Vettel heads Ferrari 1-2 as Ferrari locks out Bahrain front row

Race winner Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel won a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton Credit GETTY

Kimi Raikkonen topped the leaderboard ahead of Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in the second practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday.

Vettel claimed his 49th career victory in his 200th F1 start by just 0.699 seconds ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas who took on the responsibility of taking the fight to Ferrari after Hamilton started ninth following a five-second grid penalty prior to qualifying, yesterday.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly was sixth in the Honda-powered Toro Rosso and Kevin Magnussen was seventh for Haas. Vettel ran the race on softs and managed to preserve the tyres through the final stages, while Bottas, on mediums, managed to extend his time longer on the track.

Vettel whooped with joy as he crossed the finish line, although his team's celebrations were more low-key than usual following the mechanic's hospitalization.

"It is disappointing when you get so close but I have to say the last three laps my tyres started to go off".

"I was doing the maths, oh, that pace, he's going to catch me".

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"Tomorrow is going to be one of the hardest races for us in some time", he added.

"I'll try and eke out every last bit of power and strength from this vehicle", Hamilton said.

Lap 1 tussles saw Lewis Hamilton, who started P9, versus Max Verstappen, who made a flying start from 15th place.

He said: 'I don't know. "The goal is damage limitation".

Red Bull suffered an very bad start to the race as Max Verstappen picked up a puncture after clipping Hamilton, while Daniel Ricciardo managed just two laps before stopping on the track.

"A bit sad because one of our mechanics got injured", Vettel said.

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Meanwhile, Red Bull endured a disastrous evening as Daniel Ricciardo's auto suffered a loss of power on the opening lap while Max Verstappen's RB14 was severely damaged after a collision with Hamilton's Mercedes. Marcus Ericsson one stopped his way to Sauber's first points of the season ahead of Esteban Ocon.

The race began with temperatures falling from 29 and 35 degrees Celsius respectively for air and track.

Vettel said after the race he had nothing left from his tyres - Bottas did not seem to fully commit to the opportunity for a late lunge at the start of the final lap.

This left Vettel to contend with the silver arrows on his own as both Mercedes drivers comitted to a one-stop strategy, forcing the German to run his set of soft tyres to the ragged edge.

Raikkonen attempted to leave a pit stop before all four of his tires were safely attached and his rear left wheel hit a member of the crew, with video showing the mechanic's leg buckling horribly.

Over at Red Bull, things took an early turn for the worse as Max Verstappen locked up and slammed his vehicle into the wall at Turn Two. A Virtual Safety Car was deployed.

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