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Mechanic suffers broken leg after being hit by auto

10 April, 2018, 19:03 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the second practice session ahead of the qualifiers for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit in Manama

The German and his team have history on their side, as no driver has failed to win the championship after winning the first two races in 36 years - since Keke Rosberg won the 1982 title after Alain Prost topped the first two grands prix.

Sebastian Vettel, who started his 200th Grand Prix from pole position, clinched his 49th career win ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton.

But impressive though Vettel's race was, it was Hamilton who made the biggest strides in the race, coming from ninth on the grid to run in an nearly threatening third place by the end part of the race, including one overtake early on to despatch three cars in one go, after a safety auto to recover Daniel Ricciardo's retired vehicle. It would be up to those three men to take the race from Sebastian Vettel.

In reality, Vettel's soft tyres were becoming a great hinderance, as the turns on the final laps had to be progressively taken with less and less speed to make sure the auto would stay on the line.

Vettel leads the championship on a flawless 50 points, 17 ahead of Lewis Hamlton.

Ferrari announced that it is now investigating as to why Raikkonen was given a green light when one wheel was yet to be changed.

A frustrated Vettel finally burst past the defensive Hamilton, on his original tyres, to re-gain the lead on lap 26.

Ferrari were now under pressure, with Bottas clearly going to the end on those tyres, and in a quandary. "When they told me the pace of Valtteri at that time I was thinking there was no way to do that".

Francesco Cigarini was stood ready to put a new wheel on the left rear of Raikkonen's Ferrari when it was released from its pit box too early.

Radio exchanges became fraught as Mercedes and Hamilton discussed the scenarios with a crackling signal.

With that in mind, Bottas was told to start closing Vettel down while radio problems made communication between Hamilton and his team hard, with the Briton growing frustrated by a lack of information regarding the strategy.

Amid problems with the radio, Mercedes instructed Hamilton to push so that Vettel would come out behind him if Ferrari opted to make a second stop.


THE FERRARI mechanic sent spiralling into the air by Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari during the Bahrain Grand Prix has given the "thumbs up" from his hospital bed. In China it will be a different track and a different challenge, but we have to improve our auto and work on it.

Ferrari was fined €50,000 for the unsafe release, while an answer on the investigation is expected on Monday.

Ferrari was also fined 5,000 euros ($6,140) for the same error during practice on Friday.

Hamilton had his work cut out starting from ninth, and managed to achieve the podium finish he would have been hoping for. The Swede fought superbly to take ninth place for Sauber, finishing six seconds clear of Esteban Ocon, who took the final point for P10 for Force India.

It was a disastrous few moments for Red Bull as Ricciardo pulled off track with a suspected electrical issue, triggering the virtual safety auto. "I tried to be cautious".

Race stewards said that in Sunday's incident the vehicle was released "in a manner endangering team personnel and causing injury".

"It's been an important weekend, we need to make sure we keep improving what are the negatives of the auto, compared to Ferrari". There was then contact between Hamilton's Mercedes and Max Verstappen's Red Bull.

The energy drink company's other team Toro Rosso celebrated a remarkable day, however, with fourth place for French driver Pierre Gasly.

"I don't see what happens", Raikkonen said after the race.

"That was a lie". "I just really tried to keep it as clean as possible". By them going onto the medium, I thought: 'That's checkmate.' Because we had to come in again.

"Bittersweet WIN for #Seb5 and for the Scuderia, great performance but we are all waiting for the medical bulletin for our mechanic #BahrainGP", Ferrari tweeted at the end of the race. I had to nurse the tyres. It worked, but just.

Hamilton drew solace from converting a ninth-placed start - following a grid penalty - into a podium finish but could not disguise his concern at slipping further behind Vettel.

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