• IN WORDS: Lewis & Valtteri's Bahrain Debrief

Lewis and Valtteri share their thoughts from an eventful night under the Bahrain lights...

'Damage limitation'

Lewis entered the weekend already on the back foot, with a gearbox change and subsequent penalty looming in the distance. He lined up ninth on the grid, but stormed through to P3 by the flag.

"I'm happy," he concluded. "I started ninth, so third is not bad at all. It's damage limitation. We leave here with good points.

"Going into Shanghai, it's a good track for me in general. So, I'm hoping to turn the tables a little bit that weekend - but it's going to be hard. The Ferrari's have shown incredible pace the last couple of races."

It was far from a straightforward evening in the cockpit, though, with radio communication to the pit wall proving somewhat intermittent at a crucial point in the race.

"I think there were some frustrating points during the race where they couldn't hear me, so I had to choose particular points during which I could speak to them," he explained.

"When you're trying to catch Sebastian, who was 25 seconds ahead, you want to know exactly what you need to do in order to not kill your tyres but make it so that you can catch him at the end.

"If you're not getting that feedback, it makes it kind of frustrating. So, that's an area we need to improve - but it's not always the case."

'Race pace better than expected'

Ferrari had the edge in Qualifying but the silver machines looked well-matched to their red counterparts in the race - a source of encouragement for Valtteri.

"I picked up some points but Sebastian, who's leading the Championship, got more," the Finn explained, after his second place finish.

"It's early days - but, anyway, a lot better than two weeks ago. And the race pace we had was actually slightly better than we expected coming into it.

"We put a little bit more pressure on Ferrari than we thought. So, that was positive.

"I think this weekend has really opened up our eyes in terms of how much we still have work to do with the car in certain conditions.

"It's really fast - but, like Qualifying, we could spot some weaknesses of the car. It's been an important weekend. We need to make sure we keep improving those negatives we have to Ferrari."

'It was a risk'

Starting just inside the top 10 meant Lewis needed to quickly make up places in the early laps. And, when he came across Fernando Alonso's McLaren on lap five, he went for the move of the race - sneaking ahead of Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Ocon in the process.

"It was definitely exciting and like a slingshot in the movie Talladega Nights," Lewis explained after the race.

"When I pulled out from behind Fernando I didn't know that I would be overtaking the other two as well.

"It was the slingshot that I got from Fernando that put me onto the others and I thought 'I have to go for this' because I had already spent a ridiculous number of laps trying to get past them.

"It was a risk to take but it worked out and I was really surprised that I got to the apex nicely.

"In those scenarios you are usually on the dirty side and go to deep or something but it was definitely cool."

'I nearly got one opportunity'

Valtteri rapidly closed in on Sebastian in the closing stages but just couldn't find a way through - and was also struggling with his tyres towards the end.

"Honestly, in the last three laps, it was getting really tricky with the tyres for me as well," he explained.

"If I would have pushed a bit harder in the middle of the stint to catch him earlier I'm not 100% sure if it would have helped me or if my tyres would have been even more destroyed in the end.

"I think it was maybe 15-20 laps before the end I received the information that Sebastian might try a one-stop as well and might struggle in the end. But, before that, we were 80% sure he was going for two stops."

"For sure it's annoying because we were so close and I nearly got one proper opportunity but it was not quite enough.

"Before he started to brake, he turned the car so I could tell he was expecting it and was ready to block an overtake.

"I understood there was no possibility. I could've gone for it, banged wheels and had a crash but I think I was just a bit too far away."