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Fortune favours the brave as Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain GP with Lewis Hamilton penalised
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Bahrain GP 2017
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Apr 2017   |  5:37 pm GMT  |  813 comments

Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix with a beautifully judged drive ahead of Lewis Hamilton and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas.

The result gives Vettel the championship lead alone by seven points over Hamilton. Ferrari have a three point lead over Mercedes.

It was his 44th career F1 win, the same as Hamilton’s race number, his second this season and his third in Bahrain.

Hamilton and Mercedes were under pressure; he was hit with a five second penalty for blocking Ricciardo on the way into the pits and that played a significant part in costing him the win, after he had served it at the final stop.

It was a day that showed once again the clear pattern of this season where the lead drivers of the Mercedes and Ferrari teams had a clear race pace advantage over their team mates. From pole, Bottas was well off Hamilton’s pace and was asked to let his team mate through just before his second stint as only Hamilton had the pace to mount a challenge to Vettel. Meanwhile Raikkonen had a scrappy start and then complained of further problems with the car during the race. But he was fast at the end of the race, when he almost caught Bottas for third place.

Mercedes said that they gave Bottas too high tyre pressures for the first stint due to the generator not functioning properly.

It also showed another trend for this season; that the Mercedes struggles on the softer compound tyres like the supersoft, so much so that Mercedes opted to leave a set of new supersofts in their blankets for Hamilton’s final stint, preferring to use instead a used set of Softs. The data from Bottas’ new tyres in the second stint told them that.

It was a good race from the point of wheel to wheel action, allaying fears that these F1 cars would struggle to overtake even on a proper race track.

It was also a great race from a strategy point of view with the leading cars taking different strategies on the tyres. Ferrari were bold again on strategy, undercutting Mercedes at the first stop, making the use of the pace of the car in a sure footed performance from the pit wall. Bottas didn’t have the race pace, while Hamilton’s five second penalty meant that Vettel had the edge.

Bahrain is traditionally one of the better tracks for the number of overtakes, especially since it became a night race, so this is something of a high water mark, but encouraging nevertheless.

Sebastian Vettel

Start – Hamilton loses a place

At the start Vettel got ahead of Hamilton as the Mercedes driver had a slower getaway off the dirty side of the grid. He positioned the car perfectly THat said, Verstappen also started on the dirty side and he managed to pass Raikkonen and Ricciardo in the opening turns, the pass on the Australian being particularly robust into Turn 2.

Bahrain GP 2017

The order across the line at the end of Lap 1 was Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Massa, Raikkonen who had dropped down to 7th from 5th, Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Ocon. Palmer had dropped from 10th to 13th. Perez had a great start from 18th up to 12th.

Once the DRS was enabled, the Ferrari closed in on Bottas and Verstappen got close to Hamilton. Bottas got a radio message from the pits to say that there was some overheating but not serious, Vettel continued to shadow him, clearly faster at this stage of the race. Hamilton closed up, making it a leading trio.

After 10 laps the leading five cars were separated by just 3 seconds, meanwhile Raikkonen managed to get ahead of Massa for 6th place, with fours seconds gap to the car ahead he had free air to go in and set a mid 1m 36s lap, while Bottas was holding Vettel to 1m 37s at the front.

Bottas said that his tyre tyres were losing performance and was told that the pressure were high, Vettel went for the undercut on Lap 11. He went for the supersoft tyre, following the strategy Haas had great success with last year. He rejoined into a gap ahead of Palmer.

Verstappen was calling for the same, “I think we should do something like Ferrari” he said. Red Bull pitted him a lap later. Hamilton moved up to the tail of his team mate.

Vettel made great progress on the supersofts, putting a big chunk of time between himself and Verstappen, but the Dutchman went off on Lap 12. The car went straight on with a brake failure. It was bad luck as with what transpired soon after he would have been second at the Safety Car deployment.

Raikkonen pitted on Lap 13, but was not fast enough to to be in the game once again, as far as Ferrari’s strategy challenge on Mercedes was concerned at this stage.

Stroll

All change as Stroll triggers a Safety Car once again

Mercedes did not cover Vettel who was lapping 2 seconds faster than the Mercedes then once again the Safety Car was deployed for a collision between Stroll and Sainz.

