Race preview: Bahrain Grand Prix

Image: Scuderia Ferrari / Twitter

With two races in seven days, there has been very little time to rest since last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton impressed in China after recording his third career Grand Slam, but there were many other interesting takeaways from the race as well.

Anything you can do I can do better

There is no doubt that Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari turned heads at the Australian Grand Prix by beating Hamilton and Mercedes fairly and squarely at their own game.

Just two weeks later Hamilton dominated in China, but it wasn't necessarily a walk in the park for the three-time World Champion.

Unlike in Australia, Hamilton benefited from a better strategy in Shanghai and had the added bonus of watching Vettel drop down to sixth position after he was caught out by the two early safety cars.

Vettel made some daring moves to pass Kimi RΓ€ikkΓΆnen and Daniel Ricciardo as he made his way up the race order, but despite his heroics the German was never able to catch and challenge Hamilton for the lead.

Last year

The 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix was a race to forget for both Hamilton and Vettel.

Hamilton was clipped by Valtteri Bottas' Williams at the first corner, and Vettel's Ferrari expired before he even made it to the starting grid.

Last year Nico Rosberg took advantage of Hamilton's poor start, and never looked back after taking the lead into the first corner.

β€œIt’s been an awesome weekend," said Rosberg after the race. "The key was really at the start. I made a great getaway and from then on I was trying to control the pace.”

This year Hamilton will be looking to build on the momentum of his dominance in China to beat Vettel and Ferrari in the heat of the Bahrain desert.

Everyone else

Most of the talk this week focused on Fernando Alonso's decision to miss the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix to race at the Indianopolis 500 instead.

Alonso missed Bahrain last year while still recovering from his horrific accident in Australia, but had the pleasure of watching his substitute Stoffel Vandoorne score a single point for McLaren in his Formula 1 debut.

Elsewhere on the grid, Williams will be looking for a better result after two less than impressive races in Australia and China, as will Red Bull Racing, who still may not be in a position to challenge the front runners until they receive their upgraded Renault engines later this spring.

Image: Pirelli Motorsport / Twitter