Scuderia-Ferrari is off to a dream start as their driver Sebastian Vettel wins the 2018 Formula 1 (F1) Bahrain Grand Prix. With this, Vettel now has 49 career wins under his belt and leads the championship standings by 17 points.
After the boys in red secured front row in the qualifying session, the chaotic start to the Bahrain Grand Prix saw Vettel staying in the lead while his teammate Kimi Raikkonen dropped down to third.
As for Mercedes’ Silver Arrows, Valtteri Bottas easily took second thanks to a clean start. Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, had to make his way up the order after starting down in ninth due to a gearbox penalty.
Pit stops changed the flow of the race for the leaders as Ferrari and Mercedes chose different strategies. Ferrari switched to the soft compound tires, meaning they would need another pit stop to remain competitive towards the end of the race. Meanwhile, Mercedes opted to use the more durable medium compound tires so they didn’t need to stop again.
Because of this, Ferrari had to react and stick with one stop or they will surely lose in the end. This meant that Vettel had to manage his tires until the final lap, which is no easy feat. The difference in strategies were so obvious at the latter part of the race that Bottas rapidly cut into Vettel’s 5.7-second lead.
On the penultimate lap, Bottas was just half a second behind and poised to challenge for the lead. Brilliant tire management from Vettel helped him maintain the gap to cross the line just .699 seconds ahead.
Here’s the official classification:
The next race of the 2018 F1 season will be at Shanghai International Circuit in China on April 15.