Vettel forcing Mercedes into a rethink

Formula 1 world champions Mercedes have indicated they may increasingly have to favour Lewis Hamilton over new teammate Valtteri Bottas to counter the threat of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

In practice, that is likely to mean the reluctant imposition of more of the so-called "team orders" used in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

"We don't like that at all," team boss Toto Wolff told reporters after Bottas twice obeyed radio instructions to let the faster Hamilton through to chase eventual winner and championship leader Vettel.

"It's not what we have done in the last couple of years but the situation is different now, so it needs a proper analysis of what it means and where we are."

Mercedes have never had a designated No. 1 driver.

Vettel's win on Sunday is his second in three races this season, with Hamilton claiming victory in the other one. - REUTERS

Formula 1