Highlights: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

By the halfway point, Vettel's lead was six seconds over Hamilton, who had just passed Bottas.

As Sunday's race was drawing to a close under floodlights, Hamilton was catching fast but ran out of time and finished nearly seven seconds behind. "I had a good feeling yesterday and after a couple of laps (today) I thought everything was making sense". Drama followed on lap 13 when Verstappen crashed out at Turn 4, apparently his brakes failed.

The marshals managed to deal with the stricken Red Bull without resorting to a Safety Car, but one lap later Carlos Sainz T-boned Lance Stroll at Turn 1 and the Safety Car was deployed to clear up the mess.

Both Mercedes drivers used the safety auto incident to pit for new tires, but Hamilton made the mistake of holding up Ricciardo.

The two Red Bulls challenged the top three cars of Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton early in the race, with race leader Bottas leading a five-car train as he struggled with incorrect tyre pressures. The incidents were coming fast, with 18-year-old Lance Stroll hit from the side on lap 13 by Carlos Sainz Jr. - forcing the safety vehicle to come out.

Bottas got away cleanly but crucially Hamilton was beaten for pace by Vettel, while Max Verstappen went from sixth to fourth after passing Raikkonen and Ricciardo. Given the end of race traffic, Hamilton was likely to move slower giving Vettel a chance to close the gap, not to mention the Brit still had 5s to serve. Hamilton led Bottas home to give Mercedes a double podium.

That was certainly evident at Mercedes twice ordered Bottas, who had started on pole but suffered from handling problems during the race, to get out of Hamilton's way as he did his level best to catch Vettel.

Meanwhile, Alonso retired one lap from the end. "I've never raced with less power in my life..." that was Alonso complaining over the radio.

Sebastian Vettel has taken out the Bahrain Grand Prix from Lewis Hamilton, with Australia's Daniel Ricciardo finishing in fifth.

Bottas also came out behind Vettel and continued to lose ground on the four-time world champion.

"But we went for the early pit stop, it worked fantastic, really good job".

The 2017 Formula One World Championship is shaping up to be one of the most keenly fought in recent years after Sebastian Vettel produced a commanding performance at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis was a bit of a threat at the end. Hamilton came back out a distant third behind both Vettel and Bottas, but now knew wherever he finished on-track would be his final classified position, even if he was unsure why the team had opted for softs instead of the faster super-soft tire.

Hamilton, starting second, found himself in the role of the hunter after a slow getaway allowed Vettel to storm past around turn one. With 10 laps to go, the gap stood at 12 seconds.

Vettel's win saw him break clear of Hamilton in the drivers' championship, the pair being tied after China, and open up a seven-point lead at the top of the standings.

Vettel then had to fend off a late-race charge from Hamilton, who was chasing him down from 20 seconds adrift after a final pitstop that included a five-second penalty for the Mercedes driver for slowing Daniel Ricciardo at the pit entry under safety auto conditions.

Related news: