Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Sebastian Vettel Edges Valtteri Bottas to Win F1 Race in Bahrain

Teammates aid Francesco Cigarini after he was hit by Kimi Raikonnen's F1 car Sebastian Vettel Edges Valtteri Bottas to Win F1 Race in Bahrain
Ebony Burgess | 10 April, 2018, 20:17

Driving on extremely worn tyres at the end of the race, Vettel did enough to stay ahead of Bottas who attacked the German on the last two laps of the 57-lap race around the 15-turn, 5.412km Bahrain International Circuit.

Hartley qualified 11th fastest but made contact with Mexican driver Sergio Perez on the opening lap, damaging his front wing and copping a 10-second penalty for the incident.

This is not the first time that Ferrari has struggled with Raikkonen's pit-stops following an earlier fine due to an unsafe release for Raikkonen in practice.

The gap dipped below five seconds heading towards the final 10 laps, and suddenly Vettel's lead began to quickly diminish.

As the strategies played out, Mercedes initially assumed Vettel would pit and were telling Hamilton, now in third place after Raikkonen's problem, that the German would come out behind him.

Crucially, Mercedes had fitted their man with medium tyres with an eye to running him to the end of the race without a further step.

Ferrari mechanic Francesco lies on the ground right after being bitted by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen during a pit stop the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir Bahrain Sunday
Raikonnen immediately retired from the race after the accident

Behind him and Gasly, Magnussen took fifth ahead of Hulkenberg and Alonso, who spared McLaren's blushes with a superb drive after a bad performance in qualifying, trounced by the Toro Rosso using the Honda engine McLaren rejected as not good enough previous year. I had a lot of people ahead and a long race. However the Dane was able to make quick passes on both Force Indias, which were looking oddly sluggish.

Ferrari triggered its own response by calling Raikkonen in on lap 36 - but it went horribly wrong. Raikkonen was given the green light to go but it was an unsafe release and, as he pulled away, his auto hit one of the mechanics.

Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel set himself up for a second win of this season with a clinical start, unchallenged off the line by either Kimi Raikkonen or Valtteri Bottas. The events of Melbourne's strategy mistake were clearly still very much on his mind during a series of increasingly testy and garbled communications with the pit wall.

Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso, no match for the Mercedes, fell to Hamilton on lap eight as the British driver moved up to fourth and his lap times were mighty impressive on the harder soft tyres - with the team clearly opting for a one-stop race. The podium was completed by Bottas and Hamilton, in that order. But although the race opened as expected, it became increasingly tense as it progressed.

"Valtteri had a bit of a sniff but he ran out of laps".

Stoffel Vandoorne was eighth to make it the second consecutive double points finish for McLaren while Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari got a points scoring finish thanks to Marcus Ericsson who was ninth.

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