Lewis Hamilton apologises for pit-lane error in Bahrain Grand Prix
Apr 20 2017
The idea was to let them race, and let natural justice be decided on the track at the expense of harmony away from it. "The team is weaker than it was past year".
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has won the 2017 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix to regain his championship title lead from Lewis Hamilton, who came second. However Vettel now has two wins this season and leads Hamilton by seven points in the drivers' championship on 68, with Bottas in third on 38, while Mercedes trail Ferrari by three points in the constructors'.
Hamilton's start on Tuesday was hampered by a cable plug reportedly falling out and halting his vehicle after just a few laps. However, this late attack from Mercedes didn't bother Ferrari, as Vettel took the chequered flag to win his second race of the season. He was deliberately slowing down in order to delay Rosberg behind him, in the hope he would drop down the leaderboard and not secure the required points he needed for the title.
Valtteri Bottas says despite Mercedes holding an advantage in qualifying trim he feels Ferrari now have the stronger race pace, but has warned it could all change next time out in Russian Federation. It brought an end to their fragile and acrimonious relationship, thus denying Hamilton a chance for revenge this year.
With Hamilton closing what had started out as a 19-second gap by anything up to 1.5 seconds per lap, a grand-stand finish looked in prospect.
Bottas was disappointed but said the team directives made sense.
"If you look at 20 races a year ago you could say five or maybe more, there's a handful that weren't flawless but then others were awesome".
"I'm sure we'll find out something [to explain] why I struggled more than Lewis".
"The auto was a dream today ... the last half of the in-lap with the fireworks & the track lit up, I just thought I love what I do", the German added.
"He said at a certain stage that it wasn't about his pace in the vehicle and then he was catching up in a brilliant way but we haven't seen the real pace".
There was some amount of chaos behind him though, with Vettel getting the jump on Hamilton, moving into second place. "I was oversteering all through the race".
Hamilton, who incurred a five-second penalty for an infringement in the pit lane, said: It's been a challenging weekend.
"But that's how it is and although I didn't like it for my personal race, I am a team player and I understand".
If Mercedes AMG Petronas didn't already know it, they do now. But the situation is different now, so it needs a proper analysis of what it means and where we are.
"From then on we were on the back foot", he said. I took everything out of the tyre and we were a bit unlucky with the Safety Car pit-stop. We owe it to them. Nico Hulkenberg took tenth for Renault, while Esteban Ocon took Force India to tenth place, his second points-finish in as many races. We made the call.