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Ironies and pathos were everywhere in this weather-randomised race but through it all came the almost inevitable Lewis Hamilton comeback after qualifying disaster struck the day before. Ironically, his qualifying outside the top 10 gave him the superior tyre combination for the circumstances of the day: softs for a long first stint when his competition was on ultrasofts, then ultrasofts for a damp track in the second stint, when his key rivals were obliged to be on the less grippy softs. But that was just the structure beneath a brilliant performance.
Conversely, glorious polesitter Sebastian Vettel binned it while leading in the trickiest of conditions – intermittent short rain bursts, harder compound slicks old and more worn that they needed to have been as a result of Ferrari taking too long to move an out-of-sequence Kimi Räikkönen aside for him – but now the pack coming at him. Just the gentlest, smoothest of approaches to the Sachs Kurve but on a skating rink surface. The rear axle locked and, a couple of seconds later, he was banging his steering wheel in despair, tears and apologies. All this on a weekend that’s been particularly tragic for the Scuderia, as it effectively lost its leader. They don’t do emotions in half measures there.