Sebastian Vettel moved into a clear lead in this year’s world championship on Sunday when he claimed a well-judged victory for Ferrari in the Bahrain Grand Prix for his second win of the season.
The 29-year-old four-time champion came home seven seconds ahead of three-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, who made a late charge for victory after collecting a five-seconds penalty for a pit-lane misdemeanour.
Hamilton’s new Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third, after starting from his maiden pole position, ahead of compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari and fifth-placed Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
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DRIVER OF THE DAY
Sebastian Vettel was instrumental, securing his second win of the season and taking an early advantage over Hamilton in the title race.
Although he was the first in the leading pack to hit the pit lane after lap 10, it proved a gamble worth taking as his super soft tyres allowed him to gain stronger pace over the Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton may have fallen short after pushing Vettel in the closing stages of the race, however his lap of of 1:32.798 on 46 proved to be the fastest of the day.
Daniel Ricciardo’s 1:33.495 on lap 42 was the second-fastest, with Kimi Raikkonen’s 1:33.720 on 55 third fastest as he attempted to push Valtteri Bottas for a place on the podium.
After a bright start, Max Verstappen was forced to retire after lap 19 due to brake failure.
Although the mechanical issue was not his fault, it was disappointing to see the Red Bull driver withdraw when sitting in fourth and looking like he could potentially fight for a podium place if his pace continued.
ONE TO WATCH
It was another fantastic performance from Sergio Perez as he rose from P18 to finish in 7th place.
It’s now the Force India driver’s 13th consecutive race in the points stretching back to the German GP last July.
The Mexican was brilliant, overtaking the vastly experienced Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean to confirm his place in the points.