Sebastian Vettel Wins The 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix Ahead Of Mercedes' Drivers
03:35, Apr 18, 2017
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Ferrari's Formula One renaissance raced forward on Sunday as the Italian team's Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix by 6.660 seconds over Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton.
In an effort to avoid waiting for too long, Hamilton slowed ahead of the pit entry and blocked Daniel Ricciardo, for which he was subsequently handed a five-second penalty.
Vettel charged from third on the grid to beat Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to victory thanks to a good start and some canny strategy from Ferrari, with the German driver feeling that his pace in the middle stint was the killer blow to Mercedes.
Vettel won in Australia, finished second to Hamilton in China and was then first again in Bahrain - a race he won with Red Bull in 2012 and 2013.
Vettel now leads the title race with 68 points ahead of Hamilton on 61. "But the early pit stop worked", said Vettel. "But I'm definitely a team player so I wouldn't say no to that (team order)".
"More importantly, however, we are now completely confident that our victory in Melbourne wasn't just a one-off and that we will be at the forefront of this world championship until the last".
"The pit lane was really my fault so apologies to my team", Hamilton said.
Alonso could be heard on the team radio complaining about the complete lack of power his vehicle had and eventually retired at the death of the race.
He added: "It was our mindset and racing philosophy until now that we have given them both equal opportunity". The third spot on the podium was occupied by the second Mercedes driver - Valtteri Bottas. "He was closing in and when I faced traffic I lost a lot of time, but when he faced it he lost time too".
Mercedes had not responded to Ferrari pitting Sebastian Vettel early from second place, but was moved to call in both its drivers under the safety vehicle.
Lewis Hamilton believes he could have executed a better game plan after having to settle for second place in Bahrain.
The safety auto appeared on track after 18-year-old Canadian newcomer Lance Stroll, suffering his third retirement in three races, turned into Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz as the Spaniard left the pits.
Grosjean started ninth in the 57-lap race around the 5.412-kilometer (3.363-mile), 15-turn track and held his position amid the always chaotic start, a lap-16 restart and two pit stops.
"I think it's going to be one of the closest ones (championships), if not the closest I've personally ever experienced and I'm looking forward to this fight, not only with Sebastian but the other guys as well who are still gonna be in amongst it. He said at a certain stage that it wasn't about his pace in the auto and then he was catching up in a brilliant way but we haven't seen the real pace".