Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

F1 2017: Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain GP

Daniel Ricciardo believes Lewis Hamilton had alternative options to a controversial move which delayed the Australian at the Bahrain Grand Prix, won by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton, who incurred a five-second penalty for an infringement in the pit lane, said: It's been a challenging weekend. But with the five-second penalty, that made it twice as hard than it was already going to be.

"It is great to know we have a strong vehicle and be able to fight for wins", the four-time champion said.

The two teams had been very evenly matched in race pace but Ferrari's aggressive pit strategy gave Vettel the advantage, and when Hamilton pitted under the safety auto he was too slow into the pit entry and took a five-second penalty. Vettel went for his second pit stop on lap 33, thus putting Hamilton into the first position.

That saw Vettel in the lead, with Bottas and Hamilton behind, and Vettel pulled away, further helped down the line by Hamilton's penalty.

"Ferrari did a great job". "I had a good feeling yesterday and after a couple of laps (today) I thought everything was making sense".

Bahrain was Bottas' first career pole position, whereas Hamilton has 63 and could sail past Schumacher's record of 68 later in the year. Firstly when the German, starting third on the grid, blasted out of his blocks and made up the nine-metre difference to Hamilton by the time the title protagonists reached turn one.

But despite arguments over who was actually quickest, it's clear Vettel has the measure of Hamilton, and that Bottas and Raikkonen are fighting for third and fourth places at the moment.

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas finished third in his Mercedes, on a day when the Finn struggled for race pace and team-mate Hamilton thrived.

In lap 14, a collision between the cars of Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz prompted the safety auto to come out, but the Mercedes cars could not get back on track right away. "I don't know what to say". He seemed to have a bit more pace and the gap between me and Sebastian was getting bigger and Lewis was putting pressure on me behind.

It was another shocking weekend for McLaren whose star driver Fernando Alonso had to retire due to auto trouble.

"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", he added. “Losing points for the team is definitely painful.”. He was not happy with his McLaren car's performance, though, saying "I've never raced with less power in my life" over the radio.

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