Last year's polesitter Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes AMG F1 was third quickest, just 0.023 seconds slower than his Finnish compatriot while defending champion Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest just under 0.1 seconds slower than Bottas.
"But what can I do?"
The Red Bull driver set a time quick enough to get him through to Q2 but was unable to continue.
The race stewards said they felt Ferrari had done all they could to minimise the risk of the wheel coming off the auto.
"It's getting better and today was quite nice, the auto came alive". "It's going to be a close race".
Although there was little the Silver Arrows could have done about the circumstances that allowed Vettel to take the initiative two weeks ago, not converting pole position into a win would have stung Hamilton.
Hamilton said the incident showed "it won't be easy" to win another title but he doesn't expect the true strength of the cars to be revealed until later in the season.
"But I will give it all I can". I'll try and eke out every last bit of power and strength from this auto.
Vettel's problems allowed the Red Bulls to leap into second and third places, Verstappen 0.525secs behind Raikkonen and just 0.059secs quicker than Ricciardo.
New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley complained about damage to his left front wing and soon find out why: he had hit a bird. Verstappen took a pillion ride back to the pits on a scooter.
The second session was halted briefly after a cable was ripped up from underneath the start/finish line, and resumed after officials cut loose the wire.
Out with him went Grosjean, Swede Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber, Russian Sergey Sirotkin and his Williams team-mate Canadian teenager Lance Stroll, said the report.
Lewis Hamilton produced the fourth fastest time at the floodlit circuit in Sakhir but the Mercedes world champion will start from ninth on the grid after picking up a five-place penalty for gearbox change.
It was an impressive performance by Gasly, made more interesting by the fact that Toro Rosso is running with the Honda engine McLaren unceremoniously dumped for 2018.
Kevin Magnussen proved the Haas does have raw pace by managing to put his Haas into seventh, Esteban Ocon managed to split the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr to round off the top 10.
After a week off following the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 is back in action this weekend in the Arabian Gulf for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.