SAKHIR, Bahrain, CMC – Reigning World champion Lewis Hamilton had to settle for third as German nemesis Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari stormed to his second straight win of the new Formula One season here yesterday.
Starting from ninth on the grid after being slapped with a five-place penalty, the 33-year-old Brit battled his way on to the podium, with a finish that allows him to keep tabs on Vettel in the early exchanges of the season.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas crossed the line in second after the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, which started second, failed to finish.
Though struggling with radio communication throughout, Hamilton said he was pleased with the finish especially after having to start so far back on the grid
“I started ninth, so third is not bad at all. It’s damage limitation,” said the Brit, a four-time World champion.
“I think there were some frustrating points during the race where they couldn’t hear me, so I had to choose particular points during which I could speak to them. So communication was really difficult.
“When you’re trying to catch Sebastian who was 25 seconds ahead, to know exactly what you need to do in order to not kill your tyres but make it so that you can catch him at the end, it’s difficult and if you’re not getting that feedback, it makes it kind of frustrating.”