Ferrari keeps feet firmly on ground despite more Vettel glory

Bahrain Grand Prix Circuit overview of what the Formula One drivers will be facing

A Ferrari mechanic has suffered a horrific double leg fracture at the Bahrain GP following a botched pit-stop with Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari showed great pace all weekend and there would have been no guarantee at Mercedes of a Hamilton victory even if he hadn't been forced to start from ninth place after a grid penalty.

Raikkonen's Ferrari team-mate, four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel, won the race, his second victory in two events this season. The scuffle between the two ended with Verstappen getting a puncture.

The F1 ace had been given the green light to leave the pit box but his rear-left tyre was still being seen to by mechanic Francesco Cigorini.

The mistake forced Raikkonen to retire from the race in the pit lane and Ferrari was fined €50,000 by the FIA for an unsafe release.

"A bit sad because one of our mechanics got injured", Vettel said.

Both of the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo retired within the first five laps. The result was engine supplier Honda's best finish since returning to the sport in 2015 and, following their acrimonious split with McLaren past year, will have tasted even sweeter on the home turf of McLaren's Bahraini owners.




Marcus Ericsson grabbed two points for Sauber by finishing ninth ahead of Esteban Ocon, who was 10th for Force India.

Raikkonen got passed on the first corner by Bottas, but Vettel held his ground. Soon after he moved past Magnussen and Gasly to take fourth. Moments later, having left his pit, Raikkonen was told to stop, the Finn subsequently climbing from his vehicle and retiring. Hamilton then pitted, also for mediums, which left both Mercedes on a one-stop strategy and Ferrari requiring another stop each.

At that point, Vettel thought Bottas would win the race, but he didn't let on over the pit-to-car radio.

Vettel managed to go 39 laps on a set of Soft tyres to continue his flawless start to the 2018 season, keeping Bottas - who had more durable Mediums for the second stint - back as they fought closely through the final few laps, ultimately being separated by just 0.7 seconds at the line.

Raikkonen had looked set to finish in third place before the incident happened.

The Finn's thrilling battle against Sebastian Vettel in the final stages of the event saw the Mercedes driver snapping at the heels of the leader as he made the most of his medium tyres against the Ferrari's worn out soft rubber. We definitely have to do a better job. The Mercedes' tyres were in a better condition in the final ten laps and Bottas quickly shaved four seconds off the Ferrari's lead between lap 49 and lap 54. He closed in on Vettel but as they approached the braking zone he wasn't quite close enough to attempt a move without risking an accident.

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