It was the second time Ferrari had been penalized for an unsafe release over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. The nasty incident during Raikkonen's second stop that cost both the driver and the team only compounded the situation for the Scuderia. Hamilton had qualified 4th but a grid penalty for gearbox change dropped him down to 9th place.
KIMI Raikkonen was forced to the back of the pack after a stunning pit lane failure ended in a mechanic being hit by the Finn's Ferrari. While Carlos Sainz Junior, who is on loan from Red Bull Racing to Renault and finished 11th, may seem next in line for a long overdue promotion, it might not be unlike Red Bull Racing to promote Gasly out of turn, should his form continue through the season. Soon after he moved past Magnussen and Gasly to take fourth. McLaren's Alonso is fourth in the standings with 16 points.
"These tyres were done for the last 10 laps", said Vettel after taking the checkered flag.
His three wins last season all came after he had led from the start. He re-emerged in P3 place with Hamilton inheriting the lead from his teammate.
Vettel would continue the charge for victory, now the lone Ferrari, with both Mercedes drivers trying to catch up. Hamilton finally stopped a lap later, swapping his soft tyres for mediums. Magnussen voiced his disapproval over the airwaves. This promises an intriguing battle with 19 races still to come, the next being Sunday's Chinese GP in Shanghai, where Hamilton is out to turn the tables, having previously claimed five top spots there to Vettel's one.More news: Stocks of Rusal collapse 50% after USA sanctions
More news: Sensex surges 577 points as RBI keeps rate unchanged, lowers inflation forecast
More news: Wisconsin supreme court justice race being monitored nationally
The F1 ace had been given the green light to leave the pit box but his rear-left tyre was still being seen to by mechanic Francesco Cigorini.
"With 20 laps to go I was told we were changing strategy and I thought initially "how the hell do you want me to do that" because the tyres were already starting to come off", Vettel told Sky F1.
Raikkonen ran over Cigarini's left leg as he pulled away, which Ferrari said broke its crew member's shinbone and fibula.
Pole-sitter Vettel was the fastest out of the blocks to retain his lead but Bottas got the jump on Raikkonen to split the Ferraris. It would be up to those three men to take the race from Sebastian Vettel. "But it also showed how close things are between us and our rivals, who are very strong", Marcionne said. Marcus Ericsson took ninth place for Sauber, while Esteban Ocon took tenth place for Force India.
Their divorce from Honda power, and switch to Renault, was supposed to usher in a new dawn for Britain's most successful Formula One team, but their glories of yesteryear appear a distance memory.
With 10 laps to go Vettel told the team radio he had "everything under control", but quipped during a podium interview: "That was a lie!"