2017 Formula one season, Formula one news, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes, Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton, Matteo Togninalli, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.Reuters.

The third race of the 2017 Formula One season saw a surprise pole position for Valtteri Bottas, but the Finnish driver ended up finishing third as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season. After Vettel won the first race in Australia and Lewis Hamilton the second in China, it became clear to everyone that the two would fight it out for drivers' championship.

Ferrari are also expected to challenge Mercedes for constructors' championship this season after years of domination by the Germany-based team. The Italian team currently holds a three-point lead in constructors' championship, but Vettel has a seven-point lead in drivers' championship.

Also read: Formula One to ditch turbo hybrid power units and bring back noisier engines by 2021

During an interview after the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton had admitted that Mercedes need to improve if they are to challenge Ferrari for the rest of the season. So far, Ferrari and Mercedes have been matching each other's pace, but Hamilton still feels that a few small changes need to be made.

"They are strong in race trim and we particularly struggle with the rear end. It's difficult to explain. They did a great job and we have to make improvements. It is all small, fine percentages that will make the difference between winning and coming second," BBC quoted Hamilton as saying.

Things could have been a lot different for Hamilton and Vettel at the Bahrain Grand Prix had the Brit not got a five-second penalty for slowing down unnecessarily in the pit. In doing so, he had delayed Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Checkout what Lewis Hamilton did to get a five second penalty that probably cost him the race. 

Hamilton managed to recover from that setback as he got past Ricciardo and Bottas, but could not catch up to the race leader in time. The Brit ended up losing the race by 6.6 seconds and did apologise for that unnecessary mistake which he could have avoided.

"Firstly, congratulations to Sebastian, he did a fantastic job today and also a big thank you to Valtteri for being a gentleman out there. Obviously, a very difficult race. It didn't start out the best, but the pit lane was really my fault and so apologies to the team for losing the time there," Hamilton said.

"Of course, the disappointment is there. As I said, losing points for the team, particularly when you could have potentially won the race is painful, but it is what it is. All I can say is that I gave it everything I could."

"I tried my hardest to catch up, but it was a long old way to go. It was 19 seconds. But I gave it everything I could. Ferrari did a great job today, so we're going to push hard together, re-gather as a team and come back fighting," he added.

Hamilton will have the chance to make up for his mistake in Bahrain during the fourth race of the 2017 Formula One season, which will take place in Sochi at the Russian Grand Prix on April 30.

Watch the highlights from the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix.