Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix by 6.660 seconds over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton to earn his second victory of 2017. Vettel won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and after three races the Scuderia Ferrari pilot leads the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship by seven points over Hamilton. This was Vettel’s 44th career Formula One victory and his third at Bahrain, with his last win in Sakhir coming in 2013 when he drove for Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton was forced to take a 5 second penalty for slowing down the Red Bull of Daniel Ricardo in the pit lane, whether not having to take the penalty cost Mercedes a win, Lewis commented ‘Possibly but it’s all ifs and buts’. Team mate Bottas who had started on pole seemed to struggle with some car issues and gave up second place to Hamilton in a bid for the Brit to try and catch Vettel but it wasn’t to be. Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth to help lift Ferrari above MercedesAMG in the constructors table.
Whilst Scuderia Ferrari celebrated the win, a bit further down the pack it wasa good day at the office for another Ferrari powered car, f or the second straight race, Haas F1 Team scored a point-paying result as driver Romain Grosjean delivered an eighth-place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.
Grosjean started ninth in the 57-lap race around the 5.412-kilometer (3.363-mile), 15-turn track and held his position amid the always chaotic start, a lap-16 restart and two pit stops. After his final stop at the end of lap 32 where Grosjean swapped his Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires for a new set of Yellow softs, he used the fresh rubber to overtake the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat for eighth on lap 38. Grosjean maintained the spot through the checkered flag to take his first point-scoring finish of the year.
Teammate Kevin Magnussen didn’t have the opportunity to vie for points. After rising from his 20th-place starting spot to 15th, Magnussen’s race ended after eight laps when an electronics issue cut his car’s power supply, forcing him to pull off at turn eight. Magnussen finished eighth the week before in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Grosjean’s eighth-place effort was his fifth top-10 finish in six career Formula One starts at Bahrain. Grosjean finished fifth in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix for what remains Haas F1 Team’s best result in 24 Formula One races.
Roman Grosjean; “It was a pretty good race. I made a decent start and my first stint was pretty good, but it was tough to stay behind the Renault. Then we had the bad luck with the safety car, as we’d pitted just before. I saw (Sergio) Perez come out and I thought, ‘How did he come out in front of me when he’d been 10 seconds behind?’ He gained 12 seconds with the safety car and that cost a position. At the restart I struggled a little bit with the top speed. But, eventually, we made the right strategy call and pushed on the good laps with some great overtaking maneuvers. So, here we are, P8. It’s good to be here scoring points.”
Kevin Magnussen; “The car stopped for some reason. I don’t know what the cause is yet, but I lost power. I had to stop, unfortunately. It happened suddenly – just the power disappeared. Conditions until then were pretty good. The tire wear was a bit lower and it was easier on brakes. It would’ve been a good race. I just look forward now and am happy with the car. It’s running in the points and qualifying in Q3. We’ve had three straight weekends where the car’s been in points positions. I’m looking forward to this continuing.”
Sebastian Vettel; “It was a really great day, I don’t know what to say. The last half of the in-lap with all the fireworks and the track was all lit up – I just love what I do – and I can’t find any words.
“I am not really looking at the championship. I am really enjoying the car. I was a bit down yesterday because the gap to Mercedes was so big and we could have been a bit closer. But something inside me told me we had a good car and we can do well, so right from the first lap I felt the car was there and the Easter hunt was on. They were hiding some eggs but it looks as though we found them today.”
Lewis Hamilton; “I had very good pace in the second and last stint, and honestly believed that I would be able to catch Sebastian up. But with the five-second penalty, that made it twice as hard than it was already going to be. Like I said, apologies to the team, but I tried my best to recover it. We still got good points and we still have this great fight as Sebastian did a great job.”
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner; “It was a bittersweet race with one driver in the points and one with a DNF (Did Not Finish). Kevin had a problem with his electronics. We don’t know yet what it is. The car just switched off and he had to park it. Romain fought a good battle. We know where we are. We were not strong enough for Perez (Force India), but we were good enough to beat Hulkenberg (Renault). It’s a tight battle and, again, we got four points from here.”
Ferrari Team Principal; Maurizio Arrivabene; “Today’s victory was an important one, achieved thanks to the great efforts of all the guys at the track and back in Maranello. For the whole weekend, the team demonstrated courage, determination and a little bit of madness. This is all part of our DNA, characteristics which 70 years ago saw the birth of Ferrari. Courage and determination were needed to tackle a weekend like this, in which we expected to encounter a few difficulties in qualifying, which is why, based on good long run data on Friday, we prepared as well as possible for the race. In order to do this you also need to use some madness… Sebastian drove a really great race, demonstrating once again all his class. Kimi was caught up in traffic at the start and then he certainly wasn’t helped by the arrival of the Safety Car. The SF70H proved itself to be strong also in these conditions, at a track which requires above all power and good traction. The tyres worked very well, which allowed us to fully exploit our very good strategy. And now it’s time to concentrate on the next round of the World Championship, the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.”