Hamilton takes no solace in second place

Renault's mischievously tweeted'Hammertime following Hamilton's confirmed penalty

Vettel took the checkered flag easily at the Bahrain International Circuit, almost seven seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton to claim his second win of the season and the outright lead in the F1 Drivers' Championship.

With two wins from the opening three races of the season, Vettel is pitted in a championship battle with Lewis Hamilton, who finished above his Mercedes team-mate and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas for second, but was unable to chase down the race victor despite a fast-finishing strategy.

Hamilton's new Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third, after starting from his maiden pole position, ahead of compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari and fifth-placed Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

After taking the penalty he had to gain 19 seconds on Vettel in the final 16 laps to win the race, but the target was out of reach. Vettel's wining margin was 6.6sec but the error cost Hamilton any chance to challenge him for the win.

Bottas made a clean start but Hamilton was beaten for pace by Vettel, who overtook him heading into the first corner.

"Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn't know where he was", Hamilton said.

The three-time world champion finished 6.6 seconds behind victor Sebastian Vettel at the Sakhir Circuit, thanks largely to a five-second time penalty for driving "unnecessarily slowly and erratically" in the pit lane as he tried to prevent Daniel Ricciardo from getting past. The vehicle was really fantastic to drive and I could control the race in the end.

"When I heard the call initially, for me it made sense". "The factory has come alive and hopefully the success in the last few races helps us". "Losing points for the team is definitely painful".

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"But something inside me told me we had a good auto and we can do well so right from the first lap I felt the vehicle was there and the Easter hunt was on".

The safety auto appeared on track after 18-year-old Canadian newcomer Lance Stroll, suffering his third retirement in three races, turned into Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz as the Spaniard left the pits.

Max Verstappen, who started in sixth, was running well until his Red Bull inexplicably had a brake failure shortly after the teenager had pitted on lap 12.

Hamilton came in with 15 laps left - and took his time penalty. Hamilton slowed as he entered the pits, seemingly to back Ricciardo up as he waited for Bottas to clear the Mercedes pit box, but the stewards took a dim view.

Hamilton chased Vettel all the way to the end but was ultimately hampered by a mistake earlier in the race.

"It's the second time I've double stacked and lost out", Hamilton said.

It was yet another frustrating day for former world champion Fernando Alonso in his McLaren.

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