Four-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is sticking with the Mercedes Formula 1 team until at least the end of the 2020 season, giving him a chance to match the F1-record seven world championship. The result moved Vettel eight points ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' championship and saw Mercedes accuse Ferrari of orchestrating first lap accidents to gain the upper hand in races.
That performance from the Ferrari driver came after an earlier hydraulic failure for Hamilton.
He added the contract extension has "basically been a formality" since he and Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff sat down last winter.
Moments after informing the team radio that his gears had stopped working, Lewis Hamilton jumped out of his vehicle and attempted to push it back to the pitlane as he desperately tried to avoid elimination in the first round of qualifying. It is the stability that the team will want to fight for titles with in the next two years.
In the immediate aftermath of the British Grand Prix when being congratulated on his third-placed finish 38-year-old Raikkonen said in his distinctive robotic voice: "Obviously I did the best I could but there seems to be some opposite views on what I'm doing unfortunately, so we'll see".
While Hamilton endured a tense and sometimes bitter relationship with Rosberg, complete with finger-pointing and recriminations, he gets on very well with Bottas.
"In terms of the other guys approaching, one did", he said.
"I said from day one, 'I am not looking anywhere else, I'm not talking to anyone else, I am not investigating to see what other options there are, I'm not playing you against anybody else".
"'While I know there are drivers calling you, which I expect, I also trust you are not thinking to do anything else".
Hamilton's new contract goes to the end of the Concorde Agreement, with a new set of rules and regulations for F1 set for 2021 onward.
Friday's running, however, suggested that there was little to separate the top three teams as Red Bull were fastest in both sessions - Daniel Ricciardo in the morning and Max Verstappen in the afternoon. "[But] Seb's been real quick today so I think it's going to be a serious challenge". In total, he has 61 Formula One wins over the course of his career, second only to Michael Schumacher.