Thursday, 29 July, 2021

Vettel holds off late Hamilton charge to win Bahrain GP

Vera Richards | 18 April, 2017, 18:10

Bottas, who started on pole for the first time in his career, had struggled with tyre problems throughout, and found himself some way short of Hamilton's pace in the closing stages.

"The vehicle was really unbelievable to drive", Vettel said.

A slow stop for Bottas delayed Hamilton slightly anyway and he dropped behind the Red Bull, and was then hit with a five-second penalty for delaying Ricciardo.

Hamilton held his hands up for the misjudgement and apologised to his Mercedes team, but says he will bounce back at the next round in Russian Federation a week on Sunday. "The pit lane was my fault so apologies to the team for losing the time there".

"I had a good feeling yesterday so I was a bit surprised by how big the gap was. We seem to have a really exciting world championship", Lauda added.

Vettel and indeed his Ferrari team got every decision right on Sunday. However, Vettel was able to overtake Hamilton before the first turn and held strong.

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Vettel kept his Scuderia Ferrari close to the gearbox of Bottas. The undercut worked to perfection with Vettel taking charge of the race.

Bottas complied with a mid-race instruction from the team to allow Hamilton through as Vettel was pulling away and did not put up much of a fight in the second stint either, which led to Hamilton referring to the Finn as "a gentleman".

"I don't know what happened to them but I was expecting them to be faster in the race", said Vettel.

"Like I said, there were a lot of good things in today's race, but unfortunately we were out of position after the first lap and it was hard because of that". "More importantly, however, we are now completely confident that our victory in Melbourne wasn't just a one-off and that we will be at the forefront of this world championship until the last (race)". I am really enjoying the auto. "I'm happy for the team, happy for him, but we want to do better, no matter in what position we are and that's always the aim".

"But something inside me told me we had a good auto and we can do well so right from the first lap I felt the vehicle was there and the Easter hunt was on". Struggling to get the restart, so Lewis got me. basically the whole first lap I was sliding.