Formula One: Raikkonen explains pit-lane incident that hospitalised mechanic

Formula One: Raikkonen explains pit-lane incident that hospitalised mechanic

Formula One: Raikkonen explains pit-lane incident that hospitalised mechanic

Hamilton expressed his annoyance over team radio as he came into the pit lane after P3, saying spectators got too close to his Mercedes.

Sebastien Vettel stormed to victory with a masterful drive in Bahrain to make it two from two for the German in 2018.

When asked by whether his performance was more down to Mercedes' not being at the same level as in Australia, or Ferrari's own gains, Vettel replied: "It's a hard one". For those interested in statistics, it was way back in 1982 when the driver who won the opening two rounds of the season failed to win the championship. The chance of the win disappeared and Vettel held on to clinch victory. "These tyres were done - they were done for the last 10 laps". The last few laps of the race were a treat to watch.

Vettel's win pushed him up to 50 points in the drivers' standings, 17 ahead of Hamilton, with Bottas third on 22 points.

Vettel initially going for a two-stop strategy, made a decision to change strategies and manage his soft tyres right till the end in a bid to fend off Bottas who was quickly catching up with his fresher and harder compound tyres at the final stages.

Mercedes started the Grand Prix on the back foot.

Finland's Valtteri Bottas finished second for Mercedes, a mere 0.699 seconds behind after chasing down Vettel over the closing laps, while reigning champion Lewis Hamilton was third.

"My thoughts are already on the world championship". Second, the sweet spot on their auto from Australia had suddenly disappeared. "I nursed them as much as I can and it worked - but just..."

Verstappen had a more frustrating race. With different strategies and tyre choices, the entire race became completely unpredictable right until the chequered flag.

Raikkonen was immediately told to slow his vehicle to a halt, ending his race. The mechanic waiting to fit the new one had his back to the light and would have been unaware that it had turned green and had no time to step out of the way as the 38-year-old pulled out of the pits.

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In fact, Raikkonen faced a similar pit issue in Friday's free practice.

Drama in the pits, when team mate Kimi Raikkonen was brought in to test the strategy, decided Ferrari in favour of keeping Vettel out.

The major tussle in the early laps saw Lewis Hamilton, who started P9 after a gearbox penalty, versus Max Verstappen, who made a flying start from 15th place. Starting from second place, Kimi Raikkonen looked blazingly fast all weekend, having narrowly missed out on pole himself.

But Bottas still had more than enough time to achieved an overtake.

Bottas nearly overtook Vettel on the last lap, but Vettel made a crucial blocking move and won by only 0.6 seconds.

The energy drink company's other team Toro Rosso celebrated a remarkable day, however, with fourth place for French driver Pierre Gasly. But of course, for Red Bull Racing's Honda power dreams for 2019, the Bahrain Grand Prix result would be a positive one.

Hamilton drew solace from converting a ninth-placed start - following a grid penalty - into a podium finish but could not disguise his concern at slipping further behind Vettel. Kevin Magnussen finished 5th in the Haas ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault.

"I think it will vary from track to track". For me it's just not great.

He stopped for a new set of tyres but his race was over - like that of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who stopped on the side of the track after an electrical shutdown meaning the virtual safety vehicle had to be deployed.

The pit window came into play by lap 16 and Gasly managed to hold on to his P5 ahead of Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Alonso. As a result of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Gasly is equal on points with Ricciardo (12); four ahead of Verstappen.

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