Vettel thought Mercedes had strategic "checkmate" in Bahrain

Bahrain Grand Prix Circuit overview of what the Formula One drivers will be facing

Raikkonen's Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel claimed his second victory in as many grands prix after holding off a late surge from Valtteri Bottas, but his triumph will be bittersweet for the famous Italian team.

Both Red Bulls failed, with Max Verstappen retiring moments after Daniel Ricciardo, facilitating Hamilton's transition from ninth on the grid to the podium.

At that point Vettel thought Bottas would win the race, but he didn't let on over the pit-to-car radio.

Ferrari had been hit with a 5,000 euro ($6,100) fine Friday after Raikkonen left a pit stop during practice without one of his wheels being properly attached. Raikkonen was given the signal to leave the pits when only three of his tyres had been replaced. Not only was the left rear tyre not changed by the time the SF71H was ushered away, the confusion led to a mechanic being hit as the vehicle pulled away.

The remaining laps became a race against time. Raikkonen came in a lap later, with the Ferraris falling to P3 and P4 before leader Bottas stopped on lap 20. Behind them Fernando Alonso had made a superb start from 13th and passed Hamilton. The Dutch driver had done brilliantly to jump from 15th on the grid, and fought with Hamilton on the inside heading into turn one. Other drivers to have won their 200th race start include Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher, among others.

But Hamilton produced one of the moves of the race as he looked to move up the field. It was bravura stuff but Vettel was already 14 seconds clear up the road.

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With AP Photos.A Ferrari team mechanic was hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by Kimi Raikkonen's auto during a botched tire change at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Mercedes lack of pace had been attributed to the overheating of the softer compound tyres, so Bottas' switch to the medium compound was a counterbalance to this.

"I was not in control", he said afterwards. From starting just inside the top ten, Hamilton was now less than 10 seconds from the podium and under 20 from the race lead itself.

"The last five laps were really hard", Vettel said. As a effect, Ferrari were forced to switch strategy to see if Vettel could do the same on his much older and softer tyres.

A massive cheer went up in the grandstands when Vettel used his fresher tyres to catch and blast past Hamilton for the lead on lap 26. Hamilton, however, appeared to be having communication problems with his team and did to have the pace to put Vettel under pressure.

The German - like Hamilton, chasing a fifth world championship - saw the fast-finishing Bottas devour his lead in the closing laps but held on to win by 0.7 seconds despite badly deteriorated tyres.

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