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Raikkonen tops 3rd practice for Bahrain GP, Hamilton 4th

08 April, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Where do Mc Laren sit in the pecking order? | Image Octane

A round-up of the main talking points from qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari lock-out of the front row.

It was feared he would be punished for an unsafe release - because his front right wheel was not attached properly - and given a grid penalty, but instead Ferrari were fined €5,000 (RM23,767). The desert track's warmer temperatures and longer straights most likely played to the Scuderia's strength, but that should take nothing away from Vettel, who beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pole position by 0.143s.

Round two of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship takes us to Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"I was very happy with both laps in the end, and very happy with the result and the way the auto was handling and responding", he added.

Vettel will want the honours to continue coming in, and while he won last week, the Ferrari star will be wary of a Mercedes team that will want to storm back.

When asked where the pace has gone since Melbourne, he said: "I think that was a really good lap from me and whilst I tried to get the same again here it's not something you can always do".

The Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikonnen and Sebastian Vettel were fourth and fifth respectively and between 0.3-0.5secs down on Hamilton's time ahead of Saturday's qualifying.

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Then there's just how far Hamilton can get back up using his alternative tyre strategy and starting on a tyre which has looked the best of the three available over the weekend.

The Briton had been off the pace in the day's two free practice sessions, ending up the fourth fastest in the evening. Here the track improves all the time, with more grip every lap. "In clear air we were actually very, very strong", the 28-year-old told reporters.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull while his teammate Max Verstappen crashed in the opening part of qualifying, losing the auto under acceleration out of the tight second corner. We love racing and we try to do our best, once we're in the vehicle and beat all the others.

German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault ahead of the Toro Rosso of Frenchman Pierre Gasly and the two McLarens of two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne.

And the race, scheduled for Sunday, starts at twilight and finishes under lights in order to avoid most of the heat of the day.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson qualified 15th ahead of Williams' Sergey Sirotkin and teammate Charles Leclerc, who spun off in the final corner of his flying lap.

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