Vettel marks 200th race with thrilling Bahrain win

Ferrari mechanic: Lewis Hamilton sends emotional message after Kimi Raikkonen incident

Ferrari mechanic: Lewis Hamilton sends emotional message after Kimi Raikkonen incident

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel held on by the skin of his teeth to win a tense Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix in his 200th race start on Sunday.

"Fortunately he ran out of laps", continued four-time world champion Vettel, referring to Bottas' challenge, before adding: "I'm really happy".

After a somewhat fortuitous fifth place finish in Melbourne, following some key retirements, Alonso proclaimed, "now we can fight" on the team radio.

Sebastian Vettel scored his 49th career victory. I had to nurse the tyres.

With 10 laps to go Vettel told the team radio he had "everything under control", but quipped during a podium interview: "That was a lie!"

"I don't know what shape he is in", Raikkonen, dubbed the "Ice Man" for his taciturn nature, told reporters immediately afterwards.

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Hamilton had some damage limition to do in the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekened after he was handed a five-place grid penalty when Mercedes were forced to change his gear box.

"I don't believe in all those things", he said before turning toward the present.

Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne gave McLaren, now with Renault engines, a second successive double points finish in seventh and eighth respectively to lift the team to third overall.

Ricciardo was out of the race, but at least the virtual safety auto his retirement triggered helped Verstappen limp back to pit lane and rejoin the race on new tyres.

Lewis Hamilton took third place after starting ninth.

From 15th on the grid, the Red Bull driver had reached the top ten, but his luck ended when he banged wheels with Hamilton and punctured his left rear tyre.As the Dutchman idled back to the pits, his Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo slowed and stopped at the side of the track. He pulled over on the side of the track because of an electrical failure, prompting the safety vehicle to come out.

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But with Mercedes leaning towards a one-stopper and Ferrari seeming to be two-stopping, the playing field was a lot more even than it looked.

Vettel pitted after 19 laps, passing the lead to Bottas, and rejoining fourth.

Ferrari had been hit with a 5,000 euro ($6,100) advantageous Friday after Raikkonen left a pit cease throughout observe with out one in every of his wheels being correctly hooked up.

Finland's Valtteri Bottas finished second for Mercedes, a mere 0.699 seconds behind after chasing down Vettel over the closing laps, while reigning champion Lewis Hamilton was third.

Raikkonen exited the race on lap 35 after he was released from his pit box too soon, knocking over a mechanic on the left-rear of the auto and leaving him stranded with only three tyres changed.

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