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Vettel earns record 4th Bahrain Grand Prix win

10 April, 2018, 20:45 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's race in ninth

Pierre Gasly finished a superb fourth after starting a similarly impressive fifth on the grid for Toro Rosso-Honda.

Vettel held off the charge of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas to take victory in his 200th grand prix, but the occasion was soured after a member of Raikkonen's pit crew was taken to a medical center after an incident during lap 36 of the race.

"Wow!" screamed Vettel as he crossed the line. "But after 10 or 12 laps, the tires got worse and the last five laps were very tricky." . With both Mercedes cars going until the end of the race, the question was whether both Vettel and Raikkonen would be able to make their tyres last.

"Fortunately he ran out of laps", continued four-time world champion Vettel, referring to Bottas' challenge, before adding: "I'm really happy".

Beyond that, however, numerous rankings may not look like you would have expected them to look coming into the weekend.

Ferrari showed great pace all weekend and there would have been no guarantee at Mercedes of a Hamilton victory even if he hadn't been forced to start from ninth place after a grid penalty. "I had nothing under control!" he said. "It was damage limitation". Verstappen had been involved in a collision with Hamilton on lap two as they battled for position at Turn 1, resulting in a puncture on the Red Bull that forced a pit stop before his retirement.

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The other strong contender for Driver of the Day was Sauber's Marcus Ericsson who scored his first Formula 1 point after two seasons (2016 and 2017) of no-score.

The race began with temperatures falling from 29 and 35 degrees Celsius respectively for air and track.

Pole-sitter Vettel was the fastest out of the blocks to retain his lead but Bottas got the jump on Raikkonen to split the Ferraris. Gasly's performance comes at a time when Red Bull Racing could be looking at Ricciardo's replacement for 2019. He pulled over on the side of the track because of an electrical failure, prompting the safety auto to come out.

Meanwhile, Vettel was still leading from Bottas as the first round of pit stops began.

What is it with Ferrari powered cars, and being prone to chaos in the pits! But Vettel's evening under the floodlights turned out to be nowhere near as straightforward as that.

Hamilton pitted on Lap 26, the team also putting him on mediums. But Mercedes' decision to fits its drivers with more durable medium tyres as part of a one-stop plan, compared to Ferrari's move to bolt on the more fragile softer rubber in anticipation of a two-stop race, brought the evening alive.

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