BIC hosts another spectacular F1 Grand Prix a t the Home of Motorsports in the Middle East!
It all started with Valtteri Bottas taking his maiden Formula One pole position after beating Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.023s in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Sakhir circuit. Spicing up the mix for the main race, Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari was joined on the second row by Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, with their team mates Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen a row further behind.
THE HORSE PRANCES AGAIN!
After splitting the first two races of the season with Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton, Vettel was eager to strike back and it was the star pair once again battling in the end for all the glory. This time it was Ferrari who took the chequered flag as the race came to tense end out in the desert.
Vettel’s win ended the recent run of success for Mercedes in the Kingdom, as they had won every year since the event was switched to a night race. But Vettel had other plans and he claimed his third triumph in Bahrain after previously winning twice with his former team Red Bull Racing, while also securing the 44th triumph of his career. The German gained the lead from pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas during a safety car period early on in the race. At the re-start, he managed to stave off his rival and eventually built a comfortable advantage of over 10 seconds from the rest of the pack.
But Vettel was made to sweat a bit over the final 10 laps as a charging Lewis Hamilton was closing in from behind. It was too much of a task, however, as Vettel had built a big enough lead to cruise to the chequered flag. Vettel crossed the finish line with a winning time of one hour 33 minutes 53.374 seconds. Hamilton, who had been given a five-second time penalty for impeding Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane, had cut the gap to 6.660 seconds by the end. Bottas had to settle for the final podium place 20.397s back in third.
“The car was really amazing to drive and I had a good feeling yesterday,” said Vettel during his post-race interview on the podium.
“For many laps it really worked well. It was just a pleasure. Lewis was threatening towards the end, and with the traffic you never know. But it was a very controlled race, and the car was simply a dream today.”
Ferrari’s Kimi Rakkonen finished fourth 22.475s from his teammate. He was followed by Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo (+39.346s) in fifth and Williams’s Felipe Massa (+54.326s) in sixth. Force India’s Sergio Perez (+62.606s) was seventh and Haas’s Romain Grosjean (+74.865s) rounded out the top eight. Nico Hulkenberg of Renault and Perez’s teammate Esteban Ocon were the last two to claim points.
Classified 11th to 14th were Pascal Wehrlein of Sauber, Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso, Jolyon Palmer of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren.
Not classified were Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Williams’s Lance Stroll, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge
But this wasn’t the only action that took place over the weekend, we also saw Cullen win the 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. He won in 21 minutes 24.663 seconds. Dylan Pereira finished a mere 0.163 seconds behind, while Charlie Frijns was third 1.901s back. To go along with his overall victory, Cullen also earned first place in the drivers’ Gold category. Al Faisal Al Zubair won the Silver class ahead of Carlos Rivas and His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa who claimed the final podium step. Meanwhile, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa clinched first place in the Bronze class ahead of Philipp Sager and Christoffer Bergstrom.
Charles Leclerc took the win un the sprint race if the opening round of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The Prema Racing driver triumphed after completing the 23-lap event in 43 minutes 01.023 seconds. Luca Ghiotto of Russian Time finished as the runner-up just 1.569 seconds behind, while Oliver Rowland of DAMS took the final podium step 2.898s back.The race wrapped up the first round of the Formula 2 season.
Dusan Borkovic wont race two in the TCR International series. Burkovic completed the nine-lap sprint in 20 minutes 20.221 seconds in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR. He finished 4.154 seconds ahead of James Nash driving a SEAT Leon TCR, while Hugo Valente, also in a SEAT Leon, completed the podium placers in third, 4.561s back. To add to his win, Borkovic also clocked the race’s fastest lap of 2:13.476. A total of 16 drivers took part in the sprint, which capped the second round of the 2017 TCR season.
© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS MAY 2017