Vettel victories could force a Mercedes rethink


"It is, of course, hugely satisfying to be back on the top step of the podium", Sergio Marchionne said.

Fighting talk from Ferrari, at long last. A demoralising drought for such a fiercely proud team, certainly, but this year promises to be different.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff feels there is little between his team and Ferrari this season after Sebastian Vettel's victory in Bahrain.

"All this is the fruit of super work at the track and in Maranello, so my compliments not just to Seb for his achievements in Bahrain, but also to the whole team". He said, "The vehicle was like a dream to drive today". And though the Mercedes tried to get past the Ferrari, Vettel was having none of it.

On that occasion, Hamilton would edge Rosberg in a thrilling wheel-to-wheel fight where they somehow managed to avoid colliding with each other, though later incidents between the two that did result in contact eventually led Mercedes to step in and warn the drivers about their conduct.

"That is the interesting question that we need to analyse at the moment and I don't want to pre-empt what the consequences will be, or if there will be consequences".

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fourth.

However, Vettel was able to overtake Hamilton before the first turn and held strong. I don't know what to say, but that's not why we exist.

Pit penalty and a late charge from Lewis Hamilton who finished second didn't damper Ferrari's victory chances a bit with Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas finishing third. "Losing points for the team is definitely painful".

Vettel acknowledges the crowd after winning the race.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen had already crashed out by then, blaming brake failure after he trekked across the gravel into the tyre barrier on lap 12. Sainz was emerging from a pit stop and his Toro Rosso vehicle hit Stroll's Williams auto from the side on Lap 13, forcing both out of the race.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that it was hard to make a call on team orders that favored Lewis Hamilton only three races into the new season. Bottas and Hamilton had their pit-stops in the 14th lap.

After the safety auto, Vettel came out in the lead where he remained after the next round of pit stops, despite an epic fight back from Hamilton after serving his penalty. Vettel pitted soon after, while Hamilton led the race. Bottas had 28.368 (6.2) seconds in the pit-lane while Hamilton had a 30.687 (6.4) seconds pit lane.

Meanwhile, there was more misery for McLaren.

It's going to be in all the highlight reels from here, so let's hear it again: "I've never raced with less power in my life".