Sebastian Vettel took the win and the lead in the Formula One world championship in Bahrain after a tense tactical race in which his Ferrari team called their aggressive strategy with aplomb to ensure the best his Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton could manage was second.
Vettel drove a composed and professional drive to take the win but the British driver compromised his own effort, having been given a penalty for slowing on entry to the pit lane.
Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who had started from his first pole position, took third place, with the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.
Mercedes’ Hamilton was penalised five seconds for driving slowly on pit entry to hold up Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Serving it at his second and final pit stop, Hamilton rejoined in third place.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton by so he could chase Vettel, but 12 seconds in nine laps was too big a task and he took second.
Vettel’s win gives him a seven-point lead over Hamilton in the championship.
“It was a really great day. It was the last half of the out lap when all the fireworks were going off I was like: ‘I love what I do’.
“It was a great team effort today and I felt like we are quick. I tried to put Valtteri under pressure. But the early pit stop worked,” Vettel