Many of them had already counted Kimi Rice Kings as an old iron, but 2018 seems to be experiencing a second spring. After having unexpectedly put pressure on Sebastian Vettel in Australia, this trend also continued at the Grand Prix of Bahrain.
Vettel did win the pole in qualifying, but until then he had to give himself the chance to compete in all three Free Trainings.
“The first question, One has to face: Where is the Sebastian?”, Niki Lauda wonders in the”ORF.” I really wonder, from Melbourne to here, that the’Iceman’Sebastian is always qualified and faster at the moment.”
Lauda gave his analysis even before Vettel’s pole position. But the trend that Ferrari cousins are closer to Vettel internally than in the last three years, is unmistakable.
In the individual Qs it stands between the two so far 3:3, and in the trainings even 5:1 for the Finnish. Only in the FT3 in Australia, which was not meaningful because of rain, Vettel was faster.
Vettel there, when it comes down to it
“Sebastian really must do everything he can to turn it around again, because I think the Ferraris here have a good chance to stand in front of the Mercedes”, so Lauda –in retrospect considered almost prophetically –before qualifying in Bahrain.
When it comes to it, Vettel seems to be always there. This also applies to the race in Australia, where he was behind the rails until the safety car accident, as well as to the Pole round in Bahrain, where he was also lagging behind after the first Q3-run and probably also drove Pole, because radishes have been stopped.
Whether these first signals will turn into a sustainable trend change or whether it will remain with a straw fire, it is necessary to wait. I’m sure it’s important how the race ends in Bahrain. Because if Vettel wins again, he threatens to slip into his usual role as number two. Even if he is definitely closer from the speed than ever before.