Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 11:13 AM


Round 3 of the F1 season took place at Sakhir in Bahrain, a track known for pushing brakes to their limit and punishing tyres, thanks to its fast sections and some very sharp corners.

Practice sessions 1 and 3 were run in oppressive heat, which helped some cars with grip while hampering the break on plenty of others. Practice session 2 saw cooler conditions but introduced the added surprise of a strong breeze on the last two corners, which was catching drivers out regularly.

Qualifying produced a few surprises, most notably involving Sergio Perez, who was eliminated in Q1 when his hot lap had to be abandoned due to a yellow flag. In Q2 Alonso’s failed power unit prevented him from taking part, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen posted a very quick time which brought them into the equation.

The biggest shock occurred during Q3, when Valtteri Bottas claimed his first ever pole position after a stunning lap. Lewis Hamilton grabbed second, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third and Kimi Raikkonen fifth, split by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Vandoorne’s car retired before making it onto the grid with another failed power unit. Vettel, Verstappen and Massa all got off to great starts, however Bottas hung onto to his first place until the first pit stops.

Verstappen went off the track and crashed out of the race on his first lap after changing tyres, which brought out the safety car. This saw everyone except Vettel, who had pitted three laps earlier, change tyres.

Mercedes stacked their cars and Hamilton was penalised five seconds for holding up Ricciardo.

The cars all settled into position preparing for a second pit stop. After Sainz pitted and returned to the track, he collided with Stroll at the first corner, ending both their races.

Vettel extended his lead and Bottas relinquished his second place to teammate Hamilton, who set about reeling in the Ferrari, but he ran out of time. Vettel won his second race of the year, ensuring that it will be a fiercely contested championship this year.

Final Standings (Top 10)

1 – Vettel (Ferrari)
2 – Hamilton (Mercedes)
3 – Bottas (Mercedes)
4 – Raikkonen (Ferrari)
5 – Ricciardo (Red Bull)
6 – Massa (Williams)
7 – Perez (Force India)
8 – Grosjean (Haas)
9 – Hulkenberg (Renault)
10 – Ocon (Force India)

Drivers Championship (Top 10)

1 – Vettel – 68
2 – Hamilton – 61
3 – Bottas – 38
4 – Raikkonen – 34
5 – Verstappen – 25
6 – Ricciardo – 22
7 – Massa – 16
8 – Perez – 14
9 – Sainz – 10
=10 – Magnussen – 4
=10 – Grosjean – 4

Constructors Championship

1 – Ferrari – 102
2 – Mercedes – 99
3 – Red Bull – 47
4 – Force India – 17
5 – Williams – 16
6 – Toro Rosso – 12
7 – Haas – 8
8 – Renault – 2

[YouTube – Premium Calcio Sintesi Highlights]

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About the author

Andrew Ferguson

A rugby league historian and stats buff – most notably as the brains behind the phenomenal Rugby League Project resource – Melbourne-based Andrew has written extensively for Rugby League Review and the Men of League magazine, and is a valued addition to CBS’s rugby league stable.

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