Lewis Hamilton handed five-place grid penalty for gearbox change

10 April, 2018, 20:18 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Lewis Hamilton handed five-place grid penalty for gearbox change

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, center, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, right, and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, pose for photos after the qualifying for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, April 7.

The German secured his 51st career pole with a supreme lap in the dying seconds of a tense floodlit qualifying session in which Ferrari were dominant.

For Vettel, the pole position was enjoyable, but the performance of the vehicle was surprising.

"That was a lion lap".

"It was quite intense", Vettel said. "The vehicle was excellent all weekend so far".

The four-time ex champion, on severely-worn tyres, came home narrowly ahead of Valtteri Bottas and the Finn's Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in a nail-biting finish to an intriguing contest. "It's damage limitation." Both of the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo retired, but the energy drink company's other team Toro Rosso celebrated a remarkable day with fourth place for French driver Pierre Gasly.

"But what can I do?" "We've got more to do overnight and in the practice tomorrow (Saturday) to five us a auto that can fight in qualifying and on Sunday".

Bottas said: "It felt ok".

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It will get better and better at every race as the auto gets sorted.

Up until that point, the race had been going as planned for the Italian team.

After the bore-fest that was Australia, Bahrain delivered in both picturesque setting and drama from start to finish. He escaped a grid penalty for Sunday's race and Ferrari was instead fined 5,000 euros ($6,100). I wasn't able to get any more from the new tyres at the end and the Ferraris were really the quickest.

"There will be chances to do something with the strategy and I will eke out all the performance and strength I can from the vehicle". Verstappen slotted in ahead of Hamilton in fourth but left himself with it all to do on Sunday when he crashed on his next run, losing control coming out of Turn 2 and ending up in the barrier nose first.

The session was red-flagged and stopped with more than five minutes to go in the session.

Speaking after the race, Raikkonen said he was unaware there had been a problem at the stop until he was told over the radio to bring his vehicle to a halt. Verstappen suffered a rear-left puncture after making contact with Hamilton as he tried to pass the Briton, and limped back to the pits.

Joining the Frenchman in elimination were the Sauber pair of Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc, the latter spinning out on the final corner, plus Williams pairing of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll. With Hamilton starting from far back, he needs to still be wary of his teammate Raikkonen, Bottas and Ricciardo.

Hamilton, who will start on the slower soft tyres in anticipation of a long first stint, hopes he can make early gains but accepts progress will be tougher if and when he reaches the top five.

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