Bahrain Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel takes second win of the season
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News April 16, 2017 Updated: 10:55 PM
SAKHIR, Bahrain -- Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel took his 44th career victory and second win of the season, extending his championship lead to eight points ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who drove his heart out in the closing laps after suffering a five second time penalty.
"Yeah, obviously we did a massive stint over the winter. I think last year was a very good year for us. It wasn’t good in terms of results, don’t get me wrong, but I think for the team, getting together, a lot of things that had changed now seem to start clicking. Obviously it helps when straight from the box, in testing, we had a good feeling. We looked reasonably competitive.
Australia obviously was a massive boost for all the team and yeah, you can see when they are singing down there, and the whole factory has really come alive so that’s great and we need to just make sure we keep it going and yeah, keep enjoying that way, but for now, I think the team has obviously done a really really great job, a lot of hard work, commitment and as I said, things start to click and hopefully that sort of success now in the first couple of races helps us to build up some sort of momentum that maybe these guys had in the past and the last couple of years, so they will be the ones to beat. It’s a long season, but for now, as I said, looking forward to tonight," said Vettel.
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third after scoring his first pole on Saturday. Vettel's teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished fourth ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fifth and became the sole Red Bull to finish the race after teammate Max Verstappen suffered a brake failure.
Hamilton said "The start was OK but Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn’t know whereabouts he was. I didn’t know where anyone was behind me. Valtteri got a good start and it was really just about covering him. I obviously lost position to Sebastian there. It was really hard to follow but we’re generally all similar kind of pace, and then yeah, completely my fault with the Safety Car. Supposed to have a five-second gap and I think I had a four-second gap. Just a misjudgment from myself. Valtteri was great to... obviously, I had very good pace, particularly the second and last stint and I honestly believed I would be able to catch Sebastian up but obviously with a five-second penalty that made it twice as hard as it was already going to be. As I said, apologies to the team but I tried the best I could to recover it and we still got good points for the team today with a second and third but we still have this great fight and Sebastian did a great job and he had fantastic pace."
Williams driver Felipe Massa came in sixth while his teammate Lance Stroll could not finish the race after an unfortunate collision with Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz as he was coming out the pits at turn 1.
Force India's Sergio Perez pulled a very impressive result from 18th to finish seventh while Romain Grosjean finished eighth and scoring points for Haas F1. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished in ninth with Perez's teammate, Esteban Ocon, ended the race in tenth. Force India has shown the power in the new livery by scoring points in all three races.
“It was a pretty good race. I made a decent start and my first stint was pretty good, but it was tough to stay behind the Renault. Then we had the bad luck with the safety car, as we’d pitted just before. I saw Sergio Perez come out and I thought, ‘How did he come out in front of me when he’d been 10 seconds behind?’ He gained 12 seconds with the safety car and that cost a position. At the restart, I struggled a little bit with the top speed. But, eventually, we made the right strategy call and pushed on the good laps with some great overtaking maneuvers. So, here we are, P8. It’s good to be here scoring points," said Grosjean.
Vettel's second win of the season has given the team a boost momentum heading into round four in Sochi but for now, the team look forward to heroes welcome back in Maranello.