A second consecutive win for Vettel in the season so far, the Ferrari driver has won the Bahrain Grand Prix 2018 after leading from start to finish. Ferrari initially put him on what appeared to be a two stop strategy but after Raikkonen retired, Vettel made his soft tires stick to the end. Bottas finished in second place ahead of teammate Hamilton to give Mercedes a double podium.

Bahrain Grand Prix 2018 results

1. Vettel, 2. Bottas, 3. Hamilton, 4. Gasly, 5. Magnussen, 6. Hulkenberg, 7. Alonso, 8. Vandoorne, 9. Ericsson, 10. Ocon

Vettel started from pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix 2018, his 200th Grand Prix. Hamilton started from P9 after getting a five place grid drop for an unscheduled gearbox change, Mercedes found a leak in his gearbox after Australia. Elsewhere, Max Verstappen started from P15 after crashing out of Q1 yesterday, caused by an unexpected power surge of 150hp in his Red Bull.

It was not a smooth start for all, Perez spun at turn 1 while Hamilton made contact with Verstappen. There was also a stagnant Red Bull of Ricciardo on the field, the VSC was deployed to remove the car. At the front meanwhile, the race was led by Vettel away from Bottas and Raikkonen.

Verstappen’s Red Bull suddenly stopped on lap 6/57, and that was it for Red Bull at Bahrain GP 2018, it was later reported that Verstappen was told to retire the car by Red Bull. Hamilton meanwhile had managed to jump to P5.

The Perez spin on turn 1 was caused by Hartley, and he was given a 10s penalty. Hamilton had moved to P4 by lap 10, still on the soft tire while the three ahead were on supersoft, at around this time some cars began pitting for new tires including Lance Stroll, Vandoorne, Leclerc and Perez.

At the front, Vettel and Bottas were having a battle of their own, by lap 17/57, Bottas had trimmed down Vettel’s gap to 2.3s. Hamilton meanwhile was only 6s away from Raikkonen. Vettel made his first stop on lap 19, and switched into softs before rejoining the race in fourth behind Hamilton. “It’s all going to start happening now Lewis. Remember, we are sticking to Plan A.” Mercedes told Hamilton. Bottas stopped two laps later after Vettel and picked up medium tires, leaving Hamilton in the lead. Mercedes was having a one stop strategy while Ferrari was using a two stop.

Vettel managed to pass Hamilton on lap 26 with the help of DRS, taking back the lead. The Mercedes was yet to stop, and Bottas was further back in third. Raikkonen was told to pass Bottas as the Mercedes driver was not going to stop again. Hamilton made his first and only stop on lap 27, he switched mediums and rejoined in fourth.

Raikkonen stopped on lap 36 and switched into softs, but as he was leaving the pits he accidentally knocked down a member of his crew. The Ferrari pulled up to retire, in the meantime, the crew member was taken to the medical center for checks. Vettel was then told to go to plan B since Kimi retired. Ferrari was being investigated for unsafe release.

“I feel you guys aren’t giving much of a picture, I don’t know what the **** I’m doing,” said Hamilton. The team was having a problem with the radio.

By lap 52, Vettel was beginning to show struggle with his tires and Bottas had brought the gap down to 2.2s. But the Ferrari managed to hold till chequered flag, winning the Bahrain GP 2018 after leading from start to finish.