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Formula 1 Cars Projected To Be Two Seconds Quicker In 2018

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Sebastian Vettel will start the Bahrain Grand Prix on pole after Ferrari pulled off a front-row lockout and Lewis Hamilton could only secure ninth spot on the grid.

Vettel won the season-opening race in Australia last month and gave himself a great opportunity to secure back-to-back victories at the Sakhir track.

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Kimi Raikkonen was quickest for Ferrari under the lights in practice on Friday and again in FP3, but Vettel was 0.143 seconds faster than his teammate when it mattered on Saturday to end Mercedes' run of five consecutive poles in Bahrain.

Vettel clocked 1:27.958 to take pole, with Valterri Bottas third ahead of his Mercedes team-mate and world champion Hamilton.

1 and 2! #BahrainGP #Seb5 #Kimi7 #ForzaFerrari pic.twitter.com/aa3YLsSm16

— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) April 7, 2018

Hamilton struggled for pace all day and, after being hit with a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, the Brit will begin back on the fifth row on Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo will start in fourth due to Hamilton's penalty and the Australian will be Red Bull's big hope for a podium finish after Max Verstappen crashed in Q1.

The Dutchman was furious with himself after losing control at Turn 2 and shunting into a tyre barrier before taking a ride back to the garage on a scooter.

Pierre Gasly exceeded expectations by finishing sixth on the timesheets for Toro Rosso and there was huge disappointment for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne 13th and 14th respectively.

Things didn't quite go to plan for @Max33Verstappen in qualifying...  #BahrainGP  #F1 pic.twitter.com/KsqmQZEbsI

— Formula 1 (@F1) April 7, 2018

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:27.958

2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +0.143s

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.166s

4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.262s*

5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +0.440s

6. Pierre Gasily (Toro Rosso) 1.371s

7. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1.400s

8. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1.612s

9. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +1.916s

10. Carlos Sainz (Renault) +2.028

*Lewis Hamilton will serve a five-place grid penalty.

Formula One proposes cost caps from 2021

Budget restrictions and simplified power units are among the changes put forward by Formula One bosses on Friday.

As the paddock prepares for the second race of the season this weekend in Bahrain, F1 has suggested a number of alterations to be implemented from 2021.

Earlier this week, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier expressed his wish that "hopefully there will be enough restriction in this to close up the gap or to have a level playing field" and the initial ideas proposed by F1 to the FIA and the teams appear to follow that path.

The F1 release outlined the changes under five headings: power units (PU), costs, revenues, sporting/technical rules and regulations, and governance.

Formula 1 has presented its proposals for the future of the sport from 2021 onwards  https://t.co/aPg88E8QGI

— Formula 1 (@F1) April 6, 2018

"The PU must be cheaper, simpler, louder, have more power and reduce the necessity of grid penalties," the release read.

"We believe how you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend.

"[We will] Implement a cost cap that maintains Formula One's position as the pinnacle of motorsport with a state-of-the-art technology.

"The cars must and will remain different from each other and maintain performance differentiators like aerodynamics, suspensions and PU performance. However, we believe areas not relevant to fans need to be standardised."

These proposals are expected to be received negatively by leading teams such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, for whom current regulations allow the opportunity to further increase the performance gap between themselves and the rest of the grid.

#F1  #BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/Yjz0qSl3gG

— Formula 1 (@F1) April 6, 2018

In a media conference in Bahrain on Friday, the bosses of Williams, McLaren and Haas faced reporters and Claire Williams expressed her support for the plans, which she suggested may come to fruition regardless of how the top teams react.

"I was extremely positive about today's meeting, I have to say," the Williams chief said. "I think we've all hoped for change under our new management and I think today they presented change.

"I think for a team like ours, based on what they presented, it was an extremely good day for us. I came back thinking 'let's crack open some champagne', because from our perspective if we can get these new regulations through, and if Liberty/FOM [Formula One Management] do everything they say they are going to do, that they presented this morning, then from our perspective I know that Williams' future is safe.

"I know that in the past you can have these conversations and they come out and not necessarily anything is ever done about it, but I'm not sure these discussions are negotiable. That's not the message I got anyway." -- Harry West


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