Day of despair & disaster for Ferrari in Bahrain

Date published: March 31 2019

Sebastian Vettel: Messes up again

Engine trouble cruelly denied Charles Leclerc victory in Bahrain; Sebastian Vettel loses out in another high-pressure moment for Ferrari…

Here is how race day unfolded under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit…

With it being Mother’s Day back in the UK, Lewis Hamilton posted a lovely message on social media ahead of the race build-up. Bless him.

Romain Grosjean arrived at the track, suddenly remembering that he has been slapped with a three-place grid penalty for the race.

Carol Vorderman was a guest of Williams on race day in Bahrain. Perhaps she could take a look at their numbers and find some marginal gains for them…

Some bloke called David Beckham was also in attendance…

It was then time for the Drivers’ Parade, giving the grid their first assessment of some very blustery conditions in Sakhir.

Former colleagues wished Charles Leclerc the best of luck as he made his preparations to start the race from pole position.

Those all-important race conditions…told you it was a bit blustery!

No dramas ahead of the formation lap…

…but there was on the dash down to Turn 1 as Vettel got the better start and Leclerc fell back to P3 behind Bottas.

Leclerc, though, wasted little time in getting back on top of the pile…

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz was displaying some genuine pace in the McLaren and was fighting Max Verstappen for P5, until the two touched and the Spaniard picked up a puncture…

Romain Grosjean and Lance Stroll were both forced to pit at the end of lap one after early incidents…

Back in the battle at the top, Hamilton made the undercut work on Vettel to split the two Ferrari cars…

There was action all over the track in Bahrain, Kvyat getting torpedoed by Giovinazzi in the opening stages.

Kvyat’s race got even worse when he was hit with a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, but not as bad as Grosjean’s who was forced to retire after that first lap damage.

On Lap 23 of 57, Hamilton was really struggling for grip on his soft tyres and Vettel regained second spot from the Brit…

Approaching the halfway point, then, Ferrari were back in control in Bahrain…

https://twitter.com/F1/status/1112383918894919682

The strategic battle between Mercedes and Ferrari continued with Hamilton making his second stop of the evening. Vettel and Ferrari reacted straightaway with the German just about staying ahead….

…but not for long. Hamilton and Vettel then went wheel-to-wheel, the latter spinning out and then also losing his front wing…

Vettel dropped to P9 as a result and would only be able to recover to P5 behind Verstappen…

And then, just when Hamilton and Mercedes’ day couldn’t get any better…Leclerc developed an engine problem…

And so would begin Leclerc’s own slide down the leaderboard…

A late Safety Car caused by a very strange double Renault retirement on the same lap cushioned the blow for Leclerc, who was able to keep hold of the final podium spot.

Heartbreak for Leclerc. Heartache for Vettel…

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.