Hamilton aims for rebound in Bahrain GP as Vettel wants more pace

10 April, 2018, 20:15 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Kimi Raikkonen has escaped a grid penalty following his unsafe release in the final moments of FP2

Back-to-back wins would boost Ferrari in their bid for a first place title since 2007, but with 19 races to follow, they won't get carried away, after Vettel led early last season but Hamilton eventually took the title.

To compound matters further, the defending world champion has been hit with a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorized gearbox change in the Australian Grand Prix, meaning he will start ninth in Bahrain. His Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished second, locking out an all-Ferrari front row.

A look at the major talking points from the dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel withstood late pressure to win his second consecutive race.

"I'm ok", the Dutch driver told his team, after an initial outburst that was not appropriate for a family audience.

"I was doing the maths, oh, that pace, he's going to catch me". I tried to keep it as clean as possible. Mercedes' decision to go for the more durable medium tires and a one-stop strategy, compared to Ferrari's move to bolt on softer rubber in anticipation of a two-stop race, brought the evening alive.

Sparks fly from the back of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who had the day's best lap time of 1 minute 29.817 seconds.

As the race wore on Vettel ostensibly switched strategies and stayed out, holding track position, potentially fuelled by an incident during Raikkonen's second stop, when a mechanic was struck as the Finn left the box.

"I started ninth so third is not bad at all", Hamilton said.

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Max Verstappen, who failed to register a time in the first session, was fifth, ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo - the fastest driver in the first practice. He was left with a rear left puncture and limped back to the pits for new tyres before retiring the auto due to damage from the early incident.

"Ferrari are just quicker in general everywhere and been a bit better with their tyres. It's a different track but if those circumstances are the same I think we'll be very close". "He drove into my left rear and gave me a puncture and also destroyed the diff".

Frenchman Pierre Gasly was ninth in his own Honda-powered Toro Rosso together with Fernando Alonso, a three-times victor at Bahrain, rounding out the best 10 in his own McLaren.

The surprise of the weekend has to be Pierre Gasly of Toro-Rosso Honda who managed to snatch the sixth place on the grid.

Haas confusion: Kevin Magnussen did well to convert Haas' pace into a fifth place finish but he was sarcastically congratulating his team mid-way through the race.

German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault ahead of the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly and the two McLarens of two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Marcus Ericsson grabbed two points for Sauber by finishing ninth ahead of Esteban Ocon, who was 10th for Force India.

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