Ferrari calls winning Bahrain strategy 'a little bit of madness'

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says the team needed "courage, determination and a little bit of madness" to win the Bahrain Grand Prix and reclaim the outright lead of both Formula One championships.

The team sized the initiative on lap 10 in Bahrain, calling Sebastian Vettel in to pit as he stalked race leader Valtteri Bottas. That moment, coupled with a Safety Car period which forced Mercedes to double-stack its drivers and triggered a race-altering penalty for Lewis Hamilton, helped Vettel take control of the race.

The win saw Ferrari jump ahead of Mercedes in the constructors' championship by three points, while Vettel moved ahead of Lewis Hamilton by seven points in the drivers'.

"The victory was an important one, achieved thanks to the great efforts of all the guys at the track and back in Maranello," Arrivabene said. "For the whole weekend, the team demonstrated courage, determination and a little bit of madness. This is all part of our DNA, characteristics which 70 years ago saw the birth of Ferrari."

Expectations around Ferrari were high going into the weekend, only for the team to finish 0.4s off Mercedes as the world champions locked out the front row of the grid. Arrivabene says the team had expected one-lap pace to be an issue so it used the free practice sessions to focus on race pace, which proved to be supreme on Sunday evening.

"Courage and determination were needed to tackle a weekend like this, in which we expected to encounter a few difficulties in qualifying, which is why, based on good long run data on Friday, we prepared as well as possible for the race. In order to do this you also need to use some madness...

"Sebastian drove a really great race, demonstrating once again all his class. Kimi was caught up in traffic at the start and then he certainly wasn't helped by the arrival of the Safety Car. The SF70H proved itself to be strong also in these conditions, at a track which requires above all power and good traction. The tyres worked very well, which allowed us to fully exploit our very good strategy. And now it's time to concentrate on the next round of the World Championship, the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi."

The win prompted Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne to say the team has proven it will be a major feature of this season's championship fight.