Charging Hamilton can’t keep Vettel from victory

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel took his second victory of the 2017 season in the Bahrain Grand Prix despite a late charge from Lewis Hamilton.

2017 Bahrain GP in pictures
Vettel passed the Mercedes driver at the start to run second behind Valtteri Bottas. He then jumped to the head of the field by making an early pit stop to get out of a queue of traffic.

That played into his hands when a collision between Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jnr caused a Safety Car period. The Mercedes drivers came into the pits together and Hamilton, the second of the two in the queue, collected a five-second penalty for slowing down too much and holding up Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton later returned to the lead which he then relinquished by making his final pit stop, during which he served his penalty. After returning to the track Bottas waved him past, for the second time in the race, and he went on a charge after Vettel. But five laps from home it became clear the Ferrari was too far ahead.

Bottas took the final podium place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Daniel Riccairdo was the only Red Bull driver to finish after Max Verstappen retired with a suspected brake problem.

Felipe Massa took sixth ahead of Sergio Perez. Both Force Indias scored points with Esteban Ocon in tenth, behind Romain Grosjeans Haas and Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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120 comments on “Charging Hamilton can’t keep Vettel from victory”

  1. Very interesting race, with Hamilton chasing down Vettel.
    Poor Bottas though, after a great qualifying, he clearly had problems throughout the race, that got worse the longer it went on.
    And Renault… Seem to have pretty meh race pace, behind the Williams, Force India and even the Haas. Also the strategy was very questionably, pitting Hulk on the same lap as Perez, with the tyre strategies each driver was on, and pitting him so he came out right in the dirty air of Wehrlein. He looked to have the outright pace to finish 7th, but with the race setup of the car and the strategy…

    1. What was up with Palmer plating bumper-cars out there?

      1. He’s not a good driver. Will be dropped at the end of this year. I’d like to see Renault get someone from GP2, maybe Nato if he wins the championship (despite how OP Prema are) as he’s French. Or alternatively, try and poach someone at the end of their contract, though unsure as to who’s in their final year.

        1. Talk now during the broadcast of Alonso going to Renault next year.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            16th April 2017, 20:20

            With his luck, McLaren will dump Honda and become upper midfield contenders, and he’ll stay with Renault for a few years before going back to Ferrari.

  2. Great racing midfield like moto3

  3. Poor Bottas, today he has not only not won from pole but hampered Ham from doing so too. Tough call for Mercedes in few week’s time. They haven’t had to pick N1 driver over the last 3 years but now the opposition is exactly where they have to employ every single tactic to get ahead.

    1. hampered Ham? Ham should have qualified faster – hampering it is not, it is racing, the driver behind has to find a way past, in this case Hamilton got gifted 2 team orders – that gave him a chance for the win he never deserved.

      1. Be a great driver for a good team, he is always deserving of a fun for he rarely puts a wheel wrong. He gave his all in quali and the race. Bottas and the slow stop actually hindered Lewis.

        But great drive from both Ferrari drivers, that’s the Kimi I hope to see in upcoming races.

      2. Hampered: hinder or impede the movement or progress of

        To say he didn’t hamper Hamilton is to say that you don’t actually understand English because it is literally what Bottas did today.

        1. Racerdude7730
          16th April 2017, 18:34

          You may need to watch the race again

        2. Being given team orders is not hampering by any stretch of the imagination. Bottas is entitled to run his race and it is Hamilton’s responsibility to get around him. If Hamilton was fast enough the team orders would not have been required.

          1. Team orders have nothing to do this. I think you are misunderstanding. I am not in any way saying Bottas was in the wrong or not entitled to do what he did but no one can argue he didn’t hamper Hamilton because he did. He was seriously slower than the cars ultimate pace today. And for many laps he held up both Vettel and Hamilton respectively.

          2. Hamilton finished 13 seconds ahead of Bottas, it’s safe to say he had the pace.

        3. Considering Hamilton fell behind Vettel?

      3. kpcart, dI’d you know Hamilton back in the day? Did he sleep with your crush or something? You seem to take every chance that you can to take a dig at Hamilton. Whatever it is get over it dude.

    2. Lol so Hamilton losing out to Vettel at the start didn’t hamper his race alright then!

  4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    16th April 2017, 17:51

    The coverage has been appalling this year by FOM. Odd camera angles and random replays and cuts all over the place this year. And worst of all they have got rid of the time tracker from the bottom.

    1. The WEC angles at Silverstone were astounding I thought. Especially through the Maggots, Becketts and Chapel section, you could really see how fast they were going, while still being able to clearly see what’s going on.

