by M.C. – photo: formula1.com | IThis beginning of the season has Sebastian Vettel seemingly living in a constant state of déjà vu: he won the Australian GP just as he did in 2017, and has repeated the feat at the Bahrain GP last weekend. The Ferrari pilot relied on team strategy and his own know-how to take the lead, scoring his second victory against his top rival, Lewis Hamilton, whose current winnings amount to zero.
But Hamilton was not the German’s driver greatest rival in this occasion. The final battle was between the Finnish driver from Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas, and Ferrari’s leader, which the latter won in an agonizing end-of-race. The current champion had to climb up positions from the start (he came out nine after a five-position penalty for a gear-box change was added to his fourth official place), having no chance of fighting for victory. During the race, he quarrelled with Max Verstappen (Red Bull), with the Dutch diver taking the worse part and having to abandon for the second race in a row.
Honda-Toro Rosso, the other winner
The surprising news in this occasion came from Honda and their partners Toro Rosso, and not because of another disastrous performance as it has been the case over the last few years, but for their edge-of-podium, fourth position. The young French driver Pierre Gasly, had achieved a great time at the classification run which put him sixth on the grid, and he didn’t disappoint at the race. An unexpected bit of joy for the Toro Rosso-Honda partnership.
Fernando Alonso kept on adding points after a seventh position which could both serve to feed the hopes of his fans as well as the doubts over his McLaren. He was indeed close to taking sixth place during a vibrant battle with Nick Hülkenberg (Renault), but the German held a tight grip on his lead. On the virtual Championship classification, the Spaniard is currently fourth, a not very significant but nonetheless exciting fact for his followers.
The sad anecdote of the race was that of the accident suffered by Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) who ran over one of his mechanics at a pit stop (giving him a double leg fracture), after which he abandoned the race.
Results Bahrein GP:
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger/Ferrari) 25 pts
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin/Mercedes) 18 pts
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr/Mercedes) 15 pts
- Pierre Gasly (Fra/Toro Rosso Honda) 12 pts
- Kevin Magnussen (Din/Haas Ferrari) 10 pts
2018 Driver Standings F1:
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger/Ferrari) 50 pts
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr/Mercedes) 33 pts
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin/Mercedes) 22 pts
- Fernando Alonso (Esp/McLaren) 16 pts
- Kimi Räikkönen (Fin/Ferrari) 15 pts