Gulf Air's First Dreamliner takes to skies at Bahrain Grand Prix

Hannah Rogers
April 10, 2018

Raikkonen's teammate Sebastian Vettel made it two straight F1 wins after victory at the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago, sealing his 49th career win on his 200th race start.

His tires fading, the championship leader took the checkered flag only 0.6 seconds clear of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, who piled the pressure on in the final 10 laps.

Vettel had been expected to run a two-stop strategy and fitted Softs on lap 18 of 57, while Bottas was equipped with Mediums, his stop coming two laps later, and the gap between the pair sat around the six-second barrier.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest for Mercedes behind the two Ferraris, but ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton who has a five-place grid penalty after an overnight gearbox change and starts from ninth.

"Yes, P1! Pole position", said Vettel.

Brendon Hartley of New Zealand driving the No 28 Toro Rosso on track during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. I really tried to keep it as clean as possible.

"I'm going to try and eke out every last bit of power and strength from this vehicle as I can".

"The auto has been excellent here all weekend".

Raikkonen gave Ferrari their first front-row lockout since last July's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ferrari can take encouragement from Raikkonen's pace, with the Finn looking a strong bet for his first pole position since last year's Monaco Grand Prix.

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He was on provisional pole as drivers embarked on their final runs but ran into traffic on his final flier. "I had nothing under control!" he said.

Bottas, who is fighting to get a new contract for next year, proved a point after a disappointing eighth place in Melbourne.

There would be light contact between the Mercedes and Red Bull, however, with the Dutchman picking up a puncture, at the same time up ahead, his teammate Daniel Ricciardo was pulling over to the side of the track after his vehicle shutdown.

The Dutchman had already set a time good enough to progress to the second part of qualifying, however, and will start 15th.

The energy drink company's other team Toro Rosso celebrated a remarkable day, however, with fourth place for French driver Pierre Gasly.

After a boring season-opener in Melbourne, the Bahrain race was full of highlights.

Fernando Alonso was lapped but seventh ahead of teammate Stoffel Vandoorne as McLaren again scored points with both cars, while Marcus Ericsson secured an impressive ninth place on a one-stop strategy for Sauber ahead of Esteban Ocon in 10th.

Hamilton's Mercedes team revealed that the British driver suffered a hydraulics leak at the curtain raiser in Melbourne, adding that he was even fortunate to finish the race.

He was more than 3sec slower than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who topped the time sheet narrowly from Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

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