2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Round 2 this weekend, to the night race in Bahrain. Although still not a classic circuit, making it a night race has improved it a fair bit.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    F1: Daniel Ricciardo fastest for Red Bull in Bahrain
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    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Formula 1 in Bahrain



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    Text & audio commentary is live on the BBC Sport website
    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo beat Mercedes and Ferrari to set the fastest time in first practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    The Australian was 0.304 seconds ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, who edged Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari by 0.094secs.

    World champion Lewis Hamilton was only fifth quickest, behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, after making a mistake on his flying lap on the fastest tyre.


    Haas' Romain Grosjean was best of the rest, ahead of Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly.

    McLaren, who have introduced some of the aerodynamic upgrades that were initially planned for the first race of the season, had a difficult session, Fernando Alonso only 11th quickest.

    Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen suffered an electrical problem on his first lap and missed the rest of the session.

    Behind Gasly, the top 10 was completed by Renault's Carlos Sainz, who was separated from his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in 10th by the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

    Hamilton heads into the Bahrain weekend intending to make amends for the Mercedes strategic error that surrendered victory in the season-opening race in Australia to Vettel.

    The German said on Thursday that he believed Mercedes had an advantage of about 0.3-0.4secs over the field but Hamilton insisted that the two leading teams were just as close as they were for most of 2017, when Hamilton and Vettel staged a very tight battle for the title until Ferrari's season imploded over three races in Asia in September and October.

    Ricciardo, who finished fourth in Australia right behind Raikkonen, said he was optimistic Red Bull could be in the fight for victory if the car was as good as it was in the race in Melbourne.


    Swami
     
  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Bahrain GP: Ferrari ahead of struggling Mercedes
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Kimi Raikkonen headed Sebastian Vettel to a Ferrari one-two in second practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    Mercedes appeared to be struggling - Valtteri Bottas was third and 0.563 seconds off the pace, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton 0.092secs adrift.

    Hamilton was blocked by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen at the last corner on his fastest lap but was already 0.4secs off the pace before that happened.


    Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fifth, ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

    The Australian was also blocked on his fastest lap - by Bottas.

    It is always hard to draw an accurate conclusion as to the competitive picture from practice and that was made even more difficult in this session because both Hamilton and Raikkonen encountered problems on their fastest laps.

    Raikkonen suffered a lack of front grip at the final corner and lost time, while Hamilton had his trouble with Magnussen.

    The world champion also had to abandon his first lap on the fastest super-soft tyres after running wide at the first corner when he locked his brakes. That would have meant his tyres were not at their absolute optimum when Hamilton did his next lap.

    Raikkonen's session ended 15 minutes early when his car ground to a halt out on track just after Turn Three.

    It appeared as if a wheel might not have been attached properly at a pit stop - he had just stopped for a new set and the mechanics were waving as he left the pits.

    Ferrari are to face an investigation from race stewards after the session for an unsafe release from the pits and could in the worst circumstances face a grid penalty.

    Even Red Bull's pace was not necessarily their optimum. Verstappen edged Ricciardo by 0.006secs but Ricciardo would have been expected to be the faster Red Bull had he not been blocked by Bottas because Verstappen's weekend was compromised by missing the entire first session.

    Verstappen then ran out of sync with the other drivers - doing more laps at the start of the session to get a feel for the car, which meant the track would have been in better condition for him when he did his fast lap later in the session than others.

    The gap between the Ferraris was also small - Raikkonen had a slight edge on pace, as he had in the first race of the season in Australia, but was just 0.011secs ahead of Vettel.

    Best of the rest was Renault's Nico Hulkenberg in seventh, ahead of the surprising Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly and McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

    If those positions are repeated on Saturday in qualifying, it would be embarrassing for McLaren at the home race for their chief shareholders, the Bahraini sovereign investment fund.

    McLaren dropped Honda engines at the end of last year - at a net cost of about $100m - claiming their lack of performance and reliability was holding back a car they said was one of the best in the field.

    Swami
     
  4. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Sebastian Vettel on pole for Bahrain GP, Lewis Hamilton ninth
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    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Bahrain



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    The Bahrain Grand Prix is live on 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website at 16:10 BST
    Sebastian Vettel will head an all-Ferrari front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton will start ninth after a grid penalty.

    Hamilton qualified fourth behind Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas but has a five-pace drop for an unauthorised gearbox change.

    The star of qualifying was arguably Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso, who qualified sixth behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.


    Gasly's performance was embarrassing for McLaren, who are down in 13th and 14th.

    Ferrari on fire
    Ferrari have looked to have an edge on Mercedes all weekend, Hamilton and Bottas battling inconsistent handling on the stop-start Sakhir circuit in the desert south of the Bahraini capital Manama.

    Mercedes got closer in qualifying than they looked like they might at one point but Vettel was still 0.166 seconds quicker than the fastest Mercedes of Bottas.

