Sebastian Vettel did the undoable, certainly after yesterday’s gap to Mercedes. He won the Bahrain Grand Prix on pace and on strategy and as a result, is leading the championship.
And the Twitterati were quick to paint Twitter red in celebration of the Italian stable’s dominant win.
Hamilton finished in P2 after what was a topsy-turvy race for him having handed out a 5 Second penalty but still pitting and showing far superior pace compared to his team-mate and on fresh soft tires livened up the race in the closing 10 odd laps.
While yesterday was Bottas day, today it most certainly wasn’t. His first stint was compromised due to incorrect tire pressure and a second stint on supersoft backfired for him. But even in the last stint, he was no match to Hamilton and clearly played the team game and second fiddle to Hamilton. The hype surrounding him is starting to fizzle out and the Finn need a strong result on Sunday to hold station within the team and in the paddock.
Behind the three Kimi once again finished in P4 and his race was very similar to Australia but the blame has to rest on Ferrari pit wall as well as they’re clearly favoring Vettel and that is compromising the erstwhile flying Finn.
In P5 came Ricciardo in what was a lonely race for him in the later stages after fighting with Kimi in the opening stages.
His team-mate on the other hand, had a flying start, got up to as high as P4 and was even closing to Hamilton and was on course to try something new when his brakes failed ending his race.
Massa ran a mixed race fighting the Red Bull but eventually finishing best of the rest in P6. Stroll’s rotten luck continued after Sainz plowed his Torro Rosso into him at the end of turn 1.
Another star of the race was Perez who started from P18 but fought through the field to P7 showing that the Force India is clearly just behind Williams and a great car on Sunday. Ocon too continued to impress by taking the last scoring point in P10.
Grosjean showed the Hass pace and went on to finish P8, however, reliability woes continued for the American team as Magnussen had to retire.
P9 went to Hulkenberg who finally converted a good Saturday into points for the Renault. However, he struggled in the race establishing that the Renault has a good car for Quali but not so good for the race.
Behind them, the driver that deserves a lot of accolades is Pascal Wehrlien. After an amazing qualifying yesterday, Pascal continued with the impressive form and while his teammate languished and then retired, the German kept fighting the Toro Rosso of Kvyat in his year old Ferrari engine and finished in P11!
Palmer rounded up the last of the finishers in P13 while Alonso’s engine failed 2 laps from the end but he was still declared classified at P14.
So the bottom line is we have a great season in hand and the battle between Vettel and Hamilton is genuine. Game on Guys!!!