This looked like bad luck for Ferrari, with Vettel 18 seconds behind Bottas, but a slow stop for Bottas lost him the lead and with hamilton stacked behind him, he dropped behind Ricciardo. Bottas was put onto supersofts, to cover Vettel, while Mercedes split the strategy with Hamilton on softs, which was the same as Ricciardo.

Hamilton had held up Ricciardo as they entered the pit lane under the Safety Car and was given a 5 second penalty.

Marcus Ericsson had been put onto Soft tyres at the start by Sauber and was up to 8th. He quickly dropped back.

At the restart Hamilton jumped Ricciardo, while we had a great wheel to wheel scrap between Bottas and Vettel, which Vettel survived. Ricciardo lost further places to Massa and Raikkonen. His second set of supersofts not working for him.

Lap 19 and Vettel got his head down, building a lead over Bottas. Hamilton ran third with Massa doing a great job in fourth on soft tyres. Williams had looked good all weekend and Massa was really making the most of it.

Vettel was told that Ferrari expected Mercedes to instruct Bottas to let Hamilton through so as not to hold up his progress given that they were on different strategies and Hamilton would have the penalty. These were anxious moments for the Mercedes team, who had needed to contain Vettel, given that the Ferrari was always likely to race more strongly on a track where looking after the rear tyres is the name of the game.

Perez had worked his way up to 7th, another strong performance from the Force India driver, who had jumped Hulkenberg and Grosjean.

On Lap 20 Raikkonen passed Massa again for fourth, he was no2 7 seconds behind the leading trio.

Vettel had a 3.5 sec lead over Bottas and it was all about the gap to Hamilton, the leading driver on soft tyres

Fernando Alonso was passed by Kvyat and Palmer and said candidly, ” I have never raced with less power in my life.”

Hamilton passed Bottas on Lap 27, with all the hallmarks of an order from Mercedes, with the gap to Vettel now 6 seconds, but realistically 11 seconds behind given his added five second penalty.

Bottas said that the supersofts were not working for him and that the soft would be the better tyre. Hamilton closed on Vettel, trying to judge how much to take out of the tyres, given that he was trying to make it to the end of the race on them.

“Keep your head down, this is an important phase of the race, focus!” Vettel was told by his engineer.

Vettel was working to build a gap to Ricciardo to be able to stop without dropping behind the Red Bull driver. He needed 24 seconds.

Raikkonen said something ‘really disturbing’ was happening to the car and was given some instructions to try to rectify the problem.

Bahrain 2017
Final stint

Hamilton was really fast on the soft tyres, Vettel had the gap on Ricciardo to pit, but he now found himself 18 seconds behind Hamilton with a 20 lap tyre offset and 23 laps to the end. Perez meanwhile was doing a stunning job on 21 lap old supersofts.

Vettel was now over a second a lap faster than Hamilton, but knowing that he did not need to overtake him at the end, due to Hamilton’s time penalty.

Perez and Hulkenberg pitted together on Lap 37 and Perez rejoined eighth.

Raikkonen had been calling for new tyres and was given them on Lap 38. Vettel closed in on Hamilton to 8 seconds.

Hamilton pitted on Lap 41 for soft tyres and served his time penalty. He went onto used softs, but questioned why he hadn’t been given new tyres? Mercedes said it was due to data, meaning the poor performance of the supersofts on Bottas’ car in the second stint. With 14 laps to the end, they felt Hamilton had shown better pace on the softs and that it was the correct tyre.

Hamilton scythed past Bottas on Lap 48, a humiliating situation for the Finn after scoring his first pole position. Hamilton was told he had the pace to win the race and having served the penalty it was all to play for with ten laps to go.

Vettel responded, measuring his pace, with a tyre offset of just 5 laps in Hamilton’s favour. Vettel caught traffic, Hamilton closed by almost 2 seconds on Lap 50 with seven laps to go.

Ericsson broke down with five laps to go, but no Virtual Safety Car or Safety Car was required to be deployed that would have given Hamilton a lifeline.

Raikkonen found some pace at the end of the race as he closed on Bottas for the final podium position.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below

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1

Merc deliberately put more pressure in Valtteri’s tires. Their strategy was for Lewis to jump Valtteri or even if Lewis is behind him, they can swap the places so that Lewis can streak away at the front and Valtteri can hold up Seb. Alas, their plan was put to rest when Seb jumped Lewis.

