17 Apr 2017

Vettel wins Bahrain GP, Hamilton 2nd

8:37 am on 17 April 2017

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix to go seven points clear at the top of the Formula One standings this morning.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates Australian F1 Grand Prix win 2017.

Sebastian Vettel in celebration mode. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton staged a late charge to finish second after picking up a time penalty.

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

While Vettel was on song from the beginning, passing Hamilton into the opening turn as the Brit bogged down on the start it was a case of the German's team making the call to pit early that gave him the lead.

Vettel, who was held up behind Bottas early on was the first of the major players to pit and when Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen suffered rear brake failure on the 12th lap and crashed.

On the next lap Lance Stroll in his Williams and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz came together to bring out the safety car and start a mad dash for the pits.

Mercedes were forced to stack their cars as they pitted and Lewis Hamilton blocked Ricciardo into the pit entry, earning himself a five-second penalty that would cruel his chances of taking victory despite his superior race pace.

Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth in his Ferrari, while Felipe Massa was sixth in his WIlliams.

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

Alonso could be heard on the team radio complaining about the complete lack of power his car had and eventually retired at the death of the race.