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    INSIGHT: Five Things We Learned from the Bahrain Grand Prix Drama, tension and tactics ...

Drama, tension and tactics - the Bahrain GP had it all and produced some fascinating storylines....

1. The Fight Continues

Judging the pecking order after the first round of the Formula One season is always difficult. But seeing the competitive sequence remain close over the second race weekend of 2018 is incredibly promising. The battle is well and truly on!

Ferrari had the edge in Qualifying trim in Bahrain - but we were close behind and so were Red Bull, with just four tenths separating the top five on the grid. All three teams looked well-matched on high fuel in practice and, while we didn't get to see much of the Bulls in Sunday's race, the battle between the silver and red cars was tight.

In the end, just 0.7 seconds separated race-winner Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri, with Lewis chasing them both down. "Our car really came alive on the Soft and Medium compounds today, and that is probably one indication that we will see the competitive balance swing from track to track this season," explained Toto.

For fans, that's definitely an encouraging sign. 2018's shaping up pretty nicely indeed!

2. Overtakes, Overtakes, Everywhere

Headlines after Melbourne lamented the lack of overtaking in F1. But the Albert Park track has never been suited to passing. The Bahrain International Circuit is the opposite, though. With long straights and heavy braking zones, we've seen some action-packed races in the past.

This year's Bahrain GP was proof you should never jump to conclusions in F1. Like the pecking order, the quality of the on-track action will differ from race to race. Under the lights in Sakhir, we witnessed a brilliant show, with an exciting array of battles, overtakes and incidents.

We're not biased or anything... but one of our stand-out moments was Lewis' three-car overtake on the fifth lap. Battling his way up the order, Lewis drew alongside Fernando Alonso's McLaren with the help of DRS and opportunistically darted to the right as he caught Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Ocon. He dived up the inside of them both, making it a three-car pass!

If only the race had lasted a few laps longer, an overtake for the lead may just have happened too...

3. Points Mean Prizes

The midfield battle looks set to be incredibly exciting in 2018 and we got a preview of that in Bahrain, with a mix of interesting strategies and intense on-track action shaking up the top 10 and some new names appearing in the points-paying positions.

Amongst a host of impressive performances, Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly took his first F1 points in style with a strong fourth place, while Marcus Ericsson's daring one-stop strategy paid off with ninth place for Sauber to break his points duck.

4. Record-Equalling Result

Lewis has moved one step closer to achieving another F1 record. Third place in Bahrain means he's now level with Kimi Räikkönen for the most consecutive points finishes in F1 history - a record the Finn set in a run from Bahrain 2012 to Hungary 2013 while driving for Lotus.

The reigning World Champion has now finished 27 races in a row within the top 10, his incredible run starting in Japan 2016. Lewis needs one more points finish to overhaul Kimi's record and he'll be looking to secure it next time out in China.

It was already a special weekend for Lewis, as he reached 100 starts with the team to become the first driver to reach 100 starts or more with two different teams (Mercedes and McLaren).

5. Strategy Shake-Ups

Bahrain's warm temperatures and Pirelli's new 2018 tyre range produced some fascinating and fantastic strategy decisions during the Bahrain GP. It was a race where there wasn't much between a one and a two-stop, which opened up a whole host of options for teams.

Valtteri and Lewis both stopped just once, with race-winner Sebastian doing the same. The Ferrari driver had to nurse his Soft tyres towards the end, which produced a nail-biting finish between himself and Valtteri.

It's not often all three tyre compounds get used during a race - but that's exactly what happened in Bahrain. This was one of the main reasons why we saw such exciting on-track action, with drivers out there battling on different compounds and on tyres with varying amounts of wear.

Hopefully it's a sign of what's to come in 2018, where more races will throw up a mix of strategy choices.

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