Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has progressed seven points clear at the top of the Formula One standings after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix that saw Lewis Hamilton make a mistake when he intentionally held up Daniel Ricciardo in the pits; a move that saw him receiving a 5-second pit penalty.
Lewis Hamilton, who began the race level on points with Sebastian Vettel, finished second for Mercedes after a late pursuit following the 5-second penalty. Hamilton's Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas came third after leading from his first pole position.
The win was Vettel's second of the 2017 season after the four-times world champion won the opener in Australia. Hamilton, who tasted victory in China last weekend, crossed the finish line 6.6 seconds behind the German.
"It's a long year! I'm not really looking at that (the championship). I'm really enjoying the car. It's a pleasure. It was really good yesterday, but I was a bit down because the gap was so big, I think we could have been a bit closer. Something inside me told me that we have a good car, we can do well." said the winner of the 2017 F1 Bahrain GP.
Hamilton pursued Vettel all the way to the finish line but was eventually thwarted by mistake earlier in the race.
Hamilton, who had been so dominant in China, was amiable in defeat but pledged to fight back.
"The pit lane incident was really my fault so apologies to the team for losing the time there ... but I gave it everything I could. We will come back fighting," said, Hamilton.
2017 Bahrain Grand Prix Race ResultsBahrain International CircuitSakhir, Bahrain:
- Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari
- Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
- Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes
- Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari
- Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull
- Felipe Massa - Williams
- Sergio Perez - Force India
- Romain Grosjean - Haas
- Nico Hulkenberg - Renault
- Esteban Ocon - Force India
After Vettel's 44th career victory, the German leads the championship table with 68 points to Hamilton's 61, with Bottas now third on 38 from Raikkonen on 32, Verstappen on 25 and Ricciardo on 22.
The Silver Arrows still lead the constructors' title, with 109 points to Ferrari's 100, with Red Bull on 47 ahead of Force India on 17, Williams on 16, Toro Rosso on 12, Haas on 8 and Renault on 2.