April 9, 2018 / 3:32 AM / 15 days ago

Motor racing: Team by team analysis of the Bahrain Grand Prix

(Reuters) - Team-by-team analysis of Sunday’s Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix (listed in current championship order):

Formula 1 F1 - Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - April 8, 2018 Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

FERRARI (Sebastian Vettel 1, Kimi Raikkonen retired)

Vettel’s 49th win and 101st podium finish on his 200th start, and from pole position. The German is the first Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher in 2004 to win the first two races of a season. He is now 17 points clear of Hamilton at the top. Raikkonen retired in the pits after an unsafe release that injured a mechanic. Ferrari were fined 50,000 euros.

MERCEDES (Valtteri Bottas 2, Lewis Hamilton 3)

Hamilton started ninth and ended up with his 119th podium and a record-equalling 27th successive race in the points. It was also his 100th race for Mercedes. Bottas started third, passing Raikkonen at the start, and ending up with his 23rd career podium appearance.

MCLAREN (Fernando Alonso 7, Stoffel Vandoorne 8)

McLaren move up to third, despite both drivers being lapped, after their second successive double points performance. They also have plenty of work to do after being out-performed by Toro Rosso’s Gasly in a car with a Honda engine. The pair started 13th and 14th, with Vandoorne 20th after the first corner.

RED BULL (Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen retired)

Ricciardo, who started fourth, retired on lap two with an electrical failure. Verstappen collided with Hamilton, punctured a rear tyre and damaged the transmission limping back to the pits. A race to forget for the former champions.

RENAULT (Nico Hulkenberg 6, Carlos Sainz 11)

Hulkenberg ran as high as fourth on a two-stop strategy after starting seventh. Both had to do a lot of fuel saving and Sainz, whose race was compromised by a poor start, was on very worn tyres at the finish.

TORO ROSSO (Pierre Gasly 4, Brendon Hartley 17)

Gasly’s result was a boost for Honda after three tough years with McLaren, and the Frenchman, who started fifth, said the car ran perfectly. The points were his first in Formula One. Hartley finished 13th but was demoted to 17th after a 10-second time penalty resulting from a clash with Force India’s Perez.

HAAS (Kevin Magnussen 5, Romain Grosjean 13)

Magnussen, starting sixth, scored some strong points after the disappointment of Australia where both cars retired with loose wheels. The result equalled the team’s best to date. Grosjean’s car shed pieces of the left-side bargeboard, with some lodging under the car and creating an imbalance.

SAUBER (Marcus Ericsson 9, Charles Leclerc 12)

Ericsson, starting 17th, scored Sauber’s first points of the season and his first since 2015, ending a run of 49 races without a point for the Swede, who ran a one-stop strategy. Leclerc had to pit on lap three due to front wheel vibrations.

FORCE INDIA (Esteban Ocon 10, Sergio Perez 16)

Ocon opened Force India’s account, passing Sainz with two laps to go. Perez’s race was effectively over on lap one when he was spun around by Hartley, damaging the car’s floor. He also had to pit early due to a slow puncture. Perez finished 12th on track but was demoted to 16th after being penalised for overtaking on the formation lap.

WILLIAMS (Lance Stroll 14, Sergey Sirotkin 15)

Hard times for Williams, now the only team yet to score a point. Sirotkin started 18th and Stroll 20th. The Canadian had to pit early for a new front wing after damaging it in a battle with Grosjean. Sirotkin completed his first race distance.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford

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