Sebastian Vettel drove his Ferrari to victory in Bahrain. Picture: FERRARI
Sebastian Vettel drove his Ferrari to victory in Bahrain. Picture: FERRARI

The 2018 Formula One season seems to be echoing the start of 2017, at least on Ferrari’s part, as Sebastien Vettel won the second race of the season.

Ferrari was once again strong at the Bahrain circuit where Vettel not only managed to place his car on pole, but also won it, keeping him in the championship lead having won the opening race in Australia.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-AMG) managed to finish second, while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton took third spot having started in ninth on the grid following a four place penalty for changing his gearbox. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) was having a great race until a botched pitstop that saw one of the mechanics’ leg being struck by Raikkonen’s car as he drove off.

He was duly asked to stop while still in the pits, as the wheels on the car were not properly mounted, which put paid to his race participation. Thankfully, the mechanic is said to be recovering well in hospital with a broken leg.

Vettel leads the championship with 50 points, while Hamilton trails him on 33 points and Bottas is on 22 ahead of the next race in Shanghai, China this coming Sunday, April 15.

The Tour de Corse leg of the World Rally Championship took place in Corsica where Sebastien Ogier (M-Sport Ford WRT) won the 12-stage race ahead of Ott Tanak (Toyota Gazoo Racing) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT).

French warm-up

It was also the WEC (World Endurance Championship) Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, a warm-up to the season. The team of Buemi and Conway (Toyota Gazoo Racing) finished first in the top-tier LMP1 class ahead of the team of Wurz, Lopez and Davidson (Toyota Gazoo Racing). Third spot went to the team of Aleshin and Petrov (SMP Racing).

In the LM GTEPro class the Porsche GT Team pair of Lietz and Bruni led the pack ahead of Christensen and Estre (Porsche GT Team). Third spot went to the Ford Chip Ganasi Team UK of Priaulx and Tincknell. The first championship race will be the six-hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 3.

In Formula E news, former Formula One champion Nico Rosberg will make his debut in the sport. Rosberg is set to make a one-off appearance ahead of the race in Berlin on May 19 to drive the next generation Formula E car, which hit the headlines at the Geneva Motor Show last month and is scheduled to make its competitive debut in season five at the end of 2018.

Rosberg, who is a shareholder in Formula E, will take to the track prior to proceedings getting under way in Berlin.