Vettel on top in Bahrain, Hamilton penalised
MANAMA – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel forged seven points clear at the top of the Formula One standings on Sunday after winning a Bahrain Grand Prix thriller that saw Lewis Hamilton penalised for underhand tactics.
Hamilton, who had started the floodlit race level on points with the German, took second place for Mercedes after staging a late chase following the five-second penalty for driving deliberately slowly into the pits.
Hamilton’s Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas was third after leading from his first pole position, struggling with his tyres and twice respecting team orders to allow the faster Briton through.
The victory was Vettel’s second of the season after the four-time world champion won the opener in Australia. Hamilton, who won in China last weekend, crossed the finish line 6.6 seconds behind.
Vettel’s 44th win lifted him to 68 points, with Hamilton second on 61 and the championship looking ever more likely to be an evenly matched battle between the two with Ferrari and Mercedes a cut above the rest. (Reuters)