But impressive though Vettel's race was, it was Hamilton who made the biggest strides in the race, coming from ninth on the grid to run in an nearly threatening third place by the end part of the race, including one overtake early on to despatch three cars in one go, after a safety auto to recover Daniel Ricciardo's retired vehicle. While the three tyres were swapped, the left-rear wheel was yet to be removed. The mechanic was immediately attended to by the medical team and was taken to the hospital, while Kimi stopped in the pit lane ultimately retiring from the race. With AP Photos.The Ferrari mechanic who was hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by Kimi Raikkonen's auto says he is "OK" following surgery.
Meanwhile, Hamilton, who recovered from ninth to third, pulled no punches in his damning assessment of Max Verstappen after branding the Red Bull driver a "d***head" following their second-lap collision. But, Bottas was quicker off the line and passed Kimi's Ferrari before turn 1.
Here are the best pictures of the action from the Bahrain Grand Prix.
There were also celebrations at Sauber, with Sweden's Marcus Ericsson finishing ninth for his first points since 2015 and the Swiss team's first of the season, but gloom at Williams whose drivers finished last.
Starting from second place, Kimi Raikkonen looked blazingly fast all weekend, having narrowly missed out on pole himself.
"They weren't getting any better".
Cigarini suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg in a botched second pit-stop in Sunday's (Apr 8) race.
Bottas stayed out for two more laps and changed to mediums. Alonso started in 13th place but quickly gained a few positions during the opening laps. The German was totally out-gunned for the last and most-critical part of the race and would have succumbed the lead with a few more laps been scheduled.
"Obviously my plan didn't work, but I tried". "Valtteri had a bit of a sniff but he ran out of laps".
Amid problems with the radio, Mercedes instructed Hamilton to push so that Vettel would come out behind him if Ferrari opted to make a second stop.
"Valtteri and Lewis are pushing very hard".
Bottas' hopes of claiming Mercedes' first win of the year grew as the Finn closed the gap between himself and Vettel. He closed in on Vettel but as they approached the braking zone he wasn't quite close enough to attempt a move without risking an accident.
Mercedes struggled to match Ferrari's pace in the heat at the Bahrain International circuit with the Scuderia locking out the front row of the grid.
While it was a fine case of damage limitation for Hamilton, he now trails Vettel by 17 points after two races and has not won in his past five.