F1 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix result: Lewis Hamilton second as Sebastian Vettel wins in Sakhir
PUBLISHED: 17:46 16 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:37 16 April 2017
Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton finished second as Sebastian Vettel won the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The 32-year-old Mercedes F1 racer from Hertfordshire was unable to catch the Ferrari driver in an exciting finish after serving a five-second time penalty.
New Silver Arrows star Valtteri Bottas, who started on pole, completed the Bahrain International Circuit podium in third place.
Hamilton said: “Congratulations to Sebastian. I gave it everything I could but Ferrari did a great job out there today.”
After his second win in three grands prix, Vettel has opened up a seven-point advantage in the World Drivers’ Championship.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in the other Ferrari, with Daniel Ricciardo fifth for Red Bull Racing in the provisional race results.
Felipe Massa was sixth for Williams and Force India’s Sergio Perez seventh.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Force India’s Ocon completed the top 10.
Starting from second on the Sakhir grid behind pole-sitter Bottas, Hamilton was soon swamped by Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari into Turn One and the Mercedes driver from Stevenage slipped down to third place on the opening lap.
With Bottas leading, Vettel was the first of the front three to pit for new tyres from P2 on lap 11.
The Safety Car was deployed a couple of laps later, and the two Silver Arrows drivers pitted for fresh rubber, relegating Bottas to second and Hamilton to fourth, with Vettel now leading the race.
Hamilton reclaimed third place after overtaking Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull but was slapped with a five-second time penalty for “driving unnecessarily slowly in the pit entry”.
The three-time world champion scythed down the inside of Bottas for P2 into Turn 1 on lap 26, with race leader Vettel 6.3 seconds up the road.
That allowed Hamilton to hunt down Vettel, aware he still had to serve his five-second penalty for driving too slowly in the pitlane.
The Hertfordshire driver took the race lead when Vettel stopped for Softs on lap 34, with 15.7 seconds separating them.
Hamilton served his five-second penalty when he pitted for Softs on lap 42.
That left him in third place on lap 44, 19 seconds behind race leader Vettel, with Bottas back up to second.
Despite the gap, Hamilton asked over the radio: “How far ahead is Vettel?”
The team replied: ”You’ve got the pace to win this mate!”
With Hamilton flying on his Soft rubber, and being the quickest man out on track, Bottas allowed Lewis to sweep through into P2 with Vettel 13 seconds up the road.
Hamilton carved chunks out of Vettel’s lead, with the gap down to 9.4 seconds by lap 51, and then 8 seconds a lap later.
With four laps to go, Vettel’s advantage had been cut to 6.7 seconds.
But the Mercedes driver ran out of laps to catch the Ferrari and Vettel took the chequered flag.