Ferrari dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday night (AEDT) for all the right and wrong reasons – a great Sebastian Vettel win and a bone-snapping pitsop fiasco involving Kimi Raikkonen.
In his 200th race Vettel held on for a nail-biting victory over the two Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, but a pitstop snafu saw Raikkonen drive off before his pit crew were ready, breaking the leg of a Ferarri mechanic.
Mechanic Francesco Cigorini suffered a fracture of the tibia and fibula in his left leg and was taken to hospital.
Ferrari were been fined 50,000 euros ($80,000) by race officials for an unsafe release.
The incident put Raikkonen out of the race when he was running third and prompted some fans to comment on the notoriously icy Finn’s apparent lack of care for the wellbeing of his crew member.
“I don’t see what happens,” Raikkonen said after the race. “My job is to go when the light is green.”
Watch the bone-breaking incident below:
Raikkonen later issued a team statement saying: “What happened to our guy Francesco today at the pit-stop is very unfortunate. I feel sorry for him and hope he’s going to be OK soon”.
“It’s always a bad thing when someone gets injured but I am sure he has the best people taking good care of him and I wish him a speedy recovery. As for the accident itself, all I know is that I moved when I saw the green light go on.”
Ricciardo forced to retire after two laps
Australian Daniel Ricciardo said he felt like his heart had been ripped out after a ‘brutal’ retirement after only two laps.
“I lost all power. It seemed like a battery electrical problem,” said Ricciardo of his Red Bull’s sudden failure.
“Everything switched off and I couldn’t do anything … It’s just the harsh reality of our sport sometimes that rips your heart out. I love it and then I hate it.”
The team had a double disappointment to contend with when Max Verstappen also had to retire following a collision with Hamilton.
Verstappen lasted three laps longer than Ricciardo before retiring with gearbox damage as a result of having to drive an entire lap on three wheels and a damaged rim after the impact with the Briton.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed it had been a “brutally frustrating” race.
“Daniel commented that even in the two laps that he was able to do, he was able to close pretty comfortably on (Ferrari’s) Kimi (Raikkonen).
Ricciardo, who had qualified fifth but started fourth after Hamilton dropped five places on the grid, had been the man leading Red Bull’s charge.
The 28-year-old didn’t have the pace to fight for pole position but his deficit to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, the ultimate race winner, was a relatively narrow four-tenths of a second.
“I just felt like we were going to be in with a good chance today,” Ricciardo said.
“Being out so early in the race is just the worst feeling, especially when it’s a night race and you are up all day waiting for those two hours and after two minutes it’s over.”