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Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel won the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit. Vettel managed to take the chequered flag by 0.699 seconds ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton took the final podium spot for Mercedes after starting ninth on the grid, due to a five-place grid penalty after a gearbox replacement.
The 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix was among the most intense and exciting races in a long while, with plenty of edge-of-your-seat action taking place both on and off the track. With different strategies and tyre choices, the entire race became completely unpredictable right until the chequered flag.
Vettel took the lead from the start of the race, with Bottas quickly overtaking Kimi Raikkonen at turn one to secure P2. Ferrari pitted Vettel early with soft compound tyres, while Bottas came into the pits two laps later to change to the harder medium tyres.
Vettel initially going for a two-stop strategy, decided to change strategies and manage his soft tyres right till the end in a bid to fend off Bottas who was quickly catching up with his fresher and harder compound tyres at the final stages.
At the last two laps of the race, Bottas was within the DRS range of Vettel and even tried passing him at turn one, but could not complete the move and ended up finishing second in the race with a gap of under a second.
The race also saw three cars retiring including both Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Verstappen suffered a punctured tyre while trying to overtake Lewis Hamilton at turn one of lap 2. Verstappen nursed his car back to the pits and changed tyres, but eventually had a differential problem and retired his car shortly.
Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, suffered an electrical problem which shut down his car forcing him to end his race.
Kimi Raikkonen, who was in the third position had to end his race after an incident in the Ferrari pitstop. The Ferrari driver pressed the throttle before the pit crew could change all four tyres. This caused Kimi to run over a mechanic's leg, injuring him in the process. The mechanic was immediately attended to by the medical team and was taken to the hospital, while Kimi stopped in the pit lane ultimately retiring from the race.
Meanwhile, there was also plenty of action behind the field as well, with Pierre Gasly securing his first ever points after finishing in a brilliant fourth place for his Honda-powered Torro Rosso. Hass Ferrari's Kevin Magnussen came in fifth, followed by Nico Hulkenberg for Renault in sixth.
Mclaren, who had a poor qualifying session, came in P7 and P8 with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne respectively. While Sauber Ferrari's Marcus Ericsson and Force India Mercedes' Esteban Ocon finished the top ten.
Thoughts On The 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix
The difference in strategies between the two top teams was a game changer in the race, with Vettel nursing in his tyres until the end of the race. Bottas had a perfect drive right till the end, bringing in the gap of eight seconds from the German, down to under a second at the last lap, but unfortunately ran out of laps before making the final overtake.