Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

F1 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix: Could 2nd or 3rd have won?

F1 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix: Could 2nd or 3rd have won?

Sebastian Vettel, who started his 200th Grand Prix from pole position, clinched his 49th career win ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton.

At the last two laps of the race, Bottas was within the DRS range of Vettel and even tried passing him at turn one, but could not complete the move and ended up finishing second in the race with a gap of under a second. Lewis Hamilton profited from Ferrari's mishap to finish in third place behind his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

With 10 laps to go Vettel told the team radio he had "everything under control", but quipped during a podium interview: "That was a lie!"

"I can't speak for them but I think it's always a combination of things".

Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
GETTYThe incident brought an abrupt end to Kimi Raikkonen's race

"He had a bit of a sniff, but fortunately he ran out of laps".

Mercedes, however, seemed on course for a one-two from Bottas and Hamilton when Vettel chose soft tires for his second stint, which indicated he would need a second pit stop.

With margins tight between Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes, Vettel suggests the next race in China may be just as tough. He was left with a rear left puncture and limped back to the pits for new tyres before retiring the auto due to damage from the early incident.

Vettel's win crowned an eventful race for Ferrari in which one of their mechanics suffered a double leg break when Kimi Raikkonen was prematurely told to pull away during a pit stop.

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Hamilton could take some consolation in equalling Raikkonen's all-time record of 27 successive points finishes.

"I was trying to get every lap flawless trying to catch him, but it wasn't quite enough", Bottas said.

Kimi's rear left tyre went straight into his leg, breaking it.

The driver was heavily criticised on social media for not offering more sympathy or support to his team mate, but he hit back at his haters, saying: "I don't see what happens. He drove into my left rear and gave me a puncture and also destroyed the diff".

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That represented a stunning turnaround for Honda, Toro Rosso's engine partners after three nightmare years at McLaren.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg spent the race keeping a ferocious Fernando Alonso at bay, the Spaniard nonetheless salvaging points for McLaren after a hitherto disappointing weekend. Daniel Ricciardo, starting from fourth and already in top form this season, retired with a mechanical fault after one lap.

Marcus Ericsson of Alfa Romeo Sauber, who had not finished in the points for the last 50 Grands Prix, brought his Sauber home ninth to secure two points for the team.

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