Vettel holds off late Hamilton charge to win Bahrain GP

Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix is over and there's a new man leading the pack - to the delight of a former Mercedes driver.

In a congested pit lane, Hamilton was deemed by race stewards to have driven "unnecessarily slowly" in front of Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel's win lifted him to 68 points, with Hamilton second on 61. The German emerged on the podium doing a dance for The Bangles" "Walk Like an Egyptian' song. not quite factoring in that the race was held over 1,200 miles away in Bahrain.

Vettel was able to use DRS to move onto Bottas' tail, the Finn unable to break away and instead looking to manage his pace and back the field up. Vettel came out in 12th place, and on the next lap, Verstappen of Red Bull came over the radio and said that his team needed to do something, so they pitted him, it stated.

"I got hit from the side", the Williams rookie exclaimed.

A dejected Max Verstappen steps out of his Red Bull Racing vehicle after suffering brake failure in Sunday's race.

Vettel, however, was immediately much quicker on the fresher rubber but Carlos Sainz came together with Lance Stroll on lap 13 causing the safety auto to be deployed and Mercedes pitted both their drivers with the Finn taking the supersoft rubber. Hamilton was under investigation for holding Ricciardo at the pit entry, while trying to create space for Bottas to enter.

Vettel used the undercut, and benefited from a Safety Car period, to move into the lead, while Bottas was twice instructed to let team-mate Lewis Hamilton through, with the Briton on an alternative strategy.

McLaren was once a proud team like Ferrari is now, but with no points from three races it is a long way off from turning the corner. Stunning pace in the final stint helped the Briton reduce the gap to Vettel, but ultimately Hamilton ran out of laps and had to settle for second.

The four-time world champion might need to brush up on his geography skills though.

"The auto was a dream today ... the last half of the in-lap with the fireworks & the track lit up, I just thought I love what I do", the German added.

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) - Sebastian Vettel is back on top of the Formula One standings and his Ferrari team is bursting with ambition again.

With Hamilton gaining fast, Vettel came in for his second tire change on lap 34 and came out fourth behind Raikkonen.

Bottas admitted the instruction to concede second place was a tough one to take.

"People go, like, "you finished second, you should be happy".

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas finished third in his Mercedes, on a day when the Finn struggled.

Ricciardo bounced back from his tire woes on the restart to finish fifth, comfortably clear of Felipe Massa in P6.

Better days were had by both the Haas F1 Team - Romain Grosjean steered his way to eight place - and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg who bagged his first points finish of the season after coming home ninth. As I said, losing points for the team, particularly when you could have potentially won the race is painful, but it is what it is. Teammate Kevin Magnussen retired early on after starting last.

  • Lila Blake