Bahrain Grand Prix: Vettel Leads the way in the Desert

Philip Boeckman Formula One

If it wasn't confirmed in the opening two races of the 2017 Formula One season, it is now: we have a title race on our hands.

Sebastian Vettel drove a superb race to claim his second win of the season - his second in three races - and lay down the gauntlet to a frustrated Mercedes.

Gone, seemingly, are the days of the Silver Arrows dominating this sport to the point of boredom. Valteri Bottas may have started on pole, his first in his career, but he wasn't quick enough to contain Vettel and yielded P1 in the opening laps. Lewis Hamilton, out of sorts all race, squandered his start and was in third by the first corner. A charge for for impeding Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane entrance earned him a five-second penalty and effectively ended his pursuit of the Scuderia.

In truth, Sebastian Vettel had this race in the bag from the moment he took top spot. A Safety Car threatened to scupper his chances, but it came out just late enough in the race for it not to be an issue. The Ferrari has the pace, tyre management and seemingly the strategy nous to really challenge the Mercedes this year. Judging by qualifying, the Silver Arrows have better raw speed and are quicker over a single lap, however they struggle in the dirty air and their chassis is hard on the tyres. It'll be touch and go all throughout the season and, although it's very early days, it seems like this Championship race will go down to the wire.

Philip Boeckman

Huge fan of @F1 and Motor Racing in general. I blog about anything and everything from the world of Formula 1