Bahrain Grand Prix 2018

  • Vettel finishes fastest in his Scuderia Ferrari
  • Hamilton secured his place in to turn one
  • Vettel held up by Hamilton 

This was probably one of those races that you think will have gone down a treat and it did! Sebastian Vettel claimed his second consecutive win of the season for Ferrari. Vettel marked his 200th race at the Bahrain Grand Prix. During the race he was closely followed by Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton faced a long hard race to get on that podium, having moved up from ninth on the grid.

Sebastian Vettel secured the pole position, as Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was 0.143 seconds behind and the present F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was outshined by Bottas. Hamilton and Bottas set 4th and 3rd fastest times. Whereas, Hamilton experienced a fifth place grid penalty due to an unplanned gearbox change, putting him back to the ninth place. 

Daniel Ricciardo secured 4th on the grid, the Australian’s Red Bull was the only one in the top ten. Pierre Gasly placed his Torro Rosso 5th on the grid with Kevin Magnussen in Hass Ferrari 6th. Nico Hulkenberg put his Renault in 7th, Esteban Ocon in Force India 8th, and Carlos Sainz in Renault finished in the top ten. 

The opening lap was frantic and it saw Vettel lead from the pole position. Bottas beat Raikkonen to reach the second position, the trio moved ahead of the competitors that were left behind. 

Max Verstappen tried to make a courageous move in lap two turn one against Hamilton to reach but miserably failed due to the collision between two drivers. Verstappen experienced a puncture, it made him retire from the race and his teammate Ricciardo felt losing all the power. 

The four-time world champion Hamilton secured his place in to turn one by pulling ahead of Fernando Alonso in McLaren, Hulkenberg, and Ocon. 

Vettel was held up by Hamilton for a brief moment, as they shuffled at the pit-stops. Eventually, Vettel moved ahead of Hamilton. Even Raikkonen retired from the race as he hit the Ferrari mechanic, it happened due to Raikkonen’s early release.

Valtteri Bottas charged in the later stage by urging Vettel with his sliding tyres, but Vettel was the one who turned out to be victorious. 

Pierre Gasly in Torro Rosso secured the fourth position and Kevin Magnussen in Haas Ferrari claimed the fifth position. 

Sebastian Vettel explained the dramatic change in strategy, he said, “I think I came on the radio with 10 laps to go and said that I have everything under control — that was a lie. There was nothing under control. When they told me the pace of Valtteri at that time, I said there was no way that I could do that. I did the maths inside the car — 10 laps to go, that pace, he’s going to catch me.”

He added, “I tried to keep it as clean as possible. Both of the Mercedes at the end of the first stint was very strong. They saw what we did and put on the medium tire. I thought that was checkmate because we had to come in again. That was the original plan but then we diverted again.”

“The tires, I tried to make them last, nurse them as much as I could and it worked but only just. There wasn’t much. Bottas had a bit of a sniff but fortunately, he ran out of laps.”

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix Race Ranking:

RANK 

DRIVER 

CAR 

LAPS

TIME/RETIRED

1

Sebastian Vettel 

SCUDERIA FERRARI

57

1:32:01.940

2

Valtteri Bottas 

MERCEDES

57

+0.699s

3

Lewis Hamilton 

MERCEDES

57

+6.512s

4

Pierre Gasly 

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA

57

+62.234s

5

Kevin Magnussen

HAAS FERRARI

57 

+75.046s

6

Nico Hulkenberg 

RENAULT

57

+99.024s

7

Fernando Alonso

MCLAREN RENAULT

56

+1 lap

8

Stoffel Vandoorne

MCLAREN RENAULT

56

+1 lap

9

Marcus Ericsson

SAUBER FERRARI 

56

+1 lap

10

Esteban Ocon

FORCE INDIA MERCEDES

56

+1 lap

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