Sebastian Vettel stormed to win at the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir, Bahrain to retain the top spot solely in the drivers standings for the 2017 season. The win also helped Scuderia Ferrari leapfrog rivals Mercedes in the constructors’ championship race.
The win was Vettel’s 44th Formula 1 career win
Vettel, starting from third grid position, overtook Lewis Hamilton in the first lap itself. Vettel went for the pit-stop early in the race in the 10th lap and had 24.702 seconds(3.1 sec pit-stop) in the pit area. Max Verstappen crashed due to a brake failure in his 12th lap shortly after making a pit-stop. Bottas and Hamilton had their pit-stops in the 14th lap. Bottas had 28.368(6.2) seconds in the pit-lane while Hamilton had a 30.687(6.4) seconds pit lane. Vettel took the lead in the absence of Bottas and Hamilton. Hamilton took a five minute penalty for blocking Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo while entering the pit lane. Valtteri Bottas was given team order midway the race to make way for Hamilton to challenge Vettel for the win. Vettel though managed to hold on to the lead throughout the race and secured his second win of the season.
This was the first time since 2008 that Ferrari managed to win two of the first three races of season. The win takes Vettel to 68 points, 7 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Scuderia Ferrari also cruised to 102 points while their closest rival Mercedes have 99 points from the three races.
Hamiton’s second place finish was his eighth consecutive podium finish
Sebastian Vettel thanked his team after the victory. He said, “The car was like a dream to drive today. I felt right from the beginning that we had the speed to win today. I had a good feeling yesterday already, and it was just confirmed today.” He further added about the Mercedes and the season,”I haven’t changed my mind: to become world champion, you must first beat the Mercedes. We’ll take it race after race.”
Russian Grand Prix is the next race of the 2017 season and will be held between 28-30 April in Sochi.