Mercedes consider team orders to stop F1 threat of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel

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Getty Images

"I'm really enjoying it, the auto has been a pleasure".

The third race of the 2017 Formula One season saw a surprise pole position for Valtteri Bottas, but the Finnish driver ended up finishing third as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season.

"It is, of course, hugely satisfying to be back on the top step of the podium with Seb", said Marchionne. "That's how it is", Bottas, who joined Mercedes in January as the replacement for retired world champion Nico Rosberg, told reporters.

Verstappen asked his team to match that strategy and he came in on the next lap.

"My compliments not just to Seb for his achievements in Bahrain, but also to the whole team".

"Congratulations to Kimi too on a good race", he added.

"It's probably one of the toughest things you can hear as a racing driver but that's life".

A dejected Lewis Hamilton proclaimed he does not exist to finish second after a number of mistakes in Bahrain allowed Sebastian Vettel to steal the early march in this year's Championship fight.

"Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn't know where he was", Hamilton said. It's important as we start the race, to give them equal opportunity.

Mercedes has revealed that Valtteri Bottas' struggle for pace in the opening stint of the Bahrain Grand Prix was caused by a "perfect storm" of problems on the grid. "I just didn't have enough pace today and we need to find the reasons for that", he said. "I had a good feeling yesterday and after a couple of laps (today) I thought everything was making sense". Bottas came in first, which pushed back Hamilton's stop.

But moments later, the Dutchman's brakes failed and he drifted across the track and into the wall, his race over.

A decisive moment in the race came a lap later when the safety auto was deployed for a collision at Turn 1 between Williams' Canadian rookie Lance Stroll and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz.

The Mercedes team called in both Bottas and Hamilton and the latter slowed in the pit lane ahead of Ricciardo to avoid having to wait behind Bottas in the pits.

Hamilton, who incurred a five-second penalty for an infringement in the pit lane, said: It's been a challenging weekend.

After the safety auto, Vettel came out in the lead where he remained after the next round of pit stops, despite an epic fight back from Hamilton after serving his penalty.

Valtteri Bottas admits being asked to allow Lewis Hamilton past him in the Bahrain Grand Prix was "a hard thing to accept" but the right call from Mercedes.

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