Lewis Hamilton wants Mercedes pace improvement after Bahrain


Sebastian Vettel took a large lead in the 2017 Formula 1 Driver's Championship after winning Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix over Mercedes-AMG Petronas' Lewis Hamilton. Third place in the championship standings now rests with the other Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas on 38 points.

For his MercedesAMG teammate there was also disappointment, as he was unable to convert his 1st F1 pole into a 1st win. When the five red lights went out, it was the Finnish driver who got off to a flawless start, pulling away from the chasing pack.

While Hamilton, and Mercedes, were working on 2017, Vettel was already testing the 2018 tyres on Tuesday before returning to the present rubber on Wednesday. Ferrari then had Vettel pit early on to put him on the super soft tires which ended up being the strong choice in the long run.

Both Mercedes drivers used the safety auto incident to pit for new tires, but Hamilton held up Ricciardo.

When Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jr. ended up making contact with each other, it was the Mercedes drivers who pitted.

Turvey returned to the track for the concluding hour and completed a further 15 laps, but he was almost four seconds adrift of Hamilton's best lap and slowest of all the 12 times set. "I would have had to defend hard and that could have meant some risky situations, but the team thought (Hamilton) had the chance to catch Sebastian, and we tried it", Bottas said. For this breach, Hamilton was given a five-second penalty.

"It was just over-steering all through the race, that's why the pace was slow", Bottas lamented.

The groundwork for a title challenge laid past year is bearing fruit. Meanwhile, Hamilton moved up to third place.

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Sebastian Vettel celebrated Lewis Hamilton's lucky number on Sunday, the Ferrari driver taking his 44th Formula One victory to go top of the standings while the man in vehicle 44 kicked himself for costly errors.

Here, with the help of Opta, we take a look at some of the standout stats following the Bahrain GP.

Bottas was struggling by now, the tyres on his Mercedes overheating.

Hamilton accepted it was his mistake although he appeared confused as to why he had been penalised.

Hamilton admitted post-race he was in the wrong. When the British driver finally pitted, his vehicle was also shod with soft tyres, and he came out of the pitlane in third place.

Bottas was a lonely and disappointing third, ahead of fast-finishing Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

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.

Williams driver Felipe Massa finished an impressive sixth, followed by Sergio Perez in the Force India, Romain Grosjean for Haas, Nico Hulkenberg scoring Renault's first points of the year, and Esteban Ocon rounding out the top 10.