Good points Turbo. I guess some of the VSC discussion comes down to curiosity and to gauge the relative performance of the cars. The former is interesting, because IMO Mercedes executed it cunningly and brilliantly - everything from the bluff when they first sent out the pit crew but not call in Lewis, then executing it at the very last moment when the advantage was already seemingly over (but in the end still enough to gain some benefit). Yes, as you put it, it probably wouldn't have made much difference - the only one being that Hamilton would have caught Vettel slightly later.
Under normal conditions, one would assume that had there been no VSC and no Bottas to hold up Vettel, Hamilton would have fell back during his second stint (as a result of the slower medium tire) with the roles reversed on the last stint, the question then being if Mercedes would sufficiently make up that time on softs and a lighter car and have enough laps to get close enough to execute a pass, or if Ferrari/Vettel had built a sufficient gap to offset that advantage.
Had this played out in a normal way (no VSC), I think I would have expected Mercedes to go for the one stop (assuming Hamilton had not lost too much time on the Mediums) until the point Vettel would have pitted and then the roles would have been reversed, with Vettel trying to attempt a pass on a Mercedes running old Mediums.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. (Ask the average Vettel fan what that's like.) --- bhall II