    Raikkonen had looked to be faster than Vettel until qualifying but the four-time champion pulled it out when it mattered.

    A mistake at the last corner on his first run in the top 10 shoot-out left Vettel second but a blistering final lap gave him pole ahead of Raikkonen by 0.143secs.

    "It was quite intense," Vettel said. "First run in Q3 I was very happy and then I tossed it away last corner. Really happy I got the second run and got it clean. The car was excellent all weekend so far."

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    Why was Hamilton slow?
    Hamilton knew before coming to Bahrain that he would have a grid penalty and that his job in qualifying was to minimise the damage to his hopes in the race.

    But he could only manage fourth, failing to improve his time on his final lap and leapfrogged by Bottas.

    From ninth on the grid, he faces a long, hard race trying to get on to the podium.

    But he has been helped by a mistake by Max Verstappen, who crashed his Red Bull in first qualifying and will start 15th. That is one less fast car in Hamilton's way as he attempts to make ground.

    "The Ferrari was quicker today," said Bottas. "We made some good progress through the weekend. We tried some things that didn't work which is why the gap was sometimes bigger. The set-up was right. Hopefully Lewis can come through the field."

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    Verstappen crashed early on and will start 15th - a "poor mistake to make" said 5 live's Jolyon Palmer
    Gasly humiliates McLaren
    Gasly was just 1.371secs off pole in the Toro Rosso, a spectacular performance from the Frenchman, who is in his first full season in F1 after being drafted in towards the end of last season.

    He headed Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, separated from his team-mate Carlos Sainz in 10th by Force India's Esteban Ocon. Gasly's team-mate Brendon Hartley qualified 11th.

    That put both Toro Rosso ahead of both McLarens, an embarrassing result for the team at the home race of their main shareholders the Bahraini royal family.

    McLaren ditched the Honda engine the end of last season claiming it was holding them back, which leaves the team facing awkward questions about the quality of their car.

    Alonso's team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was 14th, 0.313secs off the Spaniard's pace.

    Williams are in even more trouble - Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll were 18th and 20th respectively, a poor result for a once-great team that finished third in the championship as recently as 2015.

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    Frenchman Gasly qualified his Toro Rosso much higher than expected in a performance reminiscent of Vettel's early career
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    Hamilton has spent to whole weekend trailing the Ferraris so far
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    Keep it brief: Ferrari's Vettel arrived in the Bahrain paddock mysteriously carrying a black briefcase

    Swami
     
  5. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Bahrain GP: Vettel wins as mechanic run over and Lewis Hamilton overtakes three cars
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    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Bahrain



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    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel drove a masterful race to fend off Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas to win a nail-biting Bahrain Grand Prix.

    Vettel hung on ahead of the charging Mercedes on the final lap to take his second win in two races this season and one of the best of his illustrious career.

    In a dramatic, strategic and unpredictable race, a Ferrari mechanic appears to have been injured after being run over by Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at a pit stop.


    And Lewis Hamilton recovered to third place after starting ninth, including one stunning moment when he passed three cars in effectively one move early in the race.

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    Hamilton produced an overtake that will go down in folklore - overtaking three cars in one corner
    Vettel's amazing save
    Vettel whooped in delight after crossing the line, his glee at winning a race he arguably should have lost clear.

    "These tyres were done, done, in the last 10 laps," Vettel told his team over the radio.

    Bottas had closed five seconds in five laps and was right on Vettel's tail as they entered the final lap - but a half-hearted move into the first corner was not enough and Vettel was able to hang on.

    The German looked in total control of the race in the opening laps as he led away from pole position, after Bottas passed Raikkonen into the first corner.

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    Raikkonen ran over the leg of a mechanic as he was changing the Finn's rear tyres in the pits
    Mercedes' clever thinking
    But Mercedes employed clever thinking to force Ferrari into an agonising choice between hanging on with fading, fragile tyres or sacrificing the lead for a stop for fresher rubber and attacking.

    Mercedes appeared to be readying to pit Bottas, but changed their minds when Vettel made his pit stop ahead of them on lap 18, with 39 to go, the Ferrari fitting soft tyres.

    Bottas stayed out for two more laps and changed to mediums.

    Ferrari were now under pressure, with Bottas clearly going to the end on those tyres, and in a quandary.

    They chose to stay out, going for track position rather than risk and aggression and it paid off thanks to Vettel's ability to manage the tyres while also keep a strong pace.

    As the strategies played out, Mercedes initially assumed Vettel would pit and were telling Hamilton, now into third place after Raikkonen's problem, that the German would come out behind him.

    Radio exchanges became fraught as Mercedes and Hamilton discussed the scenarios with a crackling signal.

    In the end, Hamilton's pace became moot as Vettel hung on to set up what promises to be a great season.

    More to follow

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    Red Bull had a disastrous race - Verstappen getting a puncture trying to pass Hamilton before retiring, and Ricciardo stopping even earlier

    Swami
     

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