Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix after mechanic hit by Ferrari automobile
10 April, 2018, 20:17 | Author: Mable Gonzales
Hamilton secured a convincing pole position at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but finished second after Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari took advantage of a Virtual Safety Car period and a software bug in Mercedes' systems.
Behind the battle of the big teams, Pierre Gasly was the "best of the rest" in fourth place at the wheel of a Toro Rosso-Honda (yes, a Honda powered car).
It was Vettel's second win in as many races this season, the 49th of his career and extended his lead ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' championship to 17 points after the Englishman delivered a dazzling drive from ninth on the grid to finish only six seconds adrift.
But it was determined and astute defending from Vettel, who drove just like a four-time F1 champion.
Vettel whooped with joy as he crossed the finish line, although his team's celebrations were more low-key than usual following the mechanic's hospitalization. As a outcome, Ferrari were forced to switch strategy to see if Vettel could do the same on his much older and softer tyres.
"I think I came on the radio with 10 laps to go and said 'I have everything under control, ' but I admit that was a lie - there was nothing under control".
"I think we have a good base and the auto is working", said Vettel.
"We made sure that we understand what went wrong and put a process in place to make sure that we don't see a similar issue in the future".
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Hamilton has to take a five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox on Friday. "I am happy", he said. "It was damage limitation". "I started ninth so third isn't bad at all".
The injured mechanic has been taken to hospital for treatment.
The main surprise of the first segment of qualifying was the failure of max Verstappen - pilot "Red bull" broke the vehicle at the end of the first session and couldn't get back on track.
Bottas finally got within DRS range starting the penultimate lap, and he had a look into Turn 1 on the final lap but was too far back and didn't fully commit, allowing Vettel to cling on for a tense victory.
Vettel with his fresh soft tyres quickly caught Hamilton and passed him into the first corner on lap 26. Raikkonen was given the green light to exit before his left rear tire had been changed, with the Finn's vehicle then hitting a mechanic who was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg while the driver retired.
Ricciardo's teammate, Max Verstappen, however, was only 15th after clumsily crashing in Q1.
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"We were decent yesterday", Daniel Ricciardo said after qualifying fifth, which will become fourth with Hamilton's penalty. Bahrain is certainly a much better circuit for overtaking on than Melbourne's Albert Park Circuit.
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