Finland's Valtteri Bottas finished second for Mercedes, a mere 0.699 seconds behind after chasing down Vettel over the closing laps, while reigning champion Lewis Hamilton was third.
The Bahrain Grand Prix wasn't short of drama in the slightest.
Kimi Raikkonen pitted on the 36th lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday for a routine tyre change. Hamilton had qualified 4th but a grid penalty for gearbox change dropped him down to 9th place. It left Verstappen with a puncture that resulted in him slowly making his way back to the pits, only to retire a few laps later. Ferrari's pace advantage over Mercedes could be attributed to the warmer conditions in Bahrain, a characteristic that could be traced back to their racing vehicle from 2017. Just one race after the Ferrari powered Haas team, saw a double DNF.
The racing continued to flow, with Hamilton in the thick of it.
Magnussen was quickly passed for P5, which turned to P4 once Gasly was dealt with. He asked: "I believe, if my ears are correct, you used the word d*ckhead, after the race concerning Max Verstappen and the overtake and the contact, is that correct?"
Vettel was the first of the top four to pit, coming in on lap 18 and handing the lead to Bottas.
"Daniel commented that even in the two laps that he was able to do, he was able to close pretty comfortably on (Ferrari's) Kimi (Raikkonen)". He re-emerged in P3 place with Hamilton inheriting the lead from his teammate. Mercedes used that as the trigger to call in Hamilton for his single stop and switch to medium tyres, rejoining in fourth place behind Raikkonen.
Verstappen had a more frustrating race. The Frenchman was lapping with a damaged vehicle and held up the faster Haas before pitting himself.
The tension between the two opposing strategies escalated through to lap 35, when Ferrari blinked and stopped Raikkonen in an attempted to force Bottas to follow him, but the ploy backfired when the Finn left his pit box before his stop was completed, hitting a mechanic in the process. Both Mercedes were strong at the end of the first stint and going onto the prime they saw what we did and I thought that was check mate as we have to come in again.
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The team tweeted soon after the incident: "Our mechanic was taken to hospital for treatment".
The differing tire strategies set up a showdown in the second half of the race, with Ferrari looking at a two-stop strategy, while Mercedes went with one stop.
Kimi Raikkonen, who was in the third position had to end his race after an incident in the Ferrari pitstop.
The remaining laps became a race against time. "I don't see what happens behind and unfortunately he got hurt", Raikkonen said.
"That was a lie".
"I tried to keep it as clean as possible".
An FIA investigation found Ferrari guilty of an unsafe release and slapped them with a heavy fine - much to the frustration of Brundle.
"What we've done is invited lots of stakeholders to give us a view on the race weekend", he said. "And it worked - but only just".