Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Vettel takes pole position for Bahrain GP; Lance Stroll 20th

Vettel takes pole position for Bahrain GP; Lance Stroll 20th

After Bottas took pole for Mercedes previous year, it was Sebastian Vettel who triumphed and extended his championship lead.

Dutchman Max Verstappen, who missed the first session due to a power failure, was fifth for Red Bull ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly was ninth in his Honda-powered Toro Rosso with Fernando Alonso, a three-times victor in Bahrain, rounding out the top 10 in his McLaren. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1.400s 8.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo put in a scorcher of a lap to be fifth and just a few tenths off the pace from Hamilton, showing how fast his auto is this season.

Hamilton had been poised to win at Albert Park only for a timing error on the Mercedes pit wall during a virtual safety vehicle period to gift-wrap the victory to his rival Sebastian Vettel. Once Verstappen got back to the pits and changed tires it became clear he had a differential issue and he also stopped on track.

'I go when the light is green and I don't see what happens behind.

"These guys with the red auto (Ferrari) they are just a bit too quick".

Coming in for his second stop, Raikkonen's left-rear tire was slow coming off and Ferrari had yet to remove it when the auto was dropped from the jacks and the pit lane light went green, leading Raikkonen to pull away and hit a mechanic working on his stuck tire.

Kimi Raikkonen Bahrain Grand Prix F1 news
GETTYThe Ferrari mechanic suffered a double leg break

The Finn pulled away before the left-rear had been changed and struck a mechanic's leg, while Raikkonen stopped in the pitlane with three new tyres and the unchanged old one on his auto and retired. The team subsequently tweeted that he had been transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment. Valtteri Bottas pitted two laps later, instead opting for the medium compound for a comfortable one-stop strategy. The Finn had to settle for second place on the grid after having set a time that was just 0.143 seconds slower than Vettel's.

Raikkonen was the sole driver to lap in the 1:29 bracket.

Hamilton made another lunge for pole aware that he would be pushed back down the grid - the fewer cars he has to pass tomorrow the better.

After another hot day, the floodlit qualifying session began with a minor drama in Q1 when New Zealander Brendon Hartley ran off track and damaged his Toro Rosso's front wing.

Vettel's win pushed him up to 50 points in the drivers' standings, 17 ahead of Hamilton, with Bottas third on 22 points.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was third.

Ferrari had been hit with a 5,000 euro ($6,100) fine Friday after Raikkonen left a pit stop during practice without one of his wheels being properly attached.

Stoffel Vandoorne was eighth to make it the second consecutive double points finish for McLaren while Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari got a points scoring finish thanks to Marcus Ericsson who was ninth.

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