Sebastian Vettel marks 200th race in style at Bahrain Grand Prix

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel got his season off to a flyer with a first-place finish in Australia

Sebastian Vettel of team Ferrari was the fastest racer in the qualifying round of Bahrain Grand Prix.

Vettel switched to softs and Raikkonen pit a lap later as Bottas continued for two more laps, with the Ferraris benefiting from the power of fresher rubber.

His hopes of chalking a 3rd Bahrain win on Sunday have been taken a hit, with all the Briton place to shed five puts on the grid for the unscheduled gearbox change in his Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas was second, with Lewis Hamilton making a fine recovery drive from ninth on the grid to claim third place.

Verstappen's vehicle lost power and stopped on the track in the first session. Ricciardo coasted to a halt at Turn 8, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car, with the incident compounding a miserable few moments for Red Bull as Max Verstappen was limping to the pits with a puncture. Romain Grosjean, who admitted the out lap was a mess and ran slightly wide at the final corner on his last run for Haas, set an identical time to Alonso, forcing him out of qualifying.

"I think it's surprising for us after Australia to be that competitive", said the German. Vettel had issues in the earlier practice session, Hamilton had a grid penalty to work into the equation, while Kimi Raikkonen was just damn quick.

Despite putting in more laps (38) than anyone in the 20-strong field at the 5.4km desert circuit, Toro Rosso driver Hartley couldn't eke anything extra out of a auto which is on the verge of an upgrade. Everyone else was on the supersofts, with Vettel pumping in a brilliant lap to go quickest.

Lewis Hamilton profited from Ferrari's mishap to finish third behind his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

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.

Sparks fly from the back of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who had the day's best lap time of 1 minute 29.817 seconds. "Our plan worked but just, Bottas had a bit of a sniff but ran out of laps", he said.

Max Verstappen, who missed the entirety of the first 90-minute session with a power problem, returned to set the fifth-best time, albeit almost one second slower than Raikkonen. He was nine seconds behind third-placed Raikkonen and 14 off the lead.

The win was the 49th of the four-time champion's career.

Ricciardo was fifth quickest, two-tenths further back.

Sergio Perez spun out on the opening lap, and there was also a coming together between Kevin Magnussen and Gasly. There were also celebrations at Sauber, with Sweden's Marcus Ericsson finishing ninth for his first points since 2015 and the Swiss team's first of the season.

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