Defending champion Lewis Hamilton has won the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position to strengthen his overall lead in the Formula One standings with his third win in four races this season and 36th of his career.

Drivers standings
1.  Lewis Hamilton - 93     
2.  Nico Rosberg - 66     
3.  Sebastian Vettel - 65     
4.  Kimi Raikkonen - 42     
5.  Felipe Massa - 31 

The British driver started from pole for the first time in the desert race under floodlights and was largely untroubled, finishing ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, whose braking problem with two laps remaining let in Raikkonen.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, the only driver to beat Hamilton this year, looked set for a podium position until a late front wing change ended the four-time F1 champion's chances and he placed fifth behind Valtteri Bottas.

Button's woes

Jenson Button, last in Saturday's qualifying, did not start due to a technical problem, while Brazilian driver Felipe Massa stalled his car on his formation lap due to an electrical problem and started from the pit lane.

A late brake problem slowed Hamilton down a little on the final lap, but he crossed the line 3.3 seconds ahead of Raikkonen and 6 seconds clear of Rosberg, who has now won only once in the past 15 races.

Hamilton has won nine in the past 11 and is in supreme form chasing a third title. He stood on his Mercedes and pumped his fist in the air before leaping into the arms of his crew. He then jumped up and down in delight as he climbed onto the podium.

Bahrain GP (Top-10):

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 
4. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 
5. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 
7. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 
8. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 
9. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull - Renault 
10. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies