The Flying Finn (Bottas) started the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix in pole position and led the race for a while. But it was Sebastian Vettel in his fire engine red Ferrari who sped to victory. After the race, grinning from ear to ear, Vettel said, “Tonight was really great. We are doing well and that middle stint was crucial to win the race. When I was approaching the group of lapped cars, I was getting a bit nervous. But then I knew Lewis would struggle to catch me a couple of laps from the finish.”
Lewis Hamilton started the race in second place and wound up finishing in second place, too. He ran into a spot of trouble during a pit stop, when he received a five-second penalty for driving unnecessarily slowly in the pit lane. But this penalty did not cost him the race. Even without the five-second penalty, which he served during the next pit stop, Vettel would have crossed the finish line 1.6 seconds ahead of Hamilton.
Bottas ultimately finished the race in third place. Third place is not bad, not at all. But he was clearly struggling to keep up the pace after his first pit stop. Looking somewhat disheartened and perplexed, he said, “We need to find out what was the problem with the car or the tires. Something wasn’t normal today. I was trying everything I could after the safety car pulled in but Vettel defended his position quite well in turn four, and there was no chance for me after that.”
So was it just a case of a bad day at the office for Mercedes? Or is there something more going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about? Either way, it’s great to see Ferrari challenging Mercedes this year. In fact, they’re now leading the constructor championship by 3 points. So far, the Ferrari team has 102 points and Mercedes have 99 points. Personally, I find the races much more exciting now that I know it isn’t a foregone conclusion that Mercedes will win.
The season has just begun. Anything could happen! Below you can see the current drivers’ championship standings. These are the top ten drivers. For the complete list, go to the Formula One Official Website.
2017 DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL for FERRARI 68 Points
2 LEWIS HAMILTON for MERCEDES 61 Points
3 VALTTERI BOTTAS for MERCEDES 38 Points
4 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN for FERRARI 34 Points
5 MAX VERSTAPPEN for RED BULL 25 Points
6 DANIEL RICCIARDO for RED BULL 22 Points
7 FELIPE MASSA for WILLIAMS 16 Points
8 SERGIO PEREZ for FORCE INDIA 14 Points
9 CARLOS SAINZ for TORO ROSSO 10 Points
10 ROMAIN GROSJEAN for HAAS 4 Points
Next up is the Russian Grand Prix, which will take place on the 28th to the 30th of April. I can’t wait! Watching the Formula One races together is a sacred tradition in my family. We never miss a single race. My parents and I have incurable cases of Formula Fever.