Two laps later, Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly gave way with good grace and yielded fourth place to Hamilton.
"Wow!" screamed Vettel as he crossed the line.
Speaking of the unfortunate incident, which shouldn't be watched by those that are squeamish, Raikkonen said 'What happened to our guy Francesco today at the pit-stop is very unfortunate. I really tried to keep it as clean as possible.
"I was trying to get every lap and corner flawless to catch him but it was just not quite enough".
Although early in the season, after two rounds Vettel leads the drivers' championship with 50 points, 17 points ahead of Hamilton.
"When they told me the pace of Valtteri at that time, I said: 'No way can I do that.' I did the maths in the auto and thought he was going to catch me". "It was damage limitation". "I started ninth so third isn't bad at all".
LaLiga: Griezmann riled by Atleti's slow start in Madrid derby
Bale is one of four changes from that victory with Mateo Kovacic , Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio also coming into the side. Madrid have now failed to beat Atletico in their last five league games at the Bernabeu (two draws, three defeats).
KIMI Raikkonen was forced to the back of the pack after a stunning pit lane failure ended in a mechanic being hit by the Finn's Ferrari. While the incident abruptly ended the race for Raikkonen, the mechanic was attended by the paramedics and taken to the hospital and is now recovering. Despite half his Mercedes and Red Bull competition starting the race well adrift of Vettel, his foes knifed their way through the field with Verstappen and Hamilton making up multiple positions in the first few laps. Kevin Magnussen took a solid fifth place finish for Haas ahead of Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
The former champions are now the only team yet to score points this season after Force India's Esteban Ocon secured 10th place.
The race began with temperatures falling from 29 and 35 degrees Celsius respectively for air and track.
Vettel leads the championship on a ideal 50 points, 17 ahead of Lewis Hamlton. Verstappen, who pulled off a bold move on Hamilton at Turn 1, saw his rear wheel unexpectedly clipped off by Hamilton. A Virtual Safety Car was deployed. With different strategies and tyre choices, the entire race became completely unpredictable right until the chequered flag.
Vettel pitted after 19 laps, passing the lead to Bottas, and rejoining fourth.
Though the Dutchman limped back to the pits for a tyre change, he sustained too much damage to his vehicle in the process, and his team ordered his retirement on lap five. Vettel managed to go past Hamilton to take the lead once again, with Bottas now five seconds behind him, and Hamilton pitting soon for fresh tyres - Mediums.
"The trouble is that two-second pit-stops are just the kind of "wow" that makes F1 compelling". During a routine pit stop, Raikkonen's vehicle was released too early and hit one of the team's mechanics as he accelerated away.