Sebastian Vettel takes the win for Ferrari at the 2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Hamilton and Bottas of Mercedes.
Ferrari are once again at the top step ahead of the Mercedes duo in a race filled with overtakes and passing maneuvers all over the field from top to bottom. There was also a time penalty handicap for Hamilton but Ferrari had the race pace today.
The 2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix as it happened
Bottas manages to hold position and has a good start taking the lead into the first corner. Hamilton was bogged down a bit allowing Vettel to move ahead to second and chase after the other Mercedes. Verstappen also has a good start moving ahead of teammate Ricciardo and Raikkonen who was again passed by Massa dropping to 7th.
The race had an interesting start with the top five cars all close together with Bottas not able to pull away from the pack and assert the dominance that Mercedes showed in qualifying. Raikkonen takes back the position from Massa showing the superiority of his Ferrari over the Williams with straight line speed.
With the top front cars all bunched up together, positions will be decided on who pits first getting in the under cut, and Ferrari blink first pitting for super softs in lap 11. Verstappen follows in next lap and comes out behind Vettel and Perez. But bad luck hits him as brake failure forces him onto the barriers bringing in yellow flags. Raikkonen heads to the pit stops during this time also for super softs.
The safety car was immediately called out later after Stroll and Sainz come together bringing in the rest of the front runners for their pit stops. Mercedes do a double pit stop bringing in Bottas and Hamilton at the same time. Hamilton slows down a bit too much blocking Ricciardo to come out ahead of the Red Bull catching the attention of the stewards. Ferrari’s decision to pit first turns out to be good as Vettel comes out on top and is now leading the race. The Mercedes pit stops were also slower. Hamilton is the loser after the pit stops coming out in fourth behind the Red Bull. But Ricciardo and Hamilton are on softs and the rest of the field ahead on super softs, so all might not be lost.
But Ricciardo loses out three spots after the reset dropping to 6th not having the pace to defend. Hamilton speeds past to third on the straight ahead of the Aussie with the Mercedes power plant. Bottas and Vettel are fighting it out for first and second which is a surprise and good for the sport. Perez made up quite a bit of ground and is now running 7th for Force India and Ocon on 10th, looking to be a dual points finish.
Hamilton gets a five second penalty for over slowing in the pits, when he tried to block Ricciardo. Alonso is having a good race fighting with the youngsters. Pity he isn’t driving a grand prix winning car, would have given the front runners a run for the money. Lower down the grid the cars are all close together and there is good fight going on for 11th position between Kvyat, Palmer and Alonso.
Team orders prevail and Bottas lets Hamilton past him on the straight to go after Vettel who is getting away with an increasing 6 second gap. Bottas isn’t showing the same timings he showed at qualifying so it’s a sensible choice from the Mercedes team. Soft tyres seem to favour the Mercedes as Hamilton pulls away from Bottas opening up a 3 second gap. This prompted Bottas to pit on lap 31 to go on softs dropping down to seventh.
Vettel pits on lap 34 for softs and comes out critically ahead of Ricciardo in third behind Raikkonen. Hamilton now leads the race and Bottas is charging up the ranks running in fifth showing better pace now. Raikkonen moves over for Vettel upping him to 2nd and to chase after Hamilton. The German is also lapping a second faster than the Brit.
Ricciardo pits with 17 laps to go for soft compound tyres. Hamilton pits on lap 42 for another pair of softs letting Vettel go into the lead and with the 5 second time penalty allows Bottas to move to second. With his super softs though, Hamilton is putting in the fastest times pointing to an interesting finish. He passes Bottas to move into second on lap 48 with the Finn again letting him past. With nine laps to go he has set his target on the red Ferrari of Vettel, but couldn’t catch him in time.
Final story of the race
After a dismal qualifying session for Ferrari on Saturday, to see Vettel on the top step of the podium is an amazing result for the Italian team. It once again shows Ferrari have the race pace to keep Mercedes at bay. The race was an interesting one all round with many serious wheel to wheel racing action happening. Keep an eye on the 2017 F1 season as it might have some surprises in store as the season progresses.
2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix race results
POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1. 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 57 1:33:53.374 25
2. 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 57 +6.660s 18
3. 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 57 +20.397s 15
4. 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 57 +22.475s 12
5. 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 57 +39.346s 10
6. 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 57 +54.326s 8
7. 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 57 +62.606s 6
8. 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 57 +74.865s 4
9. 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 57 +80.188s 2
10. 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 57 +95.711s 1
11. 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 56 +1 lap 0
12. 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 56 +1 lap 0
13. 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 56 +1 lap 0
14. 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 54 DNF 0
NC 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 50 DNF 0
NC 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 12 DNF 0
NC 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 12 DNF 0
NC 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 11 DNF 0
NC 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 8 DNF 0
NC 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 0 DNS 0
Too lazy to type anything, so re quoting from the best F1 driver in the world:
“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
― Ayrton Senna