Sebastian Vettel has taken victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix, holding off Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas. Vettel led the race from the very first lap, and altered his strategy to beat the Silver Arrows in a straight fight.
Vettel started the race on the super soft tyres, originally planning to do a two-stop strategy. However, after Mercedes switched to the medium tyre on a one-stop strategy, Ferrari altered its plans and kept Vettel out on soft tyres to the end.
While Ferrari will celebrate its second consecutive victory in the 2018 season, there will be deep concern for a member of its pit-crew. After Kimi Raikkonen came in for a second pit-stop, he was released too early and ran over the leg of a pit-crew member. Raikkonen was forced to retire on the spot.
Bottas pitted two laps later than Vettel and stuck on the medium tyre with the clear intent of getting to the end of the race. The Finn displayed impressive pace, and didn't allow Vettel to streak away, who was on a much softer compound.
In the final ten laps of the race, Vettel struggled on his heavily worn yellow-walled soft tyres, which saw Bottas close in on the German. Despite applying heavy pressure in the final couple of laps, the Mercedes driver couldn't find a way past the Ferrari and had to settle for second.
Lewis Hamilton recovered well to finish in third place, after lining up in ninth place on the grid. Hamilton was struck with a five-place grid penalty on Friday evening after Mercedes was forced to change his gearbox.
There was heartbreak for Red Bull, who suffered from its first double retirement since the Korean Grand Prix in 2010. Max Verstappen was in battle with Hamilton in the early stages of the race, but contact at Turn 1 saw him get a puncture and retire from the race.
Moments later, Daniel Ricciardo pulled over to the side of the track after his car suddenly switched off. Both Red Bulls were out before the start of lap 4, leaving the crew to pack up early for China next weekend.
Honda recorded its best ever result in the hybrid era as Pierre Gasly drove a very impressive race to finish fourth It is the Frenchman's first top ten finish in Formula 1, who collected valuable points for the Red Bull junior team.
After missing out on a strong result in Australia, Kevin Magnussen crossed the line in fifth place for Haas. He headed Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault, who picked up his second consecutive top-ten finish.
McLaren was left red-faced on Saturday after a woeful qualifying saw both cars drop out in Q2, and line up in P13 and P14. However, two solid drives from Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne saw the papaya cars come home in seventh and eighth.
For the first time in 50 races, Marcus Ericsson scored points in Formula 1, collecting two after crossing the line in ninth. He finished ahead of Esteban Ocon, who made a late move on Carlos Sainz to pick up the final point on offer.
Vettel now moves further ahead in the championship standings, and now holds a 17 point lead over Hamilton in the championship. Ferrari too retains the top spot in the constructor's standings, as McLaren jump Red Bull for third.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing