Scuderia Ferrari carried the early momentum into Sakhir with high expectations to come out as the winners of the infamous ‘duel in the desert’ and they didn’t disappoint. Seb raced clear of the pack after the first round of pit-stops to claim Scuderia Ferrari’s second win of the season! A fantastic result in Bahrain.
Historically, the Bahrain GP has been a kind place for Scuderia Ferrari, which has welcomed the team with open arms. The Scuderia Ferrari team has been the most successful F1 team claiming 5 victories since the circuit’s inauguration 13 years ago. It’s a race that’s always dubbed the ‘race of the season’ contender, with high flying over-taking and a battle of race strategies.
Both Seb and Kimi had a great Qualifying session that resulted in them placing P3 (Seb 1:29:247) & P5 (Kimi 1:29:567) on the grid – promising starting spots for the Bahrain GP. Both drivers felt confident before lights out for the main race as they headed around the circuit for the formation lap.
Moments later, it was lights out and the race had started to signal the start of the 2017 Bahrain GP with over 1,500 light projectors illuminating the track, giving fans a truly awesome sight in Bahrain. Seb and Kimi raced down the 400m straight to the first corner – both drivers weaving their way through and jostling positions in a dramatic start with wheel-to-wheel action. Seb pushed himself up into P2, only tenths behind the race leader. Kimi battled his way through the pack up to P4.
In an incident packed first few laps, with the chasing drivers close by, Scuderia Ferrari took a calculated risk and tried the undercut 13 laps into the race, which later had paid off.
A safety car was deployed moments later, with the majority of the grid taking the opportunity to take the first of 2 pit stops. By the end of the first round of stops, it was Sebastian Vettel’s SF70H leading the race in the floodlit night sky. Kimi was staying strong in P5, but had radioed to his engineer about tyre degradation issues.
A last dash towards the chequered flag with 5 laps remaining kept fans on the edge of their seat, but it was Scuderia Ferrari and Seb that took the glory once again in Bahrain! Crossing the line after 57 dueling laps was Kimi in P5, who helped the team complete a double points finish to stay competitive in the F1 Constructors Championship. After 3 exhilarating races it’s clear to see that there is no one-horse race.
Another successful race for Scuderia Ferrari means out of 3 rounds, Seb has claimed 2 wins. He now sits on top of the F1 Driver Championship on 68, Kimi in fourth on 34 points. Scuderia Ferrari also leads the Constructors Champion on 102 points.
We caught up with a delighted Seb:
“A great result thanks to the team! At the start, it was important for me to get second place, and I managed it. Also, we got everything right with the strategy. We decided to pit early and the tactics proved to have worked. Towards, the end, I tried to manage the gap I had over Lewis. I expected him to charge through; of course I was concerned, with all the traffic ahead of me. But in the end it was all okay. The car was like a dream to drive today. I felt right from the beginning that we had the speed to win today. I had a good feeling yesterday already, and it was just confirmed today. The lap back to pits was so sweet, with all the fireworks around, and I really savored it. Tonight we enjoy the moment, but tomorrow we’ll be back at work. I haven’t changed my mind: to become world champion, you must first beat the Mercedes we’ll take it race after race.”
Kimi stopped by to comment on his race:
“In a way, a lot of good things happened this weekend, but the end result is still disappointing. The car was working pretty nicely and to be honest I expected that. Today I had a bad start and because of that, the first two corners were really bad; obviously after that I was catching up. I got past Massa reasonably quickly. Then I did my pit stop, but I was unlucky with the Safety Car. The overall feeling was good, I was fast but obviously the time lost at the start did not help; we put ourselves in a difficult position. I feel that we are absolutely doing the right things, and in the big picture we are pretty much where we want to be, but we still need to fine-tune a few things; it’s all about putting the lap together. We need to start more at the front and then our races will be a lot easier. I am happy for Seb and for all the team.”
Here’s Kaspersky Lab’s boss, Eugene Kaspersky with a congratulatory message to the Scuderia Ferrari team.
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A great result thanks to the team! At the start, it was important for me to get second place, and I managed it. Also, we got everything right with the strategy. We decided to pit early and the tactics proved to have worked. Towards, the end, I tried to manage the gap I had over Lewis. I expected him to charge through; of course I was concerned, with all the traffic ahead of me. But in the end it was all okay. The car was like a dream to drive today. Sebastian Vettel