton took a pit-stop at the 20 lap mark. The Brit, at that moment, had a comfortable lead of more than six seconds to Vettel, and his car looked strong and untroubled throughout.
Although, following Haas driver Romain Grosjean's retirement at the side of the track, which triggered the deployment of the virtual safety car on lap 26, Ferrari pounced to take advantage of the situation, enabling them to send the German out in the lead.
"Even now I don't understand what happened," The Guardian quoted Hamilton as saying. "I did everything I believed I needed to. Disbelief was how I felt from that moment until the end."
Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff admitted that the software that estimates the gap Hamilton would have to maintain to ensure victory made an error, which ultimately cost them the race.
"The software or system we have been using for five years just gave us the wrong number," Wolff said. "He did nothing wrong. It was down to a software bug or an algorithm that was simply wrong."
Although Vettel was reveling in his victory, he did confess that it was not without a slice of luck.
"We got a bit lucky with the timing of the safety car," he said. "If you are at the front you can control the race, we know overtaking is difficult. Lewis was probably the quickest of the three of us but that's the way it goes."