Vettel converts pole into victory in Bahrain

  • 08 Apr 2018 18:45
  • comments 16
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel has taken victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix, holding off Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas. Vettel led the race from the very first lap, and altered his strategy to beat the Silver Arrows in a straight fight.

Vettel started the race on the super soft tyres, originally planning to do a two-stop strategy. However, after Mercedes switched to the medium tyre on a one-stop strategy, Ferrari altered its plans and kept Vettel out on soft tyres to the end.

While Ferrari will celebrate its second consecutive victory in the 2018 season, there will be deep concern for a member of its pit-crew. After Kimi Raikkonen came in for a second pit-stop, he was released too early and ran over the leg of a pit-crew member. Raikkonen was forced to retire on the spot.

Bottas pitted two laps later than Vettel and stuck on the medium tyre with the clear intent of getting to the end of the race. The Finn displayed impressive pace, and didn't allow Vettel to streak away, who was on a much softer compound.

In the final ten laps of the race, Vettel struggled on his heavily worn yellow-walled soft tyres, which saw Bottas close in on the German. Despite applying heavy pressure in the final couple of laps, the Mercedes driver couldn't find a way past the Ferrari and had to settle for second.

Lewis Hamilton recovered well to finish in third place, after lining up in ninth place on the grid. Hamilton was struck with a five-place grid penalty on Friday evening after Mercedes was forced to change his gearbox.

There was heartbreak for Red Bull, who suffered from its first double retirement since the Korean Grand Prix in 2010. Max Verstappen was in battle with Hamilton in the early stages of the race, but contact at Turn 1 saw him get a puncture and retire from the race.

Moments later, Daniel Ricciardo pulled over to the side of the track after his car suddenly switched off. Both Red Bulls were out before the start of lap 4, leaving the crew to pack up early for China next weekend.

Honda recorded its best ever result in the hybrid era as Pierre Gasly drove a very impressive race to finish fourth It is the Frenchman's first top ten finish in Formula 1, who collected valuable points for the Red Bull junior team.

After missing out on a strong result in Australia, Kevin Magnussen crossed the line in fifth place for Haas. He headed Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault, who picked up his second consecutive top-ten finish. 

McLaren was left red-faced on Saturday after a woeful qualifying saw both cars drop out in Q2, and line up in P13 and P14. However, two solid drives from Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne saw the papaya cars come home in seventh and eighth.

For the first time in 50 races, Marcus Ericsson scored points in Formula 1, collecting two after crossing the line in ninth. He finished ahead of Esteban Ocon, who made a late move on Carlos Sainz to pick up the final point on offer.

Vettel now moves further ahead in the championship standings, and now holds a 17 point lead over Hamilton in the championship. Ferrari too retains the top spot in the constructor's standings, as McLaren jump Red Bull for third. 

 

Fergal Walsh

BH Bahrain International Circuit - 08 April 2018

Photos Bahrain 2018

Replies (16)

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  • What a race... Bloody hell... It was really down to the very millimeter.

    And VTEC kicked in yo. BD

    • + 0
    • Apr 8 2018 - 18:49
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      I'm not really a Honda fan, but VTEC kicked in indeed. Couldn't be happier for them.

      • + 0
      • Apr 8 2018 - 19:19
    • Nah, I realize Im probably the nerdiest of Honda nerds on this site, but this was a strong show. Really hope this will be representative of this year.

      • + 0
      • Apr 8 2018 - 19:22
    • Hepp

      Posts: 198

      I am not a Honda fan, they fired me about 7 years ago, but I must say that my hat is off to all involved, STR included, for the performance today.

      • + 0
      • Apr 9 2018 - 00:35
  • Great race!

    • + 0
    • Apr 8 2018 - 19:16
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    What a f**king race! The first handful of laps were amazing! Just great stuff. Lots of spectacular overtakes and attempts.

    Amazing job by Gasly and Magnussen. Honorable mentions goes to Ericsson and Vettel. But that Toro Rosso! Absolutely amazing. I can't imagine how ecstatic Honda must be now.

    Red Bull - the less said the better. But Verstappen is behind the eight ball now, with his mistakes adding up. And Williams... no, you know what, you've suffered enough already.

    • + 0
    • Apr 8 2018 - 19:18
    • Amazing stuff. I held my breath for the first and last laps. And yeah, it seems official: Sauber has outdone Williams. I dont know what happened with Ricciardo, but Verstappens gamble there was really unnecessary.

      • + 0
      • Apr 8 2018 - 19:24
  • We are witnessing the greatness of Vettel's abilities. The best all round driver of this and previous generations. Dipshit fanbois need to let that sink in real nice and slow. Turd face craps from Mercedes just cant hang in with that level of skill despite having the clearly fastest car. Pathetic.

    Max doing what he is good at, crashing. Seems like he was really inspired by Perez?

    • + 0
    • Apr 8 2018 - 19:33
    • I really agree, I think Vettel is one of the most complete drivers on the grid.

      • + 1
      • Apr 8 2018 - 19:34
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 368

      Didn’t like the seeming arrogance in red bull days but has matured greatly in skills, attitude and humility. Like him. F1 site commentary noted LH only engaged with himself at the weigh-in as VB and Seb chatted. Are we surprised?

      • + 0
      • Apr 8 2018 - 21:02
    • Not at all, its typical Hammy.

      • + 0
      • Apr 8 2018 - 21:06
    • @RogerF1: How do you expect a driver to celebrate his wins and poles then? All he did was do the finger I fail to see how is that arrogant? He hasn't been like the Mercedes dipshit who cried "I lcame second to Alonso becoz I is black" or dumpshit things like "hey look at me I am the greatest I think Senna would be impressed" all that horseshit without actually having proved nothing beyond ordinary next to Drivers like Jensen Button. Any chimp can win in a the recent Mercedes cars and the Mclarens of early 2010s.

      Vettel won a race for Toro Rosso in impossible conditions, in a mid field car...and he took pole too for that race in the wets. Really the Mercedes pair needs to just vacate their seats for someone else if they can't win with ease in that car of theirs, they are totally rubbish.

      As for SkySports it was surprising indeed, usually those dirt-bags find all the excuses under the sun to play down any German driver victories like Nico or Seb's when it is against their golden boy but yesterday it would seem they were too awestruck by Vettel's skill at managing that win that they forgot to follow their usual scripts for the Sky partisan viewership. It was comical.

      I bet they will all have had a sit down with Sky management on their lack of tact in not to spin how Vettel was lucky and Hamilton drove the race Jesus would be envious of or some other dogshit excuse of that sorts. Smart money says this sort of unforced honesty will be very very hard to come by for the rest of the season from SkySports F1 LMAO

      • + 0
      • Apr 9 2018 - 06:25
  • Kean

    Posts: 474

    Great race!! Gasly! Wow! ... and Honda! Also great performance from Magnussen and Ericsson. Grosjean, Hartley, Sainz and Verstappen disappoints. Party at Toro Rosso tonight. Poor Williams, talk about plummeting.

    • + 0
    • Apr 8 2018 - 19:35
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 886

    KMag is killing it. Gasly is outstanding. Unfortunate Kimi and the Mechanic.

    • + 0
    • Apr 9 2018 - 05:19
    • no surprise KMAG is a far FAR better driver than space wasting garbages like Perez.

      • + 0
      • Apr 9 2018 - 06:26
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      These are human beings you’re talking about mate. Wind your neck in or take another break from this site, but this time, do us a favour, make it far longer.

      • + 1
      • Apr 9 2018 - 11:21

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