Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend- Round 3 Bahrain 2017
Mean Reader Score: 7.80
This race was rated the best of the season so far, scoring 7.8 from our readers (China: 7.31, Australia 5.61) and outscoring the Bahrain race for the previous two years ( 2016: 7.06 and 2015, 6.96)
Bottas secured his first ever pole, but his race was scuppered due to incorrect tyre pressures at the start of the race. The race went from bad to worse for him as he received team orders to let Hamilton pass not once but TWICE during the race.
Danniel Ricciardo started on the second row alongside Vettel and ahead of his team mate Max Verstappen (who retired early due to brake failure). Lance Stroll managed a few laps before he was hit by Sainz on the exit to the pit lane. Sainz picked up a three place grid penalty and three points on his licence for this particular misdemeanour.
There were battles going on mid field, and a couple of wry comments from Alonso to keep us entertained.
Hamilton lost P2 at the start and lost the race by getting himself a five second penalty for driving too slowly in the pit lane. Once Vettel got past Hamilton and had the bit between his teeth there was no stopping him, which is probably why he was voted our Driver of the Weekend:
Driver Of The Weekend: Sebastian Vettel 45% of Reader Vote
Vettel was top of FP1 and FP2, but could only manage P3 come qualifying, but that didn’t last long once the lights were out, as he overtook Hamilton PDQ. Ferrari then made an excellent strategy decision, bringing him in early (Lap 10) going for the undercut, which was nearly negated by the ensuing safety car. Being firmly on a two stop strategy this left us wondering if Hamilton would try to make his tyres last on a one stop or also go for the two stop (two stop it was.)
Once in front, Vettel controlled the race, running an excellent middle stint on supersoft tyres and saving his softs in the final stint, should he need them at the end of the race to ward off a chasing Hamilton. Sadly the battle we’d all been waiting for between Vettel and Hamilton never really happened, but never mind, it’s early days yet.
Vettel stays top of the Driver Standings and Ferrari stay top of the Constructor Standings. That should keep the Tifosi happy!!