Bahrain GP: Bottas: I'm very close to matching Hamilton

The 32-year-old is certainly anticipating a thrilling season ahead.

"I honestly think it will stay the way it is", said Hamilton when asked if his rivalry with Vettel would remain a friendly one.

"At this stage in the race Ferrari and Mercedes were talking about going to the end and then obviously Sebastian triggered it with his stop, Lewis covered it".

"Ferrari have done a fantastic job".

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says third and fourth was the maximum for his team in China, though he thinks the team was helped by Ferrari leaving Kimi Raikkonen in "no man's land" late in the race. Ferrari chose to pit Vettel for soft tyres under the virtual safety vehicle. The veteran Finn was off the pace here to finish behind both of the Red Bulls in fifth.

With Vettel sixth after the restart, he found himself stuck behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was still on the Intermediate tire and working to pass Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton, meanwhile, never looked seriously threatened despite a sequence of fastest laps from his German title rival. There were times when Sebastian put laps in and it was hard to match it. We were unfortunate with the safety auto.

It was his fifth win in Shanghai after leading every lap in the drenching ran as Vettel fought back to second from fifth. On lap one, I passed nine cars so that was not too bad.

"And a Ferrari team which is the best they have been in a decade". "I've been in the sport long enough and it's not very often that it's all smiling and happy". I was probably expecting to be able to get at them easier than it was. Carlos Sainz finished seventh for Toro Rosso with Kevin Magnussen's Haas eighth and the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon rounding out the top 10.

Meanwhile Wolff believes Valtteri Bottas has the character to bounce back after spinning his auto under the Safety vehicle while trying to warm his tyres. "Really sorry, guys, for the amateur mistake", said Bottas, who had earlier been called "Nico" over team radio as an engineer momentarily confused him with world champion Nico Rosberg.

"Naturally, he wants to kill me out there, and vice versa, but outside the auto there is an admiration for the other's achievements and the way that they drive", Hamilton continued.