2017: The year of reckoning for Vettel and Ferrari?

Even after securing 44 Formula One wins, Sebastian Vettel cannot stop giggling when there is a trophy on the way. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to win a race and Vettel surely pours his heart out whenever he is the first one to drive past the chequered flag.

By winning the tense and action-packed Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, the Ferrari driver has proved that his team means business in 2017. After being dominated by Mercedes for the last three years, this looks like a year of reckoning for the Prancing Horse.

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After winning a race which saw Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Vettel all lead at different stages, the German driver is now seven points clear of his Brit rival in the title race. Ferrari move three points clear of Mercedes in the constructors’.

From starting third on the grid, Vettel beat both Mercedes drivers to win his second race of the season. Ferrari’s early pit strategy and Hamilton’s five-second penalty ensured Vettel’s win at the Sakhir circuit.

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The only other time when Vettel won two of the first three rounds was in 2011 – his second title-winning campaign with Red Bull. The last time a single Ferrari driver won two of the three opening races was Michael Schumacher back in 2004.

Drivers have a two-week break before the Russian Grand Prix around the Olympic Park in Sochi on 28-30 April. Hamilton has won twice there. Vettel, on the other hand, crashed last year after being hit twice by Daniil Kvyat.

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As Vettel got back to his winning ways, Ferrari’s only concern here would be that Kimi Raikkonen is not feeling as competitive as the rest of the pack is. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo look better than ever in their Red Bulls. Even Felipe Massa showed flashes of brilliance in his Williams.

Although it is too early to predict the 2017 championship winner but one thing is for sure that this is going to be one hell of a season. With such a close competition early on, it looks like the battle for the championship will go down to the wire.  Sparks will fly and the one who rises to the occasion will be crowned the champion at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

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