    2. That and the constant showing of celebrities during a live session really annoys me. I want to see the cars on the track not Steve Aoki taking a selfie on his phone

  5. Neil (@neilosjames)
    16th April 2017, 17:53

    Switch Bottas for Hamilton at Turn 1 on the first lap and I don’t think Vettel would have had a prayer. So I’d still say it’s advantage Mercedes for pure pace, but they have two drivers capable of getting poles and Ferrari only have one… and the gap between them is very, very small. Looks like being a great season!

    1. here is the thing Neil – There is a thing called qualifying, and Hamilton made mistakes in it – so theoreticals can not replace reality! I agree Mercedes still has an advantage, but Vettel isn’t making mistakes- while team Mercedes and hamilton have, so it is game on.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        16th April 2017, 18:03

        Like I said – the ‘reality’ is that Mercedes have two drivers capable of poles in that strange qualifying thingie you mention.

        And I don’t necessarily think Hamilton did make mistakes in qualifying (well, no more than anyone else, because no one ever does the perfect lap), his best lap was excellent… but Bottas did better.

        1. Ferrari was faster. Vettel had plenty in hand at the end and both Mercs we’re gonna destroy the rear tyres in the first stint. The safety car actually played int their hands as vettel was lapping 3 seconds faster at that point and the safety car out valtteri and Lewis right behind him.

    2. Not only, he started second Vettel third, so I believe your hypotesis is quite unrealistic.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        16th April 2017, 18:11

        I’ll put it a different way – had Bottas possessed Hamilton’s race pace, he’d have won. Was just saying that I believe Mercedes had the quicker car today.

        1. Give it a rest

        2. I’m not quite sure that Merc had sped advantage today, for sure the tyre strategy of Ferrary paid off ( seems they had a lower tyre degradation, at least on SS) anyhow the performances were VERYsimilar.

        3. Nope. The pace at the end was ham having newer tyres and vettel coasting. Whoever did anything. Vettel was gonna win. Along with Ferrari strategy.

          1. You wouldnt be saying that if ham wasnt hampered double in the pits… i doubt vettel would be able to coast… ham would outrun him easily…

          2. Easily is quite an overstatement (IMHO)…

    3. Considering the problems Bottas had, Hamilton lost this race in Turn 1 on lap 1 when he was half a car length ahead of Vettel and had the inside line but braked super early giving 2nd place to Vettel.

  6. I missed laps 5 to 14 or so, I saw Vettel having stopped in sixth, and everybody coming in under safety car. Why did Vettel not lose his position to Bottas (like last race)? Usually doing under safety car is much quicker so not sure why Vettel ended up ahead. Vettel seemed surprised as well in the podium interviews.

    1. Neil (@neilosjames)
      16th April 2017, 17:56

      Bottas had awful pace at that point, and he had a very slow stop (3+ seconds slower than Vettel from entry to exit). Combination of the two let Vettel take the lead.

    2. @mike-dee

      I guess this time Vet got lucky while being unlucky with the Safety Car. It seems he had already enough time for his undercut to work somewhat, and the actual time the SC came out didn’t give the others enough advantage during the pit stop.

    3. @mike-dee Also in China the safety car forced everyone to drive through the pitlane, so those who pitted under the SC lost about 3 seconds, which loses less time than those like Vettel who pitted under the VSC.

  7. Hamilton’s race was lost in qualifying… what we learnt today is that Bottas obviously has a no.2 clause in his contract, he let Hamilton past TWICE – Hamilton was too lucky to finish second – how many times in f1 history has a driver let a teammate through twice in a race????? this handed Hamilton 2nd, I cant remember the last time a driver was handed so many championship points on a plate!! Hamilton’s qualifying seems the more poorer going by Bottas team position, which is too obvious now -beaten by a number 2 teammate paid far less then him, which then ruined his chance of winning the race in the BEST car on the grid. Hamilton has only himself to blame for this result, Ferrari were further behind than in the last 2 races, and won because of Hamilton’s qualifying errors. Hamilton also choked in the race and made the pitstop block on Ricciardo, I think it deserved more than a 5 second penalty. Well done to Ferrari, but Ferrari might not win again this year going by the qualifying times. I think in the first 2 races we just saw Vettel brilliance to bring the gap closer. This championship is for Hamilton, if he doesn’t stuff up again, but he is likely to.

    1. Even if Bottas hadn’t let Hamilton through the second time, there’s no doubting Hamilton would’ve overtaken him though. Bottas undoubtedly had a problem with his car.

      1. no doubting? the mercs seem terrible in dirty air compared to how Ferrari can follow cars.

    2. Lmao triggered kpcart? So delusional

    3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      16th April 2017, 17:59

      wow, you are angry and sore for today’s race, aren’t you!

      1. nah, I loved it. Ferrari won! but I responed to “charging Hamilton” in the article.

    4. Bot was really too slow today. So it made sense. We can only find out if Ham would do it if he is as slow compared to his team mate like Bot today. I just cannot remember Ham being that slow, so I doubt it will happen in the future.. And I am really no big Ham fan!

    5. Cut the BS. Bottas didn’t have the pace today- regardless of team orders, or so called tyre pressures, period. Had this been the other way round………

      1. i know Bottas didn’t have the pace… but Hamilton’s result is a direct result of being outqualified by Bottas, and it would have been worse not for team orders.

        1. How could Hamilton’s result have been any worse? If he had been racing Bottas from beginning until the end, the result is quite evident as to what the outcome would have been. Bottas wasn’t quick enough and even he admitted it in his post race interview.

          I agree that had Hamilton qualified on pole maybe he would have won, but either way- he had the pace to be on the podium and 2nd place at the very least.

          As I said, had this been the other way round……..

    6. I’m not Hamilton’s biggest fan by a long shot, but Merc made the right call today. After they admitted getting Bottas’ tyre pressures wrong there was little they could do until the first round of stops.

      Hamilton was flying after his second stop, I think Vettel dialled it back and wasn’t in danger of losing the lead but Hamilton was catching Bottas at around 2 seconds a lap, he would have steam rollered Bottas no matter were he caught him.

      If he had held up Hamilton, I think Bottas would have fallen into Raikonen’s clutches at the end and lost the 3rd place.

      Again, I’m not a Hamilton fan but his attitude and race craft so far this season are warming me to him, Bottas needs to step it up if he wants to fight for race wins, or Merc will have no choice but to relegate him to P2.

      1. Most balanced comment here. Although I do think Bottas is a better driver than we saw today. The car had issues. He shouldn’t be downgraded to a #2 just yet.

    7. Kpcart. Why do you even care ?, you are no Bottas fan so why all this emotional outburst, i did not saw you going all out when Raikkonen for Vettel in 2016 so why the double standard ?, what is your agenda ?, is it because it envolved Hamilton ?, yes it was. Pathetic.

      1. nelson piquet
        16th April 2017, 19:13

        just delete your account and don’t waste people’s time as soon as they write a comment slightly associated with hamilton

    8. Merc is CLEARLY not the best car, in race pace. “This championship is for Hamilton, if he doesn’t stuff it up again”. Please, do elaborate. Easter Sunday, no work, bored, up for a debate. Go on….

      1. Well.. If he hadn’t stuffed up Q3 and if he hadn’t lost the start to Vet AND gotten himself an unnecessary penalty he’d have won.

        If it had been a merc 1-2 after lap 1 they’d have won the race.
        I think it’s fair to say this wasn’t HAMs best weekend and it cost Merc a little.

        Vettel and Ferarri had to take a big risk with the first stop and VET must have overtaken quite a few cars after the first stop as he was up to 6th before the SC. He was outstanding today. Great start, did what he had to to make the undercut worked and was incredibly consistent once he was out front.

        However FER have to take these kinds of risks because they have a slightly inferior package.
        While it is close in race pace, with the added benefit of being nigh on untouchable in quali right now, this is HAMs WDC to lose.

        1. As I said in my reply below:

          I disagree on many counts.

          See here

          “Hamilton’s outright pace was a smidgen better than Vettel’s: a 1:35.378 compared to a 1:35.423. But it was Vettel who had the more consistent pace: while the Ferrari was in the 1:35s 14 times over the last 17 laps, Hamilton could only better 1:36 on 10 occasions.

          Most saliently of all, Vettel trimmed Hamilton’s lead by 3.2 seconds over the final 19 laps. It’s a reduction slightly inflated by Hamilton’s very slow final lap, but even excluding that final tour from the equation still finds the Ferrari 2.5 seconds faster than the Mercedes through that final stint despite running on tyres which were two lap older”

          Similar thing in AUS as well.

          Basically- in qualy Merc are the kings but even that is under threat- but in race pace- Ferrari have a clear advantage.

