F1: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel clinches tense Bahrain GP

Virginia Carson
April 10, 2018

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton finished third in a pulsating race, which saw Vettel squeeze the maximum out of tires he was forced to use from lap 18 of the 57-lap race to beat Bottas by just 0.699 seconds.

Here are the best pictures of the action from the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Both of the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo retired, but the energy drink company's other team Toro Rosso celebrated a remarkable day with fourth place for French driver Pierre Gasly.

Ferrari's win was overshadowed to some extent by a pit-lane accident when Raikkonen got the green light to go after a pit stop despite the left rear not being changed, running over a mechanic in the process and breaking his leg. Hass Ferrari's Kevin Magnussen came in fifth, followed by Niko Hulkenberg for Renault in sixth. Marcus Ericsson secured Sauber's first points in the season with an impressive drive to ninth ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon.

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"Red Bull would have been there with us and Ferrari fighting".

Vettel now leads the championship standings with 50 points; Hamilton, with 33 points is second, and Bottas, with 22 points is third.

"I came on the radio to say everything was under control, but that was a lie!" But Vettel's evening under the floodlights turned out to be nowhere near as straightforward as that. It left Verstappen with a puncture that resulted in him slowly making his way back to the pits, only to retire a few laps later.

Though the Dutchman limped back to the pits for a tyre change, he sustained too much damage to his auto in the process, and his team ordered his retirement on lap five.

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Vettel was the first of the top four to pit, coming in on lap 18 and handing the lead to Bottas.

At the last two laps of the race, Bottas was within the DRS range of Vettel and even tried passing him at turn one, but could not complete the move and ended up finishing second in the race with a gap of under a second.

The former world champion race auto driver pulled into pit lane and his crew worked quickly to get the vehicle refuelled and restocked, however Kimi was reportedly given the all clear before the Ferrari auto was ready and he stepped on the accelerator. Starting from second place, Kimi Raikkonen looked blazingly fast all weekend, having narrowly missed out on pole himself. Fearing Mercedes' strategy would play out as predicted, Ferrari ditched Vettel's second stop, keeping him out on soft tires originally meant to survive a far shorter stint.

Unaffected, Vettel pushed to make the most of an emergency one-stop strategy, resisting Bottas all the way to the flag.

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