Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Hamilton suffers Bahrain blow with five-place grid penalty

Gulf Air’s Dreamliner takes to the skies at Bahrain Grand Prix Hamilton suffers Bahrain blow with five-place grid penalty
Jay Anderson | 10 April, 2018, 20:17

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.166s 4. With back-to-back wins, Ferrari now consolidates its position at the top, with Mercedes coming in second in the constructors' standings.

The race will be on Sunday, April 8. Strategic pit stops and tyre choices turned out to be game changers for drivers through the race.

"The vehicle is quick and that usually helps", Vettel, a four-time world champion, said in his post-qualifying interview.

Meanwhile, it was a disastrous day for Kimi Raikkonen after starting second on the grid.

Ferrari had not been able to remove Raikkonen's left-rear tyre but he was sent on his way, and the mechanic was struck by his SF71-H; Raikkonen halted a few metres later and retired, with the condition of the mechanic not yet known.

The mechanic was taken away on a stretcher and is being examined at the time of writing. The German was off to a lead by over 3 seconds in the initial stages. He completed his fast lap in Q2 on soft compound tyres while everyone else ran on the shorter-life supersofts. The German driver who has four world championship titles under his belt set a time of 1min 27.958sec to claim his 51st career pole after a close battle with Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Over at Red Bull, things took an early turn for the worse as Max Verstappen locked up and slammed his auto into the wall at Turn Two. Max Verstappen squeezed Hamilton too hard exiting Turn 1 on Lap 2 and damaged his left-rear wheel, which caused a puncture.




He got back to the pits and had the tyres changed, but parked up shortly after with a differential problem.

That should theoretically allow him to go longer in the race before needing to pit, opening up strategic possibilities Mercedes might be able to exploit in the event of a safety vehicle, like Ferrari did in Australia.

"Valtteri had a bit of a sniff but he ran out of laps".

Race stewards said that in Sunday's incident the vehicle was released "in a manner endangering team personnel and causing injury".

Vettel held the lead at the start as Bottas mugged Raikkonen into Turn 1, and built a lead of more than three seconds over the first stint. That represented a stunning turnaround for Honda, Toro Rosso's engine partners after three nightmare years at McLaren.

It means Hamilton will start only sixth even if he manages to post the quickest time in qualifying on Saturday. Brendon Hartley, facing a 10 second stop-go penalty for colliding with Sergio Perez on the opening lap, stayed out longer and fell all the way to the back of the field after his stop and penalty.

Stoffel Vandoorne was eighth to make it the second consecutive double points finish for McLaren while Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari got a points scoring finish thanks to Marcus Ericsson who was ninth.

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