          1. That analysis is based on a final stint where 1 guy is way out in front and can control the race while the other 1 is trying to catch up in case an opportunity arrises.

            That’s like saying HAMs Merc was clearly faster today because he purpled the final stint playing ketchup with VET being consistently slower out front.

          2. Not quite. On a day like today- Hamilton’s tyres were much fresher than Vettel’s which obviously needs to be accounted for.

          3. And by VETs own admission he was “controlling” the pace at that point, as I’m sure HAM was doing in CHI. Not a good reference window.

          4. Of course- which reinforces my point that the Ferrari could have gone faster if need be, despite being on older tyres. Which reinforces the evidence thus far that Ferrari have the marginally better race pace because they are kinder on the tyres.

          5. peeppoppeng
            17th April 2017, 9:24

            And Lewis could have gone faster in CHI, which does not reinforce your point and makes the whole quote you use as the fundament of your argument completely useless.

            Again they are as equal as it gets in races and Merc have a clear Qualität advantage. Why can’t you accept that?

            Afraid that HAM will lose a WDC in the better package?

        2. As for the penalty- I would like to see how far below the pit limiter Hamilton was.

          Qualy sure if Ham hadn’t made a mistake he would have been on pole.

          On the flip side, if Vettel had a team mate who could challenge him in qualifying and the race, the whole situation would be different.

          As I said- the evidence points towards Ferrari having a slightly inferior package in qualy- but the better race package. Of which, points are awarded for the race.

          1. Also if HAM hadn’t lost the start Merc would have won, don’t you think?

          2. Probably yes- or on the flip side if Bottas had the pace, Merc would have won. As I have pointed out in my other posts- had Rosberg been in the other W08 today in Bottas’ position I have very little doubt he would have won.

            RE the start- for the top guys, those on the dirty side of the grid didn’t get great starts compared to those on the clean side- as you would expect

          3. The Red Bulls right behind HAM had decent starts, Verstappen even a great one.
            Ham got some wheel spin of the line.

            Vet has had to start on the dirty side twice now and hasn’t lost a start, it’s been touch and go but he did manage to hold station twice.

          4. Vettel’s starts in Australia and China weren’t that great off the dirty side- watch them and you will see Bottas managed to get the better start but was unable to make the move stick in AUS and China. Of course Vettel didn’t lose position but he certainly didn’t have “great starts” off the grid in those 2 events. Ferrari were even concerned about it.

          5. I wrote that the RBs behind HAM had decent starts today, VER even had a great run to T1.

            I didn’t say VET had good starts so far but he didn’t lose a spot despite of that fact.
            Lewis did lose a spot while RIC and VER had no apparent issues on the dirty side.

          6. Well Ricciardo did have problems off the dirty side as well as he lost a place to his team mate. Just as well you note the two Red Bulls there- perhaps they just had better clutch map settings for the dirty side of the grid- hence both had descent starts?

            Anyway. My point was this year the usual generalisations seem to apply regarding the dirty and clean sides of the starting grid.

  8. Mercedes need to realize this aint 2014 to 2016 ,they cant be playing cumbahya with Lewis and Bottas .they lost the race by not spilting the strategy after Vettell and Max pitted and Lewis closed up to Bottas.Lewis was clearly miles faster and with Vetell already pitted and a threat of saftey car why not pit Bottas release lewis and spit the strategy to cover every thing.

    1. +1. So true.

    2. THIS!!! This is exactly why they lost the race. They could have tried responding to Vettel’s strategy with at least one of their cars etc but they were stuck thinking of pit priority and who has the rights and keeping both the same etc.

      The game is not played like that when you are competing with another team. Just give every driver his own strategist so they can choose independently their own actions and stop the micromanaging.

  9. Bottas had his chance to introduce himself to the WDC championship fight today and he faltered. To finish behind your team mate, who had a penalty, speaks volumes. Its days like this that Merc will be missing Rosberg- he would have prbably won the race, with Lewis 2nd or 3rd.

    Well done to Vettel and Ferrari- no mistakes, took the opportunities given the hand they were dealt. Great recovery from Lewis and the penalty to finish second.

    At this stage its clearly advantage Vettel- Kimi won’t be giving Vettel any worries whereas Bottas will be giving Hamilton something to think about.

    I am not a fan of team orders but even at this early stage I think Merc and Ferrari will have to choose their WDC contenders as any slight mistake- like Merc allowing Hamilton and Bootas to race early on- will gift the opponent team victory.

    Tense race and I look forward to Russia.

    1. *probably, Bottas

    2. Mercedes made team orders known at this race – Bottas got given the order twice very quickly. Bottas pole position probably cost Mercedes the race win in retrospect – he is new to team Mercedes, 3rd race and already pole, but race pace fell apart today. in Melbourne in the second half of the race, Bottas was faster than Hamilton though.. we cant forget that.

      1. In Australia, in the first half of the race- Bottas was in no man’s land… let’s not forget that. Also Hamilton used a bit of tyre trying to pass Verstappen. Anyway, as I said in my initial post- this was Bottas’ opportunity to introduce himself to the WDC fight and he failed. Had this been Rosberg I have very little doubt he would have won today.

        1. I tend to agree. Rosberg would have won if he had exited turn 1 in the lead like VB did.

    3. Yet HAM got teamorders not once but twice today, while VET had to go past RAI the hard way in china.

      If HAM hadn’t made a mistake in Q3, or lost the start to VET Merc would have won today.

      I feel that this weekend the driver made a difference. A flawless performance by VET was enough to win – because HAM wasn’t flawless, that is how tight it seems to be in the races.

      1. I agree that Vettel was flawless today. But then again Hamilton has a “bigger problem” on his hands- a tougher team mate to beat. Lets be real here- Bottas is a bigger threat to Hamilton than Kimi is to Vettel. If Vettel had a Ricciardo type team mate, this championship story would in my opinion, be quite different. As it stands its advantage Vettel- you say “Vettel had to pass Kimi the hard way” as if it was that “hard” after all. Kimi hasn’t been on the pace all season (however short). At the end of the day if things carry on as is- IMO- Kimi will cost Ferrari the constructors and Bottas will cost Hamilton the WDC.

        1. I could just as well say HAM having a stronger teammate will help him as he can close off the front row and block VET while VETs reargunner is somewhere in Nirvana.

          I mean that was the plan today anyway right? Give BOT a strong quali setup to get him on the front row and play the numbers game come strategy time. A rock solid win strat, if it wasn’t for all the hiccups today. (On all sides by Merc)

          1. Oh and if HAMs reargunner does end up in front of him he’ll just be moved over – like today.

            It was of course the sensible thing to do today and I’m not criticizing the decision.

          2. Having a stronger team mate does not *help* you most certainly because, that strong team mate will one day, outqualify you and outpace you and take poles and wins off you, making your life more difficult. Right now- Hamilton has to worry about Vettel and Bottas. Right now- Vettel has to worry about Hamilton, and less often, Bottas and not Kimi. I really struggle to think how you would think a stronger team mate improves your WDC chances.

          3. Perhaps when you have a clear number 1 and number 2 driver with a dominant car– your theory would work. But not when you have closely matched teams and drivers (at least with Merc)- like we have now. As we saw yesterday, a mistake by Hamilton gives Bottas pole and a competitor with strong race pace can rear that theory on its head.

          4. I mean if it was still ROS in that 2. Merc, or say ALO I’d totally agree with you but BOT isn’t really a challenge is he? Sure he is closer to HAM than RAI is to VET but as of right now they’re not really contending as we could see very nicely today. If BOT gets better and really starts challenging I’ll eat my words and you’ll be right, I just don’t see it atm.

          5. “Perhaps when you have a clear number 1 and number 2 driver with a dominant car– your theory would work. But not when you have closely matched teams and drivers (at least with Merc)- like we have now. As we saw yesterday, a mistake by Hamilton gives Bottas pole and a competitor with strong race pace can rear that theory on its head.”

            Yet if HAM hadn’t lost a place at the start it would have been anon issue. Like I said before, if Merc are 1-2 after lap 1 they win.

            So it can be good to have a strong teammate, who isn’t quite strong enough to mount a serious season long challenge, rather than a teammate who can’t even be counted on to meddle with the other reargunner.

          6. I guess we are in agreement to a large extend- that-
            had it been Rosberg in the other Merc I think he would have won today;
            and that Bottas is closer to Ham than Kimi is to Vettel.

            As I said, as it stands- Merc can’t really throw their weight behind Lewis atm with Bottas not that far behind and in a new team. They sort of have to let it pan out until Lewis has a significant lead- whereas- Kimi is that far off Vettel that even at this early stage, its clear Vettel is Ferrari’s lead charger. There is a potential that Bottas can improve and be a match for Lewis- yesterday’s qualy is evidence of that.

            There is however little prospect of Kimi making that step up, given his form over the last couple of years.

