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Bahrain Grand Prix: Vettel victorious, Hamilton hampered

Bahrain Grand Prix: Vettel victorious, Hamilton hampered

16/04/2017 at 17:40Updated 16/04/2017 at 20:56

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari won in Bahrain as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton picked up a five-second penalty for driving "unnecessarily slowly".

WHERE THE RACE WAS WON

Right at the end! What a spectacle. This was such an unpredictable race - Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz crashed out after the Toro Rosso closed in on the unsuspecting Williams in Turn 1 from the pit lane.

The safety car came out, and both Mercedes cars dived into the garage - but both endured slow stops, handing the lead to Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton then made it worse for himself for driving "unnecessarily slowly" in the pit entry, and incurring a five-second penalty.

However, he also made it an interesting denouement, lapping quicker than race-leader Vettel for the final dozen laps and making it a real nail-biter.

HAMILTON-WATCH

Three stars out of five. Not a great start to the race, losing second place to Vettel right from the off.

He did better on his tyres than his team-mate, though, and was waved through to chase the Ferrari midway. Then he had to serve his five-second penalty, which pretty much put paid to any chance of winning the race - although he did his best to make it as close as possible in the closing laps.

PIT RADIO EXCHANGE OF THE DAY

"Do whatever you want, mate." Fernando Alonso is not a man with significant reserves of patience.

MOVE OF THE RACE

Max Verstappen's lack of fear helped him move right up at the start, slipping past his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to begin closing down the Mercedes duo. (Good to get a bit of his driving flair on display, though - a brake failure saw him crash out on Lap 13.)

BEST OVERTAKE

Credit to Daniel Ricciardo, slipping past Felipe Massa from a long way back at Turn 1 on Lap 29.

TACTICAL MASTERSTROKE

Vettel's switch to softs served him well - and Ferrari's masterful negotiation of the safety car spell and the yellow flags helped him out too.

UNSUNG HERO

Sergio Perez started in 18th place - by race end he was seventh. Good going from the Force India team, who are now fourth in the constructors' championship.

FACEPALM OF THE WEEKEND

Oh, McLaren. It was left to Fernando Alonso to break the news to the world that Stoffel Vandoorne wouldn't start the race due to a - yes, you guessed it - power unit issue.

Vandoorne was tight-lipped until the final lap of the race, when he took to Twitter to fire some shady shots.

Later on, the Spaniard too was suffering, telling his team over the radio: "I have NEVER raced with less power in my life." Still, he made it as far as two laps to go before the car finally gave up the ghost.

STAR-SPOTTING

Always some famous faces in Bahrain. Naomi Campbell was striding down the pit lane.

And it was a return to F1 for former supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

DJ Steve Aoki had a chat during qualifying with Mercedes' Niki Lauda.

And Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason popped in to see the Ferrari team.

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