Hamilton takes no solace in second place

The three-time world champion said the penalty was a setback, but that his Mercedes may not have been fast enough to overhaul the triumphant Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. A demoralising drought for such a fiercely proud team, certainly, but this year promises to be different.

"Today was tricky with it being so hot and very gusty but we still managed to get through plenty of work", said Hamilton.

It was Vettel's second win of the season, his third in Bahrain and the 44th of his career.

"The last half of the in-lap (after the finish) when all the fireworks were there and track was lit up, it was "I just love what I do".

"They did a great job and we have to make improvements".

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clocked the quickest time during the opening day of the first in-season test in Bahrain on Tuesday. It was his 11th podium.

Bottas was first told to move aside for Hamilton on lap 25 as Vettel built a six-second lead and again with 10 laps remaining. Here, Hamilton made a mistake of driving too slowly and was given a 5.0-second penalty for hindering Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton apologised to Mercedes for damaging his own chances by earning a five-second penalty for deliberately slowing Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo as they pitted for fresh tyres under a safety auto early in the race.

Lewis Hamilton has apologised to his Mercedes team following an error in the pit lane which cost him a chance to win the Bahrain Grand Prix this afternoon. "Losing points for the team is definitely painful".

27-year-old Bottas struggled during his first stint after a generator problem on the grid meant that the Mercedes mechanics could not bleed the car's tyres to the right air pressure, leaving Bottas with an unbalanced set-up that affected the levels of grip he had until his first pit stop. "So I think that's going to be a close one for the next couple of races".

On the next lap Lance Stroll in his Williams and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz came together to bring out the safety auto and start a mad dash for the pits.

The safety vehicle prompted many cars to pit including the two Mercedes who chose to stack their drivers. Hamilton lost just under five seconds behind his team-mate while the team vacillated over ordering Bottas to let the three-time world champion past.

Hamilton recovered from an early stoppage in the W08 to post a time of 1:31.358 on the Soft tyre, finishing 0.626s clear of Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi, completing 97 laps. "The factory has come alive and hopefully the success in the last few races helps us".

Related news