2

Gutted for BOT and VER. Whatever transpired, HAM did not deserve to win after that headless move he pulled on RIC in the pitlane. The most concerning thing for Merc must be the mounting number of amateurish errors they are committing as they come under sustained pressure for the first time in 4 years. That they cannot exploit what still appears to be a slight edge in power due, among other hindrances, to tyre hunger seems unworthy of a reigning WCC.

I still question the wisdom relying heavily on stint data from BOT in making the call not to boot HAM with the new supersofts in his pursuit of VET. HAM did not have the handling issues reported by BOT and there were few enough laps left for there to be virtually no risk of either Merc dropping off the podium…

3

Is there a minimum speed to the pit entry? Did Vettel not pass slower cars into the pit lane before the line?

4

Great race for me, nice to see Sebastian and Ferrari on the podium.

Feel for Max, his pace was going to be a factor.

Disagree with the penalty handed to Carlos. Stroll should have seen the car on the pit exit and anticipated it. No talent.

5

Great race! One thing that is clear is that the Merc is faster in qualifying, and the Ferrari is slightly faster on race pace. The problem for Ferrari is that most of the “advantage” of this race pace is coming from Merc being harsher on tires, and since James Allison is with Merc now they should be able to improve in that aspect quite quickly. James Allison has always been able to develop cars that are easier on it’s tires.

6

Ferrari was just playing games with Mercedes when Vettel was leading during the last phase, did anyone notice that after Sc Vettel was 3 seconds of a lap quicker, something Lewis could not do

7

Only because he was stuck behind Bottas and Vettel was on fresher and faster tyres

8

That was pure class from vettel. Mercedes is still the fastest car out there by some distance. That two wins for ferrari was simply down to vettel and perfect race strategy. Ferrari have got their work cut out in terms developing the car for remainder of this season. Five seconds penalty or not vettel would have still won. Lewis needs to grow up and he would have not caught vettel at all. He just urged and beseeched the team to get past bottas in the similar car.Bottas should become stronger mentally. Otherwise he will turn into another kovalainen or raikkonen faster and will be forgotten. Vettel has been fantastic in all the three races so far. Hope to see ferrari develop the car at faster pace

9

This is without doubt the best F1 website there is.
I’d give it %99 every day for its unbiased and professional content.
My only issue is other people commenting on my comments.
Maybe a option box could be provided to either allow or disallow comments being commented on.
I know the site is moderated well but is it too much to ask to simply have an opinion on the excellent content without then being mocked for said opinion.
I think the opt in opt out box could take the site up-to %100 for me.

10

canmaker, people are just mean, aren’t they! They will always be unfair to the good guy expecting good things when he splats the fan. Me included.

11

@ F1 Canmaker…i see your points there but i would have to disagree as it is these very alternative viewpoints that add to the overall success of the site. I am impressed with the mods here as they are few and fair…in general. I have left various sites because of the sheer unadulterated venom and filth being allowed to dominate any reasonable and robust debate. Maintaining balance is really the key and so far james and his team seem to have been able to that successfully.

12

Although it sounds fair, it would kill the site as soon as 75% comments are from the replies. So if comments would go from discussion to just plane statements it kills the reason I browse through the site almost everyday, so me personally would not recommend doing that to James.

13

@f1canmaker: Why do you care about the comments. It is a good exercise to face various opinions, that is toughening the character, take it positively, life is a hard place. And why trying to control responses? It won’t be democratic, leave people to say what they want, there is a moderation already in place from JA. Generally speaking, there are a few only that get rough, the main part are tolerable are pleasant people. Toughen up mate.

14

And we will be more rigorous in cutting out the few who get rough

Only respectful discussion permitted here

15

Noted

Thanks

16

Best race of the season so far, I thought. Around Sakhir, at least, Ferrari definitely appear to have a race pace advantage, even if they’re still some way from threatening Mercedes in qualifying. Vettel’s pace was strong and Ferrari’s strategy solid. Hamilton made a valiant effort, but it was ultimately all for nought thanks to his penalty. I don’t think Lewis can complain about that – he knew he was going to lose time in the double stack, so decided to try and delay Ricciardo on the way in. Whatever he might’ve gained probably wasn’t worth the likely cost, you have to say.

Not a great race for Mercedes for a number of reason, though. The mistake with Bottas’ tyre pressures compromised his race quite badly and the car couldn’t get the soft tyre working as well as Ferrari did (I’ve said it before, the Ferrari looks to me like it has better mechanical grip). I don’t think we’re truly in a team orders situation – Bottas was so much slower that not ordering him over would’ve clearly sacrificed Hamilton’s race. I think in that situation, or when you have two cars on contra strategies, it’s very different from a ‘Fernando is faster than you’ situation.

Another miserable weekend for Lance Stroll. Pitting early with ruined tyres was, for me, another indicator that he’s not really ready for F1. However, I’m struggling to allocate much blame to him for the crash with Sainz. I’ve looked through Sainz’s onboard several times now, and I can’t discern a single moment when the move looks like it could possibly come off. There’s just no way he’s getting that car in front of Stroll and around the corner, especially not on cold tyres. I don’t think there’s really anything Stroll could’ve done. He took his normal line and although Sainz has suggested he should’ve left room, if we’re going to demand drivers leave room when a car is as far back as that we may as well ban defensive moves altogether. It was an uncharacteristically rash move from Carlos Sainz and I wonder if he didn’t just get tunnel vision, thinking he could momentarily get in front, before finding he’d sailed past the appropriate braking point coming out of the pits.

17

@ kenny C…it started out well with the first six cars duking it out line astern, but then it spread out and lost a lot of ‘lustre’. A frisson towards the end but it was a done deal really and there was no way hamilton was going to take a win given no one had a catastrophic failure. A bit ‘blah’ really.

18

LH better learn to win races sweating to pass his team mate, the orders will tarnish his reputation, there are one too many people that dislike him. I was so curious if he could have passed Verstappen, but poor guy had a DNF.

19

Alan, is there a chance that one too many is the famous dj he eagerly invited to celebrate his Bahrain win? No that there was the case anymore…

20

Great comment and Sainz not having a chance to pass with that lounge in T1 is well spotted; as you point out, he even had cold tyres at that moment!

21

Can I just take a minute to say how much I am enjoying this season so far. That was a cracking race yesterday, how has Bahrain changed from such a snooze fest to one of the highlights of the year for on track action? It’s at risk of making my list of approved F1 venues!

So that’s three races that could have under slightly different circumstances, easily have been won by the guy that came second.

What I particularly liked about yesterday was how Hamilton was able to charge on that last stint, he really was giving it some, haven’t seen that for years.

Shame that Verstappen crashed as he was looking racey, maybe his pace would have tailed off like Ricciardo’s though. Shout out to Massa, solid effort. Poor Alonso.

22

Hi James, A lot has been said about the extreme engine mode Mercs use in Qualifying which gives them a distinct advantage. However very little has been said in any article(any website) about how this takes place, as in how the extra HP is harvested and legality longevity and why Ferrari cant replicate it. An article from a person like you who as a wealth of knowledge and inside perspective, would be absolute gold. thanks

23

Everyone would love to know!

24

Surely it must have something to do with the primaries, either fuel or combustion! IMO of course.

25

It’s more of less confirmed mercedes had equipment failure today. Tire pressure and air guns. Faulty equipment is the blame for their scrappy weekend.

26

Do you really believe that? More or less?

27

Was it… intentional? Why Bottas? (last year LH fans continuously blamed Merc conspiracy to give the title to Nico)

28

James, auto motor und sport said lewis encountered a drs problem on his 2nd Q3 lap, can you give credence to this story? It was reported he lost 2.5 tenths as a result.

29

Michael Schmidt is usually pretty good, BBC also saying that

30

1. Congratulations to Seb Vettel on his win holding off a charging Hamilton which still makes me think that Merc have a slight edge in power over Ferrari.

2. Clearly Bottas lacks the race speed of either Hamilton and Vettel and, unfortunately for Valterri, he can expect more team orders from the pit wall. So, in just three races, he’s relegated to Merc’s number 2 driver.

3. Did Lewis’ 5 second stop go penalty deprive him of challenging for victory? No absolute answer to be had here but he would have been much closer to Seb in the closing laps and may have been able to force him into making an error. Pure conjecture though. Still, great speed shown by Lewis to drastically reduce the margin.

4. The much talked-about match-up between Dan and Max has become nothing much more than a side show – what with a DNF each and just a hand full of points separating them. The main event is obviously Seb V Lewis and it’ll be interesting what in-season development their respective teams benefit either driver.

