Hamilton Takes No Solace In Second Place

A decisive moment in the race came a lap later when the safety auto was deployed for a collision at Turn 1 between Williams' Canadian rookie Lance Stroll and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz.

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who incurred a penalty that ensured he finished second behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the Bahrain Grand Prix, has issued an apology to his Mercedes team, saying it was a complete "misjudgment" from him.

"If you look at 20 races previous year you could say five or maybe more, there's a handful that weren't ideal but then others were awesome". It's important as we start the race, to give them equal opportunity.

"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".

Raikkonen is yet to secure a podium in 2017, but Marchionne had warm words, regardless, for the Finn. "But for now the team has done a really, really great job", Vettel said. "I just wish with these cars we could follow closer so we could have done more together", he said. Exclusively my fault. Then you get the time lost in the pit lane.

Ferrari are also expected to challenge Mercedes for constructors' championship this season after years of domination by the Germany-based team. The race stewards later deemed Hamilton to have deliberately hindered Ricciardo's way into the pits, which earned him a 5 second penalty. "It was on the last half of the out lap when all the fireworks were going off that I was like "I love what I do", he said.

"But at a certain stage you have to decide - are you losing the race or are you making a call that is not a nice one?"

The incidents were coming fast, with 18-year-old Lance Stroll hit from the side on lap 13 by Carlos Sainz Jr. and this forced the safety auto to come out.

Hamilton and Bottas rounded out the podium for Mercedes with the pole victor finishing 20 seconds down on Vettel thus failing to convert his maiden F1 pole into a win.

Vettel and indeed his Ferrari team got every decision right on Sunday.

Most of the drivers made a minimum of three stops in 2016 but, in a very short space of time this time around, they only headed into the pits twice. However, Vettel was able to overtake Hamilton before the first turn and held strong.

Mercedes were forced to stack their cars as they pitted and Lewis Hamilton blocked Ricciardo into the pit entry, earning himself a five-second penalty that would cruel his chances of taking victory despite his superior race pace.

Lewis Hamilton finished second behind Vettel with Valtteri Bottas in third.

"It's small percentages now", he said of the difference between success and second.

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