Vettel beats Hamilton in tense Bahrain GP

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The explanation was that Bottas had too much tire pressure at the start and could not pull away from Vettel, and that he also lacked speed later in the race.

Fighting talk from Ferrari, at long last.

Vettel beat Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton after a 5 second time penalty saw the Briton lose ground and eventually hampered his chances of victory. The four-time champion was tasked with assisting the F1 tyre supplier with 2018 development work, a responsibility that will be shared by all teams over the course of the year. A demoralising drought for such a fiercely proud team, certainly, but this year promises to be different.

"We don't like that at all", said Wolff, when asked about the possibility of changing Mercedes' rules of engagement.

It was Vettel's second win of the season, his third in Bahrain and the 44th of his career. "I had some good racing with Sebastian after the restart but unfortunately it was just for a short moment".

"Ferrari did a great job". Up ahead, Vettel managed to steadily increase the gap over Bottas, gaining a lead of around six seconds by the time the race had reached the halfway mark.

Mercedes started off strong as Valtteri Bottas took his first Formula 1 pole going into the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was his 11th podium.

"I'm sure we'll find out something [to explain] why I struggled more than Lewis".

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fourth.

Vettel started third on the grid, but on the first lap itself on turn one managed to squeeze past Lewis Hamilton and eventually managed to jump pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas in the first round of pit stops after a safety vehicle period. "Losing points for the team is definitely painful".

Ferrari blinked first and pitted Vettel with Bottas, who led the opening phase of the race, slowing up the chasing pack.

The 19-year-old Verstappen climbed out and kicked the barriers in frustration. A lap later, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz crashed into Williams' Lance Stroll shortly after leaving the pits.

Mercedes never publicly declared either Hamilton or Rosberg as their No. 1 driver.

When the race began in earnest again on lap 17, Vettel brilliantly defended the corner twice to fend off Bottas. Bottas lost time in the pits, coming out behind Vettel.

Hamilton was catching the German on every lap but ran out of time and finished nearly seven seconds behind. The tyres were OK for the first couple of laps but very quickly, when the temperatures went up, it became very tricky.

"As a team, at least, we should have won but we didn't".

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