5. Like Bottas Kimi is clearly the number 2 driver at Ferrari and at 38 years you would have to say that he is functioning on diminishing skills. It’s hard to see him getting a race win and realistically the best he can hope for are 4ths or the occasional third step of the podium.

6. Would have been interesting to have seen what Max could have achieved in the race but no doubt both he and Dan are hanging out for the Renault PU upgrade but will it only get them parity with Merc and Ferrari?

31

ever notice how raikkonnen always turns it up in the final stint of the race? he’s got a lot of ‘fastest laps’ this way, historically. makes you think if he really does have the pace, why does it take him so long to switch it on? i mean, you can only complain about the ‘front end’ for so long, not for 4-5 years.

32

44 fastest laps. That’s as many wins as Sebastian Vettel. Second in the all time chart only behind Micheal.

I fear, we Kimi fans may not even be able to see him see out 2017 on this form, let alone have a drive next year. All the expectations that the higher downforce 2017 cars would see the real Kimi back were mere prayers 🙂

I hope I have spoken too soon.

33

Good spot, odd one!

34

Great race. These cars are proving to be far better. There may be fewer overtakes but the quality is better.

This championship very much has a Hakkinen vs Schumacher feel to it.

35

Will a single Indy500 race be enough?
On the track we have one of the best WDC drivers now just lingering all forgotten in the very back. Again McLaren-Honda showed what pitiful state they are in. (or should we start to name it ‘shameful’?) as they compared to many other teams on the grid have access to all the best people, facility, money, you name it. And still the car they show up with is nothing but a bad joke. Vandoorne could not even get a car to start the race. When did that happen last for any team??
And Alonso? Well he is always a brave fighter but it was severely painful to observe that fantastic driver suffer every single mile he drove.
Think his own words on the radio message we all heard yesterday sums it up pretty well: “I have never raced with less power in my life!”.

And then the McHonda pitwall asks him about some strategy options, to which he replies: “Do whatever you want”…
I repeat how I started this comment: Will a single Indy500 race be enough?

36

Somebody needs to let Vettel know that you cant follow another car closely with this type of cars. The pressure he put on Bottas was just relentless!

37

Hmm, he was all over his back, but did Bottas make any mistake that let Vettel by? Nope. The Ferrari can ride up closer when following … could be the U-shaped floor helping there.

38

Bravissimi. Great win – Well done Scuderia Ferrari, Gina & Seb. As Vettel & Hamilton have said several times that Ferrari is very very fast in race trim & we’ve seen it again here. Look forward to the Russian GP.

39

RBR situation looks ominous. Max is starting to muscle RIC, who isn’t quite showing race pace expected (even given the performance of RBR car)

40

The reason verstappen was able to muscle past ricci on the first lap was that ricciardo was boxed by hamilton’s slow start.

41

It’s always Hamilton’s fault!! Hilarious, so predictable.

Ricciardo had a slow start … with a good start, he could’ve swung out to the left like Max did.

42

@ KRB…sometimes you are so dim that it’s like the lights went out! The reason Ricciardo was slow was because hamilton blew his start and boxed him in. With verstappen alongside where was he to go? Really, you take the cake sometimes with your biased opinions.

43

If Lewis blew his start and Ricciardo had a good one, why couldn’t he find a way past? Lewis had a bit of wheelspin, but so did Dan. Hamilton then braked earlier that Vettel and Verstappen, which he probably shouldn’t have, but he had to watch out for Valtteri ahead, and perhaps had memories of Rosberg just hanging at the corner last year, that led to his collision.

kenneth, you are trying too hard. Overreach Central.

44

That was an enjoying race altogether. To see 5 cars in the early go staying so close to eachother was great. Vettel is looking to be back at his best after 3 races and if the top 2 teams stay together all season l can see a 5th title in the stars for Vettel. Ocon 3rd 10th place in 3 races is far from bad but Perez seems to have him in his pocket. Looking forward to see how that rivality evolve.
Plenty of what ifs regarding Max but he looked to have had a possible podium finish if he had no have a brake problem.
On to Russia and another exciting Gp hopefuly. Marc

45

OK guys. Below is lap time vettle vs Hamilton. Can any show me how whoever still thinking Hamilton lost the race cuz of whatever..he lost fair and square..end of story. Keep moving. Stop talking rubbish

