Victory for Vettel

Victory for Vettel as Ferrari's aggressive strategy pays off.

Sebastien Vettel is now storming ahead on the leader board with an impressive total of 68 points after his second win in the three races of the 2017 season so far at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Starting third on the grid, the Ferrari driver took ownership of the race very early on and did not falter once for the entire 57 laps on what proved to be a hot and humid track. After driving a dream night-time race culminating in a magnificent display of fireworks, a beaming Vettel declared to the world "I love what I do", relishing in the fact that he is now a comfortable seven points ahead of his rival Lewis Hamilton. The latter, aware that he would have to queue behind his team mate Valterri Bottas at the first pit-stop, issued an immediate apology to his Mercedes team admitting full responsibility for his decision to crawl in to the pits at 35mph in what seemed to be a pre-meditated move to prevent Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo from getting past him. Ricciardo, who had qualified in fourth position and was sandwiched on the grid between the two Ferrari drivers Vettel and Raikkonen, managed to finish the race in fifth. Hamilton however paid the price for his catastrophic mistake with a five second time penalty and despite pushing his car to its absolute limits, never managed to recover and catch up with the formidable driving of the leader Vettel who finished the race 6.6 seconds ahead of his arch-rival.

Many of the drivers encountered a plethora of problems on the big day but it would take a very cold-hearted soul not to feel sorry for the Mercedes driver Bottas who was perhaps hoping for a closer tussle with the leading championship drivers Vettel and Hamilton on Sunday. Gaining his first ever pole position after qualifying, Bottas started the race with the wrong tyre pressures due to a problem with the generator and after an incredibly slow start had zero chance of finding the pace he needed throughout the race to get back up to the front. To add insult to injury, the Finnish driver experienced a further blow when he was instructed by his team to get out of Hamilton's way and let his team mate pass. Lap twelve saw Carlos Sainz of the Toro Rosso team crash in to the Williams driver Lance Stroll as he rejoined the track after making his first pit-stop, causing both drivers to retire from the race.

McLaren suffered another huge disappointment when Stoffel Vandoorhe's race was over before it had even begun due to continued power unit problems and Red Bull's Verstappen failed to complete the race after an issue with his brakes saw him lock up his front right tyre and go crashing off the track. After experiencing further engine failure, a frustrated Fernando Alonso who is still yet to finish a race this season was heard venting his anger to his team over the radio when he said, "I've never raced with less power in my life". Perhaps one can not blame him for deserting F1 to compete in the Indianapolis 500 which will result in him missing the infamous Monaco Grand Prix in May but gaining an engine he can rely on.

After a dramatic race in Bahrain with a mesmerising Vettel and Hamilton leading the pack as the front two contenders, Ferrari are now on 102 points on the constructors board, just three points ahead of Mercedes who are on 99 points. In two weeks time we will see the intense battle for the championship continue in Russia at the Sochi Autodrom, the fourth Grand Prix of the season and on a track where Lewis Hamilton has previously won twice and who will no doubt be in a confident and positive mood and most certainly out to seek revenge.