Without the pace to take the Ferrari and Lotus, Hamilton had to hold off Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in a thrilling finish, with Vettel on fresher tyres, Vettel closed an 11 second gap to finish just two seconds behind Hamilton, in fourth place.
Vettel got the only Red Bull points of the weekend after Mark Webber ran out of fuel in qualifying, collided with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne and finally his rear wheel rolled off almost hitting Vettel’s car in the process.
Jenson Button brought McLaren home in a controlled two-stop strategy, moving up three places from eighth place on the grid.
He admitted that there was no point racing, resulting in an exchange with his team to ask if he could fight off Hamilton, only to have to ease back a few laps later to manage his tyres.
McLaren expect to be racing better in Europe, but benefitted from good points today, especially after Button had to retire in Malaysia.
After the bitter disappointment for Force India having to retire both their cars in Malaysia, and an early clout between their two drivers, Paul di Resta finished three places up in eighth place.
His race had looked in doubt, after his car was affected by a fuel leak, just before the start.
Max Chilton finished 17th, two places up from his starting place of 19th.
Hamilton is currently fourth in the Driver’s World Championship with 40 points from three races (12 points behind current leader, Vettel).
Button is in eighth place (12 points) with Paul Di Resta in 10th place (8 points).
The action continues next week, in Bahrain with live coverage on the Sky F1 channel, and highlights on BBC.
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