Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Kimi Raikkonen's vehicle hits Ferrari mechanic after tire change

Kimi Raikkonen's vehicle hits Ferrari mechanic after tire change

It was the second time Ferrari had been penalized for an unsafe release over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. Vettel managed to go past Hamilton to take the lead once again, with Bottas now five seconds behind him, and Hamilton pitting soon for fresh tyres - Mediums.

Vettel held off Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with a gutsy and skilful drive to increase his lead over the Briton to 17 points after just two races of the 2018 season.

Verstappen lunged underneath Hamilton on the 220mph turn 1 charge before inadvertently colliding with the Mercedes auto.

That left Vettel managing his pace on tyres that were losing grip even as Bottas mounted his charge, attempting a pass on the Ferrari on the last of the 57 laps.


With 10 laps to go Vettel told the team radio he had "everything under control", but quipped during a podium interview: "That was a lie!"

"With Bottas' pace I thought he would catch me".

"How much they struggled, I don't know".

"He had a bit of a sniff, but fortunately he ran out of laps".


Bottas qualified third at Sakhir, with Sebastian Vettel leading a front-row lockout for Ferrari, but moved into second at the start, at the expense of Kimi Raikkonen. However, it eventually became clear that Ferrari was trying to keep Vettel out till the end of the race, which prompted Mercedes to urge their drivers to try and put more pressure on the German. Verstappen nursed his vehicle back to the pits and changed tyres, but eventually had a differential problem and retired his auto shortly.

In the wake of Kimi's botched second pit stop on lap 36, which retired the vehicle and hospitalized a mechanic, all of Ferrari's eggs were in Vettel's basket. It was nevertheless enough to allow him to equal Raikkonen's haul of 27 consecutive finishes in the points.

"I'm happy", he said.

He also survived a coming together with Max Verstappen in the Red Bull, but Verstappen came off worst and ended up retiring with a broken diff. I was doing the maths in the auto and thought he was going to catch me. "He drove into my left rear and gave me a puncture and also destroyed the diff". Pierre Gasly benefited from the issues among the top three teams to finish fourth in his Toro Rosso. Although the German driver looked steady behind the wheel, his mind was racing nearly as fast as Bottas' Mercedes behind him. His rise through the field saw the exclamation point of a triple overtake over Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon to nab sixth place spectacularly.


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