GPI 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix - Page 92

RACE REPORT When they emerged, supersoft- shod Vettel led from the similarly equipped Bottas, while Ricciardo and Hamilton, both now on softs, were in third and fourth respectively. When the safety car left the track, Ricciardo’s tyres appeared to be far from the right operating window and he was rapidly passed by Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen. At the front, Vettel began to eke out a gap to Bottas and by lap 26 the German had 4.8s in hand over Bottas and a second more over Hamilton. On lap 27, though, Hamilton surged past Bottas to claim second place. Soon after, Ricciardo was also the move. Raikkonen had passed Massa and on lap 29 the Brazilian was passed by the Red Bull driver, under DRS and under braking through Turn One. On lap 30 Bottas pitted for the final time, taking on soft tyres. Ahead Hamilton was catching Vettel, whose supersoft tyres, by lap 32, were beginning to look spent. With the gap to Hamilton shrinking Ferrari opted to pit the German on lap 33. Vettel took on a set of softs for his final stint and rejoined in P3 behind Raikkonen. He was soon past his team-mate, however, and then he began to chase down Hamilton, lapping a second quicker than the Briton as he ate into the 15.7 seconds deficit.