Ferrari handed big fine for Raikkonen unsafe release

Ferrari handed big fine for Raikkonen unsafe release

The race will be on Sunday, April 8.

"I was doing the maths inside the vehicle - 10 laps to go at that kind of pace, I thought he was going to catch me". Instead, the two Finns were left to battle amongst themselves for second place in the early running with Bottas coming out on top.

Verstappen had a more frustrating race.

Ferrari identified a small electrical fault with Vettel's vehicle after FP3, but he was ready to go again in time for qualifying under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Meanwhile, the final 10 laps saw the Bottas adding some pressure to Vettel's run.

Raikkonen, who was quickest on Friday, enjoyed an advantage of half a second in FP3 as some of his rivals failed to produce representative lap times.

Into sixth, the world champion would then make two less spectacular but still important moves on Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly to run fourth.

Vettel, the victor in Australia, will be hopeful of benefiting from Hamilton's mishap and extending his championship lead.

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With Bottas and Hamilton setting a competitive pace on the harder tyres, Vettel was forced to convert to a one-stop.

After a somewhat fortuitous fifth place finish in Melbourne, following some key retirements, Alonso proclaimed, "now we can fight" on the team radio.

Vettel won the season-opening race in Australia last month and gave himself a great opportunity to secure back-to-back victories at the Sakhir track. The Mercedes seems to be more comfortable on this compound in comparison to the supersofts, evidence that tyre overheating could be an issue of the W09. Hamilton stopped a lap later, swapping his soft tyres for mediums.

A Virtual Safety Car would be needed to clear the Australian's RB14 away and it would be at the restart when Hamilton used DRS and a double slipstream to pass Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon all on the main straight and into the first corner. However, Ferrari changed their strategy following a disastrous pit stop for Kimi Raikkonen on Lap 36, in which he left early and clipped one of the crew members with the left-rear tire.

The mechanic was taken to the circuit medical center with a suspected broken leg. Bottas did close to within a second on Vettel at the death but did not have quite enough to pass. Ferrari had taken a chance that Vettel could make the rubber work to the end and it proved to be an inspired decision and the German brought his auto home to claim the win. It became a case of Vettel's softs versus Mercedes' mediums.

Valtteri Bottas has a little longer odds today, but he has the potential for the upset. Pierre Went Out (Toro Rosso) +1,3717.

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