And he didn't go wide or anything and he still had a good run to Turn 4 so he was awake. The Briton soon set his sights on Magnussen ahead, making the pass one lap later, with Gasly falling into his clutches the lap after that, putting up not much of a fight to keep the defending world champion back. He followed up his form on Saturday with a strong drive to fourth place on Sunday that included race-long battles with Haas' Kevin Magnussen (fifth).
Vettel was the first of the top four to pit, coming in on lap 18 and handing the lead to Bottas.
His team-mate Sergio Perez, and Brendon Hartley were both given 30-second penalties after the race for a mix-up on the formation lap, relegating them from P12 and P13 respectively to the bottom of the standings.
Bottas stayed out for two more laps and changed to mediums.
After the first round of pit stops, it was clear that Mercedes were on a one-stop strategy, while Ferrari had committed to a two-stopper.
Between lap 49 and lap 54 Bottas closed the gap to Vettel from five seconds to one and on the final lap had the use of the DRS on the pit straight.
After starting from pole position, Vettel held the lead through the opening sequence of corners as Bottas managed to beat Raikkonen into Turn 1.
What is it with Ferrari powered cars, and being prone to chaos in the pits! As the team tended to the fallen crew member, Raikkonen brought his vehicle to a stop before clambering out, ending his race on a sour note.
While Mercedes could go to the end comfortably, it was more of a stretch for Vettel, allowing Bottas to close up and create a grandstand finish.
The system turned on a green light to signal that all four wheels had re-fitted tyres, but the left-rear tyre was stuck and had not been removed.
The mechanic was thrown to the ground, and was immediately attended to by paramedics before being taken to the track's medical centre.
The win was Vettel's second in succession at the start of 2018 but the manner of victory was in stark contrast to his somewhat fortunate success in Australia two weeks previously.
Up front, Vettel built a lead of 7.5s over Bottas, with Hamilton a further 9.1s back in third. It was a ploy by Mercedes to get their man to the end of the race without having to stop again.
Mclaren who had a poor qualifying session came in P7 and P8 with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne respectively. Both Sauber and Force India scored their first points of the season under the lights in Bahrain. It was the German driver who first pitted for a fresh set of Soft tyres.
During a 90-minute meeting, Carey and Brawn outlined their plans in five key areas - cars, revenues, costs, engines and governance - as part of their overriding strategy "to create great action and bring the cars closer together, make the drivers the heroes and make the business more sustainable", according to an explanatory post-meeting report on Formula1.com. We'll come back strongly in China hopefully.