Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix for Ferrari

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas finished in third position, with Kimi Raikkonen crossing the line in fourth.

There was some amount of chaos behind him though, with Vettel getting the jump on Hamilton, moving into second place.

Unfortunately he slowed too much, holding up the Red Bull Racing of Daniel Ricciardo, and this would prove costly as he was penalised with a five-second time penalty by the race stewards. Even once DRS was enabled, it wasn't enough for anyone in the lead pack to get close enough to complete a pass. Indeed the top five were covered by just three seconds.

Sebastian Vettel has taken out the Bahrain Grand Prix from Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen had already crashed out by then, blaming brake failure after he trekked across the gravel into the tyre barrier on lap 12.

On the next lap Lance Stroll in his Williams and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz came together to bring out the safety auto and start a mad dash for the pits.

Mercedes made a decision to pit both its drivers under the safety vehicle. "We will pushard together, keep fighting", said Hamilton, who added that the penalty was "his fault".

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said such orders were "a call you don't like to make", with the team's two drivers officially assured of equal terms and treatment despite their track records. This one is going to run all the way to the end of the season.

"Then the safety auto came out, we put the softs on and that tyre was just not happening for us today".

"Today, I lost position at the start". The Brit suffered a 5s penalty which ultimately cost him a P1 finish despite the brilliant strategy by the team.

Hamilton had missed out on a seventh successive pole on Saturday, with Bottas beating him to it. Within just six laps he had caught and overtaken Bottas - diving underneath his team-mate at the final corner.

It came in just four words late in the race from Valtteri Bottas' race engineer Tony Ross, who said simply over the team radio: "Please let Lewis go". Surely, Hamilton could not do the unthinkable with Vettel almost 14 seconds ahead?

It was yet another frustrating day for former world champion Fernando Alonso in his McLaren. "Lewis was a threat towards the end and with the traffic you never know". "It is a long year".

That was served at Hamilton's second stop later in the race, when the mechanics had to wait five seconds before they could touch his auto.

When asked about his increasingly-composed demeanor in defeat, Hamilton replied: "Of course the disappointment is there. Losing points for a team when we could have won the race is painful but it is what is". Bottas settled for P2 after a tight squeeze while Hamilton passed Ricciardo for third during that shebang. I think the race in Australia was still a high, China was a high - this one was a bit of a dip - so I have to bring it back to the high level at the next race.

  • Julie Sanders