Vettel: Thought I’d lost Bahrain win behind SC

Caught out by a Safety Car in China, Sebastian Vettel admits he thought he had lost the Bahrain win when it was deployed at the Sakhir circuit after his early pit stop.

Last time out in China, Vettel pitted early only to get caught out by a Safety Car that left him down in sixth.

On Sunday in Bahrain it looked as if history could repeat itself as Vettel pitted only for the Safety Car to come out when Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz crashed.

Mercedes took advantage of the SC but had to stack their drivers with Lewis Hamilton behind Valtteri Bottas.

And when it all played out, Vettel who had dropped to ninth after his pit stop, was back in the lead.

"Right after the start I was thinking we are really quick we can put Valtteri [Bottas] under pressure but he didn't make any mistakes and it was difficult down the straight to put pressure on him," he said.

"But we went for the early pit stop, it worked fantastic, really good job.

"When the SC came initially I was like 'no!'

"I think I was lucky because the others were close to the pit lane so they didn't really benefit.

"I was a bit surprised that I came out ahead of all of them as I thought with the Safety Car we might have lost the advantage.

"After that the car was really amazing to drive.

"It was just a pleasure, I could control the pace at the end.

"Lewis was a bit of a threat towards the end but very controlled race.

"The car was a dream."

The race win was Vettel's third of this season and means the German is once again the sole leader of the Drivers' Championship with 102 points to Hamilton's 99.

"Really a great day," said the Ferrari driver.

"The last half of the in-lap with the fireworks, I just love what I do.

"It was a really great team effort today."

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