Formula One: Raikkonen explains pit-lane incident that hospitalised mechanic

Formula One: Raikkonen explains pit-lane incident that hospitalised mechanic

Lewis Hamilton will have to do what no Formula One driver has ever done to win Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix after an unscheduled gearbox change left the Mercedes driver facing a five-place grid penalty.

Lewis Hamilton rose from a penalised ninth on the grid to take third, aided by Raikkonen's exit, with the bulk of his gains coming during the early stages of the race.

Hamilton, meanwhile, escaped undamaged from his scrape with the Red Bull driver and made rapid progress of his own, climbing to fourth by lap eight.

"I am very happy with the last laps I did, and also obviously with the result I got". Once Verstappen got back to the pits and changed tires it became clear he had a differential issue and he also stopped on track. That represented a stunning turnaround for Honda, Toro Rosso's engine partners after three nightmare years at McLaren.

With Hamilton hampered by that five-place grid penalty, he and Mercedes opted to run the softs in Q2, giving him an alternative strategy as he will start the race on that tyre.

Stoffel Vandoorne was eighth to make it the second consecutive double points finish for McLaren while Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari got a points scoring finish thanks to Marcus Ericsson who was ninth.

For teammate Daniel Ricciardo, the race ended shortly after Verstappen's puncture, after his vehicle abruptly shut down at the exit of the Turn 8.

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Red Bull also has a good vehicle this weekend, but their engine supplier in Renault don't have the power surge mode in Qualification as Ferrari and Mercedes.

The Red Bullers are not sleeping either and although Verstappen is favoured, Daniel Ricciardo is more than capable of pulling it out of the hat.

A tense and dramatic knockout ensued, with Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean both setting identical times of 1:30.530 - but because the Spaniard set his time first he ensured Grosjean stayed in the drop zone. The Haas driver was eliminated and will start P17.

Now he needs to start winning again - starting in Shanghai.

McLaren took seventh and eighth, with Fernando Alonso ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, while Marcus Ericsson ran a one-stop strategy to claim ninth - his first points since 2015, and Sauber's first top 10 finish in nearly a year.

Brendon Hartley fell agonisingly short of reaching Q3 and will start from a still impressive P11. Vettel's biggest threat to his 51st pole came from his own teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who had been quicker then the German on the first runs in the final part of qualifying. Three-tenths covered the Ferraris, the Mercedes and Ricciardo's Red Bull in P5 heading into the final lap showdown.

Will Sebastian Vettel be victorious from pole at the Bahrain GP? "But it wasn't quite enough", Bottas said. I tried to keep it as clean as possible.

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