Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Hamilton needs to turn Bahrain GP 'upside down'

Hamilton needs to turn Bahrain GP 'upside down'

Will Sebastian Vettel be victorious from pole at the Bahrain GP?

Sebastian Vettel marked his 200th Formula One race with a thrilling and brilliantly-judged victory for Ferrari in Sunday's dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix.

Although it was Valtteri Bottas, and not Hamilton, who proved the quicker of the Mercedes cars in Q3, the W09 was beaten to the front row by 0.166 seconds. Bottas moves up to third place at 22 points, with Alonso fourth at 16.

Red Bull, meanwhile, suffered a disastrous race as it suffered its first double retirement since 2010, with both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen dropping out early.

It could have been even better for Mercedes.

Kimi Raikkonen has given his version of events following a botched Ferrari pit stop that left a mechanic hospitalised.

The gap dipped below five seconds heading towards the final 10 laps, and suddenly Vettel's lead began to quickly diminish.

"Going into the corner I was ahead and then of course you always try to squeeze each other a bit", said the 20-year-old. "As you saw a couple of weeks ago in Australia, as you saw many times over the past years ... you never really know what happens". Although the German driver looked steady behind the wheel, his mind was racing nearly as fast as Bottas' Mercedes behind him.

With 10 laps to go Vettel told the team radio he had "everything under control", but quipped during a podium interview: "That was a lie!" I was really glad to see how the vehicle was responding today.

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With Bottas and Hamilton setting a competitive pace on the harder tyres, Vettel was forced to convert to a one-stop.

No driver has won the opening two races and then failed to win the title since Keke Rosberg in 1982. "We've got more to do overnight and in the practice tomorrow (Saturday) to five us a vehicle that can fight in qualifying and on Sunday".

"Far from ideal in the last run with the traffic but what can I do?" said the 2007 world champion. That was quite intense. "Being second with such a close margin is extremely disappointing".

French rookie Pierre Gasly took a stunning fourth place for the Honda-powered Toro Rosso team ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas.

Ferrari totally botched Raikkonen's second tire change.

As the race wore on Vettel ostensibly switched strategies and stayed out, holding track position, potentially fuelled by an incident during Raikkonen's second stop, when a mechanic was struck as the Finn left the box.

The mechanic was thrown to the ground, and was immediately attended to by paramedics before being taken to the track's medical centre. "A mixed day overall". But Hamilton, who scored two of those three wins for Mercedes and is on course to match Kimi Raikkonen's record of 27 straight points finishes this weekend, goes into the race determined to make up for his lost Australian win.

Raikkonen's vehicle came to a halt a few meters later and he took off the steering wheel and dejectedly threw it into the cockpit.

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