          7. Yes we agree on the ROS part and of course BOT can improve however if it were a case of “Merc can’t really throw their weight behind Lewis atm”, then he wouldn’t have gotten TWO teamorders today.
            VET in contrast got no preferential treatment last week.

            I think it was wrong not to let VET through last week and I think Merc did the right thing today, but regardless of my assesment there is no evidence VET has got more team support then HAM right now. If they’re prepared to sacrifice BOT in race 3, despite a strong quali performance I see no reason why that should get less, unless of course BOT starts driving consistently faster than HAM in the races and it turns into the faster driver moving over for his slower teammate.

            I don’t think anyone of us believes this is a realistic scenario.

          8. Well I think the team orders today largely had to do with the penalty- I don’t think Merc expected Bottas to be that slow and expected him to be P2 after Lewis’ penalty was applied.

            Vettel didn’t need preferential treatment as Kimi was passed several times last week- it was that obvious he was off the pace.

            You seem to think Merc have already sacrificed Bottas already- I disagree- so long as he’s right up there with Lewis and if he can manage to keep up his race pace there is no reason why this should be a occurrence.

            In any case, if I was Bottas I wouldn’t have let Hamilton through- but in the end he probably wouldn’t have had a choice given Hamilton had much fresher tyres anyway.

          9. RAI was following RIC for multiple laps inside the DRS window last week. With VET right behind them. This made it extremely difficult for VET to pass under his own steam. Following not 1, but 2 cars in close succession.
            He lost an important amount of time there and as soon as he passed RAI he also passed RIC and left them both far behind.

            He would have benefitted from a team oreder there as much as HAM did today and might have challenged for the win towards the end – like HAM today.
            It’s not like HAM “needed” teamorders anymore today either, I’m sure after 5-10 laps behind BOT he would have gotten past him in his own steam. It would have just cost him time – like VET last week.

            There is no argument that these situations are highly comparable – and that Merc issued team orders while Ferrari didn’t.

            Playing devils advocate here the only real difference I see is HAM asking for TO while VET did not do so in CHI.

  10. Nice job from Vettel and Ferrari today, realy deserving win! Right now, Raikonnen Stroll Palmer and Bottas are really undwhelming against their teammates. Bottas pace was non-existent today, he almost lost the podium from Raikonnen in the end ! I still think that Mercedes is ahead in both qualifying and race pace by a .1-.3 margin. Alonso did whatever he could today but ,man, that Honda engine is really slow and I start to beliece that it really is the only problem because the car seems to have great balance and it’s relatively quick through the corners! Anyway, I can’t see how Alonso will stay until the end of the season, he was really frustrated today! And in my opinion the only probable destination next year is Renault thinking that the Mercedes seat will go probably to Wehrlein who was amazing today and I don’t see him going back to Ferrari! Renault has made huge progress this year so who knows what a Alonso-Hulk pair with a decent car would do.

    1. MG421982 (@)
      16th April 2017, 19:03

      Ferrari is for sure down on lap times by at least 0.2sec overall, but not so sure in race trim. So far, the Ferrari boys had good to bad starts for example… this means their races were somehow compromised by being caught behind slower cars. RAI today is maybe the best example: he lost 2 places (to VER and MAS) in the 1st lap, therefore he lost precious seconds in the 1st stint to the leading pack (BOT-VET-HAM-VER). Very likely RAI would have been 3rd this time hadn’t been for the lost positions from 1st lap. So, so far, Ferrari did not lead any race from the start to see exactly how good their race pace is, if they can build a gap to Mercedes… which wasn’t really the case with Mercedes, VET managing to keep up with the Mercedes boys every time.

  11. Congratulations to Seb and Ferrari for the win!

    Congratulations to Mercedes on once again shooting themselves in the foot and gifting the Ferrari the win on a plate.

  12. In evenly matched cars, it was a normal win by the best driver out there.

    Vettel proved once again, that he doesn’t need the fastest car to win races (Merc still has the best engine and is undoubtedly the fastest car in a single lap). Just give him a reliable, capable of winning races car and his superb driving talent and skills will do the job.

    Last thing F1 needs, is another year of absolute domination by Mercedes as they enjoyed for the past 3 years, with 51 wins out of 59 races since 2014… Something never seen in the history of the sport.

    1. nelson piquet
      16th April 2017, 19:20

      i still think hamilton has this championship save if mercedes learn from their strategies and make bottas to barrichello

    2. I disagree on many counts.

      Firstly- at the very least it is highly debatable whether Vettel is the “best driver” out there. He certainly wasn’t the “best driver”- even at Red Bull, in 2014.

