Mercedes consider team orders to stop F1 threat of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel

But, regardless of how much he learns in Alabama, nothing will prepare him for what he'll get at Indianapolis Motor Speedway's mighty superspeedway, even if he has raced on its road course (best result: second to McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2007).

The third race of the 2017 Formula One season saw a surprise pole position for Valtteri Bottas, but the Finnish driver ended up finishing third as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season.

Bahrain was Bottas's first career pole position, whereas Hamilton has 63 and could sail past Schumacher's record of 68 later in the year.

After the safety auto, Vettel came out in the lead where he remained after the next round of pit stops, despite an epic fight back from Hamilton after serving his penalty.

Hamilton will hand over to team-mate Valtteri Bottas for the second day of the test on Wednesday and switches his attention to the Russian Grand Prix at the end of the month, although tyres should have less of an impact there as they did in Bahrain.

Vettel has now won two of three races and is seven points clear of Hamilton.

"We finally have a competitive auto to count on and it is important to recognise the speed with which we implemented the developments", Marchionne said. "And then in the second and third stint still the pace wasn't there and the auto didn't feel as it did yesterday, so we'll have to find out what the problem was".

Hamilton, who had been so dominant in China last weekend was gracious in defeat but vowed to fight back.

"It was definitely costly - the pit lane incident", said Hamilton. "We will come back fighting".

Previous year was the first, and to date only, no-start of Vettel's Formula One career, with the auto breaking down on the formation lap at the desert circuit, but Sunday proved an evening to savour. Bottas struggled with oversteer at the start of the race, deemed to be due to low front tire pressure.

Further down the field it was a day of frustration. "I understand the team completely on that".

"Three-hundred meters behind me and they overtake me on the straight", Alonso told his team over the radio midway through the race. I think the first race was still a high, the second race was still a high and then this one was a little bit of a dip.

Romain Grosjean battled through to take eighth for Haas ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Renault and Esteban Ocon in the second Force India.

Though Ferrari leads by just three points in the constructors' championship, the issue is complicated by the fact Hamilton and Bottas are already separated by 23 in the drivers'.

  • Arturo Norris