GPI 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix - Page 172

BAHRAIN REVIEW BY BEN STEVENS Sunday In a season that has given us so much to anticipate, Sunday in Bahrain provided us with something new – what would Valtteri Bottas do from pole position? As it turned out, not much. Able to hold position off the line, Bottas was never able to shake the P3-starting Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, and by the end had swapped positions. Partly down to strategy, partly down to driver, it was a stunning victory for the Scuderia. Able to hang with Bottas after jumping Lewis Hamilton at the start, it didn’t take long for Vettel to get his Ferrari back on-pace after a disappointing Saturday. Sticking to Bottas’ gearbox through his opening stint, Vettel’s aggression was repaid in kind when his team opted for an early stop, which paid major dividends after the safety car came out on lap 14, gifting him the lead. However while Vettel was fortunate to take the lead of the race, there was nothing lucky about how he was able to control proceedings all the way to the chequered flag. Opting to save his soft tyres for his final stint, Ferrari tasked Vettel with driving an assured race from the restart, and that’s exactly what he did. Vettel immediately built a gap, and it forced Mercedes into some serious strategic gymnastics (although Hamilton’s penalty certainly didn’t help) of which they didn’t quite stick the landing.