Plenty for Mercedes to consider at F1 Bahrain test

F1 Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix

F1 Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix

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.

“The pit lane was really my fault so apologies to my team, ” Hamilton said. "I tried my hardest to catch up but it was a long old way to go", Hamilton said. "Then you see what we did in the race, we made the call, we made the call twice, because we felt it was the only possibility of winning the race".

Knowing he would have to queue behind his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the first round of stops, Hamilton crawled into the pit lane, slowing down to just 35mph, in a ploy to prevent Daniel Ricciardo from getting past.

Mercedes were forced to stack their cars as they pitted and Lewis Hamilton blocked Ricciardo into the pit entry, earning himself a five-second penalty that would cruel his chances of taking victory despite his superior race pace.

Amidst the chaos, Mercedes made Hamilton swap places with Valterri who was ahead of him in the beginning to let him hunt Vettel, however the unsuccessful attempt led to Valterri losing a position a couple of times to Hamilton.

Ultimately, Vettel crossed the line six seconds clear of Hamilton but the Mercedes appeared to hold a strong pace advantage over the Ferrari in the final segment of the race. “But for now the team has done a really, really great job.”.

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Under the safety vehicle, I just misjudged it myself the situation; that was my fault. "I didn't find any words", he said. Firstly when the German, starting third on the grid, blasted out of his blocks and made up the nine-metre difference to Hamilton by the time the title protagonists reached turn one. "I know that gap can not come from driving, so I'm sure we'll find some reason for why I struggled more than Lewis".

"We would probably have taken a different decision if Valtteri had run at the front, with the problem on the tyres, and Lewis would have been second, but with Vettel, between them, there was nothing we could have done". "Ferrari had the right pit stops at the right time, did everything right and deserved to win".

In Bahrain, the Briton recognised he could have put himself in a much better position to win. Personally, it is tough for me, but that's life.

"The auto was a dream today ... the last half of the in-lap with the fireworks & the track lit up, I just thought I love what I do", the German added. “Losing points for the team is definitely painful.”.

"As a team, at least, we should have won but we didn't".

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