Splitting Mercedes at the start crucial to race win, says Vettel


Sebastian Vettel made it two out of three this year after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, saying that the launch of the race was instrumental in achieving victory.

Vettel got ahead of a slow moving Lewis Hamilton off the line when the lights went green, chasing leader Valtteri Bottas for all his worth.

He then undercut the Finn in the first round of pitstops to take command of the race and contend successfully with a late stage charge by Hamilton.

"It was crucial for us to get between them to not allow them to get in front and pull away and do their thing – upset them a bit,” said Vettel.

"We all had more or less the same start, and Lewis stuck with Valtteri so I could take a risk under braking and get the move done [around the outside of Turn 1].

“After a couple of laps, I was on Valtteri’s gearbox for the first stint and not falling back too much. It was a good start – pace was key today to win.

"In the final stint we had quite a decent gap, plus the safety margin of Lewis’s penalty.

"I tried to control the gap – he was very fast when he came out, I expected him to be quicker but not that quick.

"He was closing in, when I faced traffic I lost a lot of time, but when he faced it he lost time, too."

While Vettel felt a bit 'down' after qualifying yesterday and the subsequent gap with Mercedes, he also insisted that he felt good about the general performance of his SF70H.

A feeling which today's race clearly confirmed.

"From yesterday to today you cannot change anything, from Friday to Saturday we did a bit,” he said.

"I had a good feeling yesterday so I was a bit surprised by how big the gap was.

"I had a good feeling because Friday was a bit mixed [when he topped both practice sessions], we improved it for Saturday, and thought it would stay like that.

"The team has done a really, really great job, we need to make sure we keep it going and keep enjoying it.

"The factory has come alive – hopefully the success in the last few races helps us."

GALLERY: All the action from the Bahrain Grand Prix

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter