Pierre Gasly exceeded expectations by finishing sixth on the timesheets for Toro Rosso and there was huge disappointment for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne 13th and 14th respectively. Marcus Ericsson one stopped his way to Sauber's first points of the season ahead of Esteban Ocon. In Australia I think we struggled a little bit with the feel of the auto.
"Going into the corner I was ahead and then of course you always try to squeeze each other a bit", said the 20-year-old. Red Bull's troubles were doubled as Daniel Ricciardo, who was running fourth, parked his RB14 on the side of the track.
Hamilton came to Bahrain knowing he was in for a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, so he needed to be on his game - with a flawless vehicle - to minimise the damage and give himself the best chance in the race.
Ferrari have looked to have an edge on Mercedes all weekend, Hamilton and Bottas battling inconsistent handling on the stop-start Sakhir circuit in the desert south of the Bahraini capital Manama. He will start the race from fourth place, following Hamilton's grid penalty.
The two Ferrari men were comfortably clear by more than half a second of the two Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and his team-mate and defending champion Briton Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, who created another minor controversy when he showed his approval, on social media, of the retention of grid girls at the Monaco Grand Prix, said it had been "a normal Friday".
Hamilton was losing pace towards the end of the race but Bottas managed to pick up pace and was within DRS range of Vettel in the final lap.
Vettel was the first of the top four to pit, coming in on lap 18 and handing the lead to Bottas.
Gasly was just 1.371secs off pole in the Toro Rosso, a spectacular performance from the Frenchman, who is in his first full season in F1 after being drafted in towards the end of last season. Hamilton, meanwhile, had inherited the lead.
It was his second unsafe release of the weekend and his third in a race.