Sebastian Vettel gets strategy right in Bahrain Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel gets strategy right in Bahrain Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel gets strategy right in Bahrain Grand Prix

By lap six, he was running in fifth after sailing by Kevin Magnussen before repeating the same move on Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly two laps later.

Bottas upped the wick further as Vettel's tyres continued to degrade, moving to within just two seconds of the leader with four laps to go, finding chunks of time lap after lap through the first sector.

"Wow!" screamed Vettel as he crossed the line.

On the podium, the German said: "I think I came on the radio with 10 laps to go saying everything was under control".

Vettel finished 0.134seconds clear of Raikkonen, with Bottas marginally father back. By them going onto the medium, I thought: 'That's checkmate.' Because we had to come in again. Hamilton was low down after incurring a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorized gearbox change.

"I started ninth so third is not bad at all", said the Briton. It was damage limitation.

Lewis Hamilton recovered after starting from 9th on the grid to finish 3rd, while Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire on lap 36 following a pit stop incident (unsafe release). The mechanic was taken to hospital to treat a broken leg soon after. Marcus Ericsson who started down in 17th place finished 9th for Alfa Romeo Sauber ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon.

The race began with temperatures falling from 29 and 35 degrees Celsius respectively for air and track.

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In the end, Hamilton's pace became moot as Vettel hung on to set up what promises to be a great season.

"But the auto ahead chose to dive to the right so I had to bail out and had cars pass me on the left, so I fell back on the opening lap".

Raikkonen's left tyre was still being attended to when he slammed on the power and he drove straight into the leg of the mechanic who was badly hurt. The two Red Bull guys with Max [Verstappen] and Daniel [Ricciardo] are pushing hard. He pulled over on the side of the track because of an electrical failure, prompting the safety auto to come out.

The Finn retired from the race while medical assistance was issued to the mechanic. Alonso started in 13th place but quickly gained a few positions during the opening laps.

Vettel, last year's championship runner-up, has a golden chance to extend his overall lead.

Amid problems with the radio, Mercedes instructed Hamilton to push so that Vettel would come out behind him if Ferrari opted to make a second stop. "Our plan worked but just, Bottas had a bit of a sniff but ran out of laps", said the four times champion.

A frustrated Vettel finally burst past the defensive Hamilton, on his original tyres, to re-gain the lead on lap 26. The race appeared to be going to script when Vettel pitted from the lead on lap 18 for soft tyres, but as it transpired he stayed on that same set of tyres for 39 laps.

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