LAP Vettle Hamilton +/- gap SV LH
1 1:38.586[2] 1:39.371[3] -0.785 -0.785 1
2 1:36.933[2] 1:36.947[3] -0.014 -0.799 2
3 1:36.798[2] 1:36.867[3] -0.069 -0.868 3
4 1:36.584[2] 1:36.502[3] 0.082 -0.786 1
5 1:36.498[2] 1:36.514[3] -0.016 -0.802 4
6 1:37.021[2] 1:36.772[3] 0.249 -0.553 2
7 1:37.482[2] 1:37.679[3] -0.197 -0.75 5
8 1:36.877[2] 1:37.121[3] -0.244 -0.994 6
9 1:37.055[2] 1:37.245[3] -0.19 -1.184 7
10 1:40.305[5] PIT 24.7 1:37.337[2] 2.968 1.784 3
11 1:54.814[11] 1:36.564[2] 18.25 20.034 4
12 1:34.597[7] 1:37.096[2] -2.499 17.535 8
13 1:50.925[5] 1:55.500[2] -4.575 12.96 9
14 2:25.317[1] 2:41.622[4] -16.305 -3.345 10
15 2:24.416[1] 2:25.183[4] -0.767 -4.112 11
16 2:24.245[1] 2:21.520[4] 2.725 -1.387 5
17 1:35.265[1] 1:35.802[3] -0.537 -1.924 12
18 1:34.802[1] 1:35.306[3] -0.504 -2.428 13
19 1:34.503[1] 1:34.844[3] -0.341 -2.769 14
20 1:34.751[1] 1:35.275[3] -0.524 -3.293 15
21 1:34.698[1] 1:35.209[3] -0.511 -3.804 16
22 1:34.801[1] 1:35.220[3] -0.419 -4.223 17
23 1:35.157[1] 1:35.704[3] -0.547 -4.77 18
24 1:35.188[1] 1:35.600[3] -0.412 -5.182 19
25 1:34.956[1] 1:35.605[3] -0.649 -5.831 20
26 1:35.398[1] 1:36.313[3] -0.915 -6.746 21
27 1:35.332[1] 1:34.948[2] 0.384 -6.362 6
28 1:35.343[1] 1:34.988[2] 0.355 -6.007 7
29 1:35.349[1] 1:35.191[2] 0.158 -5.849 8
30 1:35.392[1] 1:34.775[2] 0.617 -5.232 9
31 1:35.565[1] 1:35.392[2] 0.173 -5.059 10
32 1:35.545[1] 1:34.820[2] 0.725 -4.334 11
33 1:38.588[1] 1:35.292[2] 3.296 -1.038 12
34 1:53.622[3] 1:35.713[1] 17.909 16.871 13
35 1:34.004[3] 1:35.143[1] -1.139 15.732 22
36 1:33.826[2] 1:35.288[1] -1.462 14.27 23
37 1:34.291[2] 1:35.405[1] -1.114 13.156 24
38 1:34.293[2] 1:35.286[1] -0.993 12.163 25
39 1:34.590[2] 1:35.524[1] -0.934 11.229 26
40 1:34.505[2] 1:35.559[1] -1.054 10.175 27
41 1:34.631[2] 1:38.084[1] -3.453 6.722 28
42 1:34.533[1] 2:00.345[3] -25.812 -19.09 29
43 1:34.365[1] 1:32.962[3] 1.403 -17.687 14
44 1:34.362[1] 1:32.887[3] 1.475 -16.212 15
45 1:34.070[1] 1:32.922[3] 1.148 -15.064 16
46 1:34.096[1] 1:32.798[3] 1.298 -13.766 17
47 1:34.266[1] 1:33.592[2] 0.674 -13.092 18
48 1:34.500[1] 1:33.532[2] 0.968 -12.124 19
49 1:34.876[1] 1:33.037[2] 1.839 -10.285 20
50 1:34.177[1] 1:33.348[2] 0.829 -9.456 21
51 1:33.984[1] 1:33.332[2] 0.652 -8.804 22
52 1:34.085[1] 1:33.375[2] 0.71 -8.094 23
53 1:35.159[1] 1:33.859[2] 1.3 -6.794 24
54 1:34.528[1] 1:33.604[2] 0.924 -5.87 25
55 1:34.082[1] 1:34.632[2] -0.55 -6.42 30
56 1:34.395[1] 1:34.763[2] -0.368 -6.788 31
57 1:35.048[1] 1:34.920[2] 0.128 -6.66 26

46

S Andretti, that’s a lot of data, but again I’m struggling to see the point you are trying to make. What is this rubbish that people apparently talking about why Lewis didn’t win?

