Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel won for the second time in as many races Sunday but the Italian team's victory was overshadowed after one of its mechanics suffered a broken leg when he was hit by Kimi Raikkonen's vehicle during a pit stop at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vettel's win pushed him up to 50 points in the drivers' standings, 17 ahead of Hamilton, with Bottas third on 22 points.
Vettel whooped with joy as he crossed the finish line, although his team's celebrations were more low-key than usual following the mechanic's hospitalization.
"The last five laps were really hard", Vettel said.
"Pace wise it has been good this weekend but I wanted to win so we can not be fully satisfied". I wasn't able to get any more from the new tyres at the end and the Ferraris were really the quickest.
Hamilton struggled for pace all day and, after being hit with a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, the Brit will begin back on the fifth row on Sunday. "The goal is damage limitation".
"I started ninth so third is not bad at all", Hamilton said.
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They weren't going to let that wonder of imagination go to waste, so have continued the story today. "That's what I'm here for". I believe that he'll bring a great deal to the team at particular times, but I've got to make the decisions.
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The mechanic was taken away on a stretcher and is being examined at the time of writing.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth on Saturday but his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen managed only 15th after crashing in Q1.
Hamilton expertly jumped up three places, passing Sebastian Ocon (Force India), Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Nico Hulkenberg (Renault). Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +6.512 4. A rear wheel was not fitted properly and, in his haste to get back into the race, Raikkonen's vehicle hit a team mechanic. A Virtual Safety Car was deployed. By not taking on fuel, a pit stop could take as long as two seconds, so tire changers need to be quick.
Raikkonen then made a second stop that threatened to inject a strategic variable into the lead fight but ended up removing him from the picture.
Bottas had to settle for second place, while Lewis Hamilton completed the podium in third, despite starting from ninth on the grid. "Our plan worked but just, Bottas had a bit of a sniff but ran out of laps", he said. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.166s 4.
Vettel, last year's championship runner-up, has a golden chance to extend his overall lead. Hamilton then pitted, also for mediums, which left both Mercedes on a one-stop strategy and Ferrari requiring another stop each.
I'm not a doctor but I only needed to see that once to know that this crew member horrifically broke his leg though that hadn't been confirmed by the end of the race.