The