47

He’s the one that’s talking rubbish! Showing data that don’t amount to anything!

48

More rubbish from me then……….if Mercedes had produced good pit stops under the safety car, as likely as not Bottas and Hamilton would have both been in front of Vettel and it would have been odds on that Lewis would have won.

49

No way that Lewis could’ve been ahead, but maybe Bottas would’ve with a quick stop. Watching it back right now, both Massa and Hulk were ahead of Vettel on that lap when the SC was called. Both of them came in, and Massa was over the control line before Vettel, but Hulk wasn’t. It was very close though, which is odd for me as I believe Vettel could do race speeds between the two SC lines. Vettel passed the control line 19.557 secs after Bottas. It was then a race to see who would be ahead at SC line 2. Bottas’ total pit time was 28.368 and his actual stop was 6.2 secs. Just saw that Vettel’s graphic jumps ahead of the whole queue just before Bottas’ total pit stop time ends, so he was just ahead by the pit exit line, and would likely have been ahead by SC line 2 anyways, even with a good stop. Maybe a Merc stop of 2.4s or under would’ve made the difference, who knows?

JA, what is the rationale behind allowing full race speeds between the two SC lines (i.e. along the pit straight)? I never understood that one … it cost Hamilton at Monaco ’13 too.

50

My two cents on the race;

The Mercedes driven by Lewis is the fastest car on the grid in terms of raw pace.

Bottas is clearly the number two driver and his signing suggested as much to many at the time. Must be a relief to everyone knowing that Lewis won’t be having to have wheel to wheel scrapes with his team-mate as he can just glide past them effortlessly when Toto says the magic words as we saw twice in this race.

Kimi should retire immediately. I have the highest level of admiration for him and his achievements in F1 however its clear that he’s lost a yard of pace and with Ferrari expected to move on from him next year, I don’t see why they should persevere with him when they have talented junior drivers waiting in the wings.

Lance Stroll shouldn’t be in F1 full stop. Both accidents here in Bahrain and in China we’re a result of a complete lack of situational awareness, a trait that can only come with experience and that’s something this kid just doesn’t have.
The collision with Perez in China was a result of ragged driving, missing the apex’s of the preceding two corners before turning in late to what was the third missed apex and wondering why a car was there. Last night we had Sainz lunging late into turn one with fresh tires admittedly, however again Stroll turned into the apex as if he was the only car on the track. F1 isn’t a finishing school and seeing teams hire drivers to treat the series as one is making a mockery of the sport and crushing the confidence of a kid who would be better off served plying his trade and gathering that experience in a lesser Formula elsewhere.

Mercedes seem to be missing the presence of Paddy Lowe in the teams command centre. There have been uncharacteristic errors and certain calls that I doubt would have occurred with Lowe there. Toto seems to be missing the input that the experienced Lowe brought to the table and I wonder if the team may pay the ultimate price at seasons end.

To finish my long winded rant I also note many drivers are making their one ‘legal’ defensive move under braking in the braking zone still. Both Sainz and Kyvat spring to mind from last night and this is something that will hurt, maim or indeed kill someone in the future if its allowed to continue, especially when cars with their DRS activated are forced to make sudden changes of direction.
We all witnessed it last year from Verstappen and understandably there was an uproar and yet now reactive defending is somehow allowed. SMH!

Oh and that penalty handed out to Hamilton was a joke in itself. When you infringe upon the rules you should be forced to serve said penalty within three laps, not at your own leisure or at the conclusion of the race. Having the ability on how to serve an infringement in a manner that least impacts upon your race is hardly a penalty at all in my view.

My driver of the day, Massa..

51

Massa? Oh, no. Vettel!
Kimi retirement? Probably at the end of the season, “immediately” is impossible. If he stciks with four and Vettel takes more first places than LH, both championships will be Ferrari. Job done!

52

I think the Mercedes strategist is asleep in the back and he better wake u0p soon. 3 bad calls in 3 races…

53

Good job by the stewards! They allow for drivers to end another drivers race without penalty and now end the viewers race with a weak penalty…HAM lost the place to RIC anyway! As a driver you’re better off putting somebody out than a brief impediment.

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