Sebastian Vettel conquers Bahrain
Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix what is his second victory of the season and 44th in his career. The Ferrari driver had a fine race and was able to keep both Mercedes drivers well behind.
Vettel started well and moved up to the 2nd position, profiting from Hamilton’s poor start. The four-time champion now was behind Valtteri Bottas while Max Verstappen also had a good start after moving up to the 4th after starting from the 6th position. On the other side, McLaren’s misery continues after Stoffel Vandoorne stayed in the garage due to an issue with the power unit.
After a long time, we could some exciting racing as the top 3 drivers after 10 laps were within 1.5s, while the two Red Bull’s were just behind them. Vettel was the first from the top of the grid who went into the pit. Verstappen followed him on the next lap but Dutch teenager soon after retired from the race due to the brakes failure.
The safety car was deployed on lap 13 after an accident between Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jr. That was a signal to both Mercedes cars to go for tires change what caused another change at the top. Vettel was the leader of the race, with Bottas, Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, and Bottas behind the Ferrari driver. Soon after the race was restarted, Hamilton took the 3rd place from Ricciardo who quickly dropped to the 6th place after being overtaken by Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.
In a meantime, Lewis was handed a five-second penalty for driving unnecessarily slowly in the pit entry. However, the former champion was very motivated and began to pursue Vettel after overtaking his teammate on lap 27. Interestingly, Mercedes opted for a different tactical approach for its drivers. While Hamilton pitted only once, Bottas had to change tires twice.
Hamilton led the race for a long time after Vettel pitted for the second time but the German was reducing the gap from lap to lap. That’s why Lewis was forced to pit for the second time and he dropped to the 3rd position with 15 laps remaining. Now Vettel was pretty comfortable at the top, having the 10s advantage to Bottas and 19s to Hamilton.
Lewis was pushing to the limits, took the 2nd place from Bottas, but was unable to catch Vettel who scored second win of the season and 44th in his career to keep the lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
The fourth round of the Formula 1 World Championship is the Grand Prix of Russia. The race will go on 30th of April at Sochi Autodrom.