Lewis Hamilton heads first F1 test day in Bahrain

F1 Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton said finishing second at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix was more painful than his second place finish in Australia at the start of the season.

Mercedes' pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas struggled for pace with a tyre pressure issue on Sunday while it is accepted Ferrari have a general advantage in high temperatures - where the relationship between vehicle and tyre alters.

When Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jr. ended up making contact with each other, it was the Mercedes drivers who pitted.

"I wouldn't call it a success because losing two places from the starting position is not good".

"It was a great team effort today and I felt like we are quick".

Bottas replaced Rosberg at Mercedes after the German driver stunned F1 by announcing he was retiring just days after snatching the world title away from Hamilton.

"I genuinely thought we had a chance to win", Ricciardo said.

It was Vettel's second win of the season, his third in Bahrain and the 44th of his career. "But the five-second penalty made that twice as hard".

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Hamilton then showed some good pace as he again overtook Bottas, and eventually managed to cut Vettel's lead from 19 seconds to 5.8 seconds by lap 54.

Ferrari are also expected to challenge Mercedes for constructors' championship this season after years of domination by the Germany-based team.

Hamilton was hit with a five-second time penalty for impeding Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane and this saw Mercedes change its strategy and keep its star driver out for longer before making a final stop which clearly meant that Hamilton would go after Vettel in the closing laps of the race. But with five laps to go, Vettel stabilised the margin, and in the end was a comfortable victor with more than six seconds to spare. Bottas came in first, which pushed back Hamilton's stop. Wolff thinks the problems masked the true pace of the world champions, who had locked out the front row of the grid by 0.4s on Saturday.

Turvey returned to the track for the concluding hour and completed a further 15 laps, but he was almost four seconds adrift of Hamilton's best lap and slowest of all the 12 times set.

Felipe Massa finished sixth for Williams, a well-received Easter Sunday birthday gift for team boss Sir Frank Williams who is 75, with Sergio Perez taking seventh for Force India.

"I never raced with less power in my life", the Spaniard told his team.

"Our focus was on advancing our understanding of the tyres and also the rear of the vehicle so that we can improve our long runs".

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