      Secondly- “Merc have the outright fastest car”. More unsubstantiated BS claims.

      See here

      “Hamilton’s outright pace was a smidgen better than Vettel’s: a 1:35.378 compared to a 1:35.423. But it was Vettel who had the more consistent pace: while the Ferrari was in the 1:35s 14 times over the last 17 laps, Hamilton could only better 1:36 on 10 occasions.

      Most saliently of all, Vettel trimmed Hamilton’s lead by 3.2 seconds over the final 19 laps. It’s a reduction slightly inflated by Hamilton’s very slow final lap, but even excluding that final tour from the equation still finds the Ferrari 2.5 seconds faster than the Mercedes through that final stint despite running on tyres which were two lap older”

      Similar thing in AUS as well.

      Basically- in qualy Merc are the kings but even that is under threat- but in race pace- Ferrari have a clear advantage.

      1. @Blazz
        Cut your BS will you?
        Your reference itself shows how much biased are you.
        Firstly, you are in delusional lulu fan
        secondly, you are fed by a biased British press
        thirdly, you start driver lulu stroked so much silly mistakes starting from Q3, seeding place in start, team order
        Finally, don’t argue with your own opinion with BS article.

        1. @onnubala

          Cut your BS will you?
          I was going to give you a typical infantile response but really all I can say is, surely you can try harder to present a more coherent *debate*

      2. Firstly- at the very least it is highly debatable whether Vettel is the “best driver” out there. He certainly wasn’t the “best driver”- even at Red Bull, in 2014.

        I don’t think there should be any debate on who are the best drivers on the current grid. I think everyone’s top 5 would consist of Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Verstappen and Ricciardo, and in my opinion Vettel/Hamilton is the unchallenged top 2.

        1. Is HAM still a top driver allthough he’s had 1 bad season in 2011 and lost a WDC to his inferior teammate? Of course. Is VET a top driver having 1 bad season? The answer would have to be the same to anyone who can use logic..

          As an after thought, Mr Lauda said on german tv before the race that he considered VET the most complete and well rounded driver on the grid and that VET and HAM are the two best drivers out there.

          1. Link regarding Lauda’s comments?

  13. Am I alone in thinking that were ROS driving the other Mercedes car instead of Bottas, the result would’ve been different ?

    1. My sentiments exactly.

    2. Matija (@matijaleader)
      16th April 2017, 19:49

      hopefully this will make people realise what a great driver nico rosberg actually is.

      1. Well, I never doubted how good Rosberg was. If I remember correctly it was only the people who wished to degrade both drivers who doubted how good he is- both when Lewis had the better of him and when Nico had the better of Lewis.

    3. ROS’s experience at front-running would have helped, but he wouldn’t have done much better with the car issues that afflicted BOT. What Merc will miss much more in this developmental war of a season is ROS’s outstanding engineering aptitude. Had ROS, for instance, been in HAM’s position in Melbourne, he wouldn’t have panicked and triggered a premature pitstop while his laptimes were still healthy. He would have understood the importance of track position and the fact that staying out 2-3 laps longer would likely have sufficed for the win. Similarly, ROS would not have incurred that 5 sec penalty in Bahrain. I hope BOT continues his lightning-fast bedding in at the team as they need quality, engineering-actionable driver feedback to regain momentum on the developmental front.

      1. So much conjecture, presented as fact its astonishing really. You don’t know how Rosberg would have reacted had he been in Hamilton’s position in AUS. Your claims about “Rosberg’s developmental feedback” are no more relevant than any of the top drivers on the grid. So no point cherrypicking. No prizes for guessing your an avid Rosberg fan.

  14. Vettel would have still split them on the start which introduces all sorts of chaos for the initial strategy. I just don’t think the two Mercedes cars are that far ahead of Ferrari because now, any minor slip-up by either team can determine the winner.

    1. They aren’t ahead at all. You people are still blinded by the previous seasons.
      Ferrari is ahead, as evidenced by them slightly outpacing Mercedes in every race ..and this race was on a track that was supposed to give Ferrari a hard time because it only has one fast corner, heavily favoring straight line over the cornering performance.

  15. Toto very fidgety when Lazenby and Symonds cornered him about Mercedes making LH their Number 1 driver going forward. If Bottas doesn’t finish ahead of Lewis in Sochi, I think Mercedes will make the call.

  16. That 0.023s that Bottas beat Hamilton by in qualifying, probably did more to help Ferrari than any other factor this weekend. Bottas being a faster No.2 driver than Raikkonen is going to win Vettel this year’s championship, mark my words.

    1. Eggzactly. On the flip side, Kimi being so far off the pace will cost Ferrari the constructors. Not that Vettel will give a t*ss.

    2. What helped VET was HAM dropping the ball in Q3, and again at the start today. On top of that he got himself an unnecessary penalty.

      I feel like the start was the most costly part, if it’s a Merc 1-2 after lap one in either formation one of them would have won it.
      HAM wasn’t quite on it in Bahrain and it cost them – because the margins are that small this year.

  17. I’d say, Ferrari now clearly has the upper hand for the remainder of the season.
    They matched the pace of Mercedes on a track that was supposed to give Germans a clear edge.
    After the qualifying I thought Mercedes speed advantage down the straights is so significant that Ferrari won’t be able to challenge even in the race pace..but I think by now it’s clear that Mercedes is using a qualy-spec mapping of the engine while in the race the power output of the two teams is actually similar.

    Now add to that the fact that Ferrari is superior in high speed corners(I’m other words, should have the advantage on majority of the tracks) and Mercedes is in for some beating.

  18. Well earned win for VET and seemingly the shape of things to come should the shambles at Merc continue.

    With his atrocious judgement in incurring the penalty, HAM showed why according him #1 status would be a mistake on the part of a team showing how comparatively poor they are at dealing with pressure. Errors of their own making, including BOT’s rear tyre pressure issues in Sakhir, have meant they have denied themselves optimal performance at critical junctures on race day for 3 straight races (Shanghai would have been less straightforward absent VET’s misfortune with the safety car). Gutted for BOT, who deserved much more from Sunday after a superb pole. Should Merc not regain some momentum in the developmental race, Ferrari will pull away and Red Bull might nip into second in the pecking order. It seems to me that Merc are having to run slightly less than optimal power to mitigate deficiencies such as vulnerability to high ambient temperatures, poorer aero efficiency in dirty air and higher tyre deg.. When a only the single flying lap is required, they seem comfortably ahead. Apart from the mystery of the gremlins afflicting RAI’s car, Ferrari are the ones who look like world champions.

    Merc have their work cut out and the bookies must be barking to keep HAM WDC favourite. He hasn’t proven he can beat his team mate, let alone a VET in what appears to be the better car on Sundays…

  19. Ferrari, Seb fan
    16th April 2017, 21:50

    Yes! What a race! Vettel deserves that. Didn’t crack under pressure and drove a brilliant race. He can win the championship this year if he keeps his head down and puts in peformances like these.

  20. Ferrari, Seb fan
    16th April 2017, 21:50

    Yes! What a race! Vettel deserves that. Didn’t crack under pressure and drove a brilliant race. He can win the championship this year if he keeps his head down and puts in peformances like these.

    1. Ferrari, Seb fan
      16th April 2017, 21:51

      Opps, didn’t know I sent the message twice

  21. Great job by Vettel. Ferrari a bit lucky though. If after the first lap the order were HAM, BOT, VET then I would have said Hamilton would have probably won. That being said this year it seems like the old Merc strategy of putting all their eggs into qualifying is no longer enough to guarantee a win. The Merc seems to fall apart at the merest sniff of dirty air, while the Ferrari seem to have an insatiable appetite for dirty air which is turned into the sweet smell of victory by Vettel.

  22. Everyone ignoring the fact that Hamilton and Mercedes got lucky with the Safety Car lol.

    1. Ferrari, Seb fan
      17th April 2017, 8:48


  23. Vettel had the race under control the moment he jumped ahead of Hamilton at Turn 1. His Ferrari was just short of the grunt needed to pass Bottas on the track and so he dived in for supersofts early. He came out in P6 but some scintillating driving promoted him to P3 when the Safety Car came out, thus enabling Vettel to avoid the disadvantage that normally occurs when someone pits just before the SC. Vettel went onto the lead when the Mercs went in for their own first stops and thereafter had complete control of the race. Vettel would have known Hamilton was closing behind him in the last 12 laps of the race but the former managed his pace just enough the ensure that he would remain ahead. With only 4 engine blocks allowed this season, looking after one’s car as a whole will be important and Vettel acted accordingly.

  24. I think it’s a shame because with two team orders in one race you can break a drivers’s spirit.Now the next time in qualifying Bottas might not try so hard thinking it will be the same deal all over again.
    This goes for Kimi vs Vettel too but twice in one race it’s a new low.

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