The 2017 F1 World Championship is shaping up, as Ferrari's (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel took charge at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vettel had assumed the lead from pole sitter Valtteri Bottas earlier in the grand prix as the Finn struggled with over-steering on his Mercedes.
The two teams had been very evenly matched in race pace but Ferrari's aggressive pit strategy gave Vettel the advantage, and when Hamilton pitted under the safety vehicle he was too slow into the pit entry and took a five-second penalty.
Hamilton, who had been so dominant in China last weekend, was gracious in defeat but vowed to fight back.
The stewards took a dim view of Hamilton's actions - declaring he drove "unnecessarily slowly and erratically" and slapped him with a five-second timed penalty and latterly two points on his licence. "I don't know what to say".
The three-time world champion finished 6.6 seconds behind victor Sebastian Vettel at the Sakhir Circuit, thanks largely to a five-second time penalty for driving "unnecessarily slowly and erratically" in the pit lane as he tried to prevent Daniel Ricciardo from getting past.
"The team has done a really, really great job, we need to make sure we keep it going and keep enjoying it". Then, obviously I was a bit unlucky with the safety auto when it came to the first pit stop, lost the position to Massa and had to try and get past him again.
He went on to pass the Australian before serving his penalty during his second pit stop before finally passing Bottas in the closing laps and finishing behind Vettel.
"The factory has come alive - hopefully the success in the last few races helps us".
The Finnish driver started on pole position but was unable to open up a gap due to his tyre pressures being too high in the opening stint. The incidents were coming fast, with 18-year-old Lance Stroll hit from the side on lap 13 by Carlos Sainz Jr. - forcing the safety vehicle to come out.
"It was a great team effort today and I felt like we are quick".
"I got hit from the side", the Williams rookie exclaimed.
Max Verstappen, who started in sixth, was running well until his Red Bull inexplicably had a brake failure shortly after the teenager had pitted on lap 12.
"I don't want to even discuss it yet because it's not fair towards Valtteri".
Better days were had by both the Haas F1 Team - Romain Grosjean steered his way to eight place - and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg who bagged his first points finish of the season after coming home ninth. He was not happy with his McLaren car's performance, though, saying "I've never raced with less power in my life" over the radio.