Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel roared to a brilliant victory in the 2017 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Bahrain International Circuit once again provided the perfect setting for a sizzling motorsport spectacle, as a record crowd of 33,000 – and 93,000 in all for the weekend – enjoyed Formula 1 action at its finest.
After splitting the first two races of the season with Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton, Vettel was eager to strike back and it was the star pair once again battling in the end for all the glory. This time it was the scarlet red of Ferrari taking the chequered flag as a brilliant series of fireworks lit up the night sky above Sakhir.
The German gained the lead from pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas during a safety car period early on in the race. At the re-start, he managed to stave off his rival and eventually built a comfortable advantage of over 10 seconds from the rest of the pack.
Vettel crossed the finish line with a winning time of one hour 33 minutes 53.374 seconds. Hamilton, who had been given a five-second time penalty for impeding Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane, had cut the gap to 6.660 seconds by the end. Bottas had to settle for the final podium place 20.397s back in third.
Podium Placers Quotes
“The car was really amazing to drive and I had a good feeling yesterday,”
said Vettel during his post-race interview on the podium.
“For many laps it really worked well. It was just a pleasure. Lewis was threatening towards the end, and with the traffic you never know. But it was a very controlled race, and the car was simply a dream today.”
Ferrari’s Kimi Rakkonen finished fourth 22.475s from his teammate. He was followed by Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo (+39.346s) in fifth and Williams’s Felipe Massa (+54.326s) in sixth. Force India’s Sergio Perez (+62.606s) was seventh and Haas’s Romain Grosjean (+74.865s) rounded out the top eight. Nico Hulkenberg of Renault and Perez’s teammate Esteban Ocon were the last two to claim points.
Classified 11th to 14th were Pascal Wehrlein of Sauber, Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso, Jolyon Palmer of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren.
Not classified were Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Williams’s Lance Stroll, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.