Sebastian Vettel stormed to his 44th career win as he resisted a superb late charge from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Starting from 3rd on the grid, Vettel overtook Hamilton on the first corner to find himself second, behind pole sitter Valtteri Bottas. Vettel was following Bottas for quite some time until he decided to go for the undercut which paid dividends for him later in the race. Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz had a major collision on Turn 1, bringing out the safety car. Sainz’ actions caused him to recieve a 3 place grid penalty for the next race which is Russia. Lewis Hamilton also received a 5 second time penalty for erratic driving in the pit lane which ultimately cost him the race win.
Gamble pays off for vettel and ferrari
Sebastian Vettel came in to the pits very early in the race to implement what is called the undercut and jump Bottas in the pits. Vettel was largely helped by the safety car being called out due to a massive collision between Sainz and Stroll. The Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton pitted under the safety car and as they came out, Vettel had crucially got the jump over Bottas. Then, Vettel conducted the pace of the race, cruising home to a 6.6 second lead ahead of Hamilton and Bottas. From making disastrous strategy calls last season, Ferrari have won two out of three races this season purely due to their accurate calls. What a turnaround this is turning out to be for Ferrari!
Crunch time for mercedes?
After Sebastian Vettel’s win in Bahrain, Mercedes now face their toughest time since 2014 with the pressure constantly piling on them, race after race. Mercedes’ poor strategy calls have lost them two races out of three which could prove absolutely decisive later in the season. It is absolutely clear that Mercedes have the better car in terms of one lap pace and with overtaking becoming more difficult this season, a high qualifying position is key. But if Mercedes keep on screwing up in pitstops and tyre choices, Ferrari as seen before will be ready on their heels to snatch a win away from them. Small errors like filling the tyres with the wrong pressure or setting the wrong engine mode must be avoided and Mercedes as a unit must buckle up because the fight is getting real.
Kyvat, palmer and alonso steal the show
Although overtaking has apparently become tougher this season, we have seen some outstanding battles and the Bahrain GP was no exception, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso being involved in a very long and exciting fight for 12th position. Kvyat and Palmer were fighting hard with Alonso waiting in the wings to capitalize on a mistake. Alonso made an amazing overtake on Palmer going up the hill at Turn 12 but soon lost the position on the straight thanks to his highly underpowered Honda engine. He eventually retired from the race with only to laps to go due to engine issues. This was Alonso’s third retirement in the same amount of races and Honda must find solutions immediately because the great talent which is Fernando Alonso has been wasted since the past three seasons and nobody, including the fans and the other drivers want to see him in such a condition.
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