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Vettel tops FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix

The Ferrari's time came when track temperatures had cooled, unlike Lewis Hamilton, who finished 10th.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
14th April 2017

article:14th April 2017

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel topped the times again for Ferrari in Friday’s hotly-contested second free practice ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having lapped quickest to top the opening session in very hot conditions, the four-time champion remained the man to beat in cooler temperatures in the floodlit session at the Bahrain International Circuit where the sport’s former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance at a race since new owners Liberty Media took over the sport.


Vettel clocked an early best lap in one minute and 31.310 seconds during a run on super-soft tyres, a time that left him 0.041 seconds ahead of nearest rival Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

The Finn, who replaced retired 2016 champion Nico Rosberg in the champion team, was second 0.025 seconds clear of third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Red bull, the front three all separated by just 0.066 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, was fourth quickest in the second Ferrari ahead of Mercedes’ three-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who shares the title race lead with Vettel after two races so far this season.

The Briton was unable to clock a truly competitive lap on his super-soft runs and had to take evasive action when he came upon Nico Hulkenberg idling on the racing line in Turn One.

“These drivers are so dangerous, man,” said Hamilton, on his team radio, as he backed off and aborted his lap.

The incident was reported to the stewards and was due for investigation post-session. Vettel also had problems mid-way through the session when his Ferrari lost power.

“Complete shutdown,” he told his team as he nursed his car back to the pits.

The German rejoined for the long race-simulation runs in the final part of the session. Verstappen’s efforts were also thwarted by problems when he ran over the ‘t-wing’ that flew off Bottas’s Mercedes and damaged the floor of his Red Bull car.

The session was run in track temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius and air temperatures of 34 degrees, some 14 degrees cooler than it had been in the opening session.


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Sebastian Vettel dominates in Bahrain Grand Prix practice

The Ferrari's time came when track temperatures had cooled, unlike Lewis Hamilton, who finished 10th.

Sebastian Vettel underscored the Ferrari threat, topping first practice.

Sebastian Vettel underscored the Ferrari threat, topping first practice.

Kimi Raikkonen driving as dusk fell at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Kimi Raikkonen driving as dusk fell at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Bahrain GP welcomed former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The Bahrain GP welcomed former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Daniel Ricciardo put his Red Bull in P2.

Daniel Ricciardo put his Red Bull in P2.

The Mercedes-Ferrari battle has begun already, with Valtteri Bottas passing Vettel on track.

The Mercedes-Ferrari battle has begun already, with Valtteri Bottas passing Vettel on track.

Kimi Raikkonen after his car broke down on track.

Kimi Raikkonen after his car broke down on track.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson heads a queue of drivers during practice.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson heads a queue of drivers during practice.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne getting a ride back to the paddock after a breakdown.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne getting a ride back to the paddock after a breakdown.

Lewis Hamilton was 10th, although his time was set while track temperatures were still high.

Lewis Hamilton was 10th, although his time was set while track temperatures were still high.

Despite McLaren's woes, Fernando Alonso achieved a respectable 8th place in practice.

Despite McLaren's woes, Fernando Alonso achieved a respectable 8th place in practice.