Vettel Leads F1 Championship after win in Bahrain

On April 17, 2017, in Sporting News, by Bud Thornton

sebastian-vettel-ferrariGerman driver Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) won the Bahrain Grand Prix, his second win this season in the Formula 1 World Championship after the win in Australia, while Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) finished second at the Sakhir circuit.

It’s the 44th career win for Vettel in Formula 1 and only his fifth with Ferrari since joining the team in 2015. At the end of March in Australia, in the first race of this season, he ended an eighteen-month drought for him and his team.

In the overall drivers’ championship standings, Vettel and Hamilton were tied, but after his win in Sakhir the German is the sole leader, seven points ahead of the Englishman. In the constructors’ standings, Ferrari now leads Mercedes 102 to 99.

Hamilton, who was six seconds behind Vettel, ended regretting the five-second penalty he received for braking ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) in the pit.

The other Mercedes driver, Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, who had started the race on pole position, was third ahead of Ricciardo, fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Brazilian Felipe Massa (Williams).

Mexican Sergio Perez (Force India), who had a poor result in Saturday’s qualifying session (18th), had a good race and managed to finish seventh and earn six points.

The safety car came out between the 13th and 17th laps following an accident between Canadian Lance Stroll (Williams) and Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso). Just before that, Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) had gone off track and hit the wall with the front end of his car. Danish Kevin Magnussen (Haas) also left after a mechanical breakdown.

Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and Spaniard Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda) also failed to finish with just a few laps to go.

Alonso therefore continues suffering car breakdowns this season as McLaren has failed to solve the reliability issues of its vehicles. Alonso’s teammate, Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, failed to even start the race due to engine problems in his car.

After two consecutive weekends of competition, the Formula 1 World Championship will return in two weeks, on April 30, with the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

 

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