Formula One: Lewis Hamilton handed five-place grid penalty for Bahrain

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The race was won by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, thanks to a stroke of luck provided by the deployment of the virtual safety vehicle at just the right time for the German, also a four-times champion.

Kimi Raikkonen was the fasted of the two Ferrari drivers coming in third just a tenth behind the Mercedes while teammate Sebastian Vettel was just a hair's breadth back in fourth place.

Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest in the second Mercedes, nearly one second adrift of Raikkonen while Nico Hulkenberg fronted the midfield in seventh, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr who was eighth in the second Renault.

The 30-year-old snatched an opportunistic win from Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton two weeks ago at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit to take the early championship lead.

Hamilton qualified fourth behind Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas but has a five-place drop for an unauthorised gearbox change.

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo came in a disappointing fifth and sixth respectively and will look to improve on that tomorrow.

Despite the success of the best time, Raikkonen's second practice session was interrupted early when a loose wheel nut from a practice pit stop lost his chance for a long run.




It was an impressive performance by Gasly, made more interesting by the fact that Toro Rosso is running with the Honda engine McLaren unceremoniously dumped for 2018. A tremendous effort to be best of the rest, especially when that slot had looked likely to be taken by Renault or Haas.

Esteban Ocon had the edge over Sergio Perez at Force India, with the pair finishing in the session down in 13th and 14th.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly was ninth in his Honda-powered Toro Rosso with Fernando Alonso, a three-times victor in Bahrain, rounding out the top 10 in his McLaren. The auto swapped ends on him under acceleration and he clattered across the gravel before the front left suspension snapped on impact with the wall.

Toro Rosso rookie Pierre Gasly is next on the grid, promising an intriguing start to Sunday's race.

Romain Grosjean was fastest of those eliminated in Q1 despite setting an identical lap time to Alonso in the first segment of qualifying. He explained over team radio that his outlap was a mess, meaning his tyre preparation was not as good as it could be and he set a time 0.936s off Haas teammate Magnussen.

Rounding out the field was the Alfa Romeo Sauber of Marcus Ericsson followed by Stoffel Vandoorne, Charles Leclerc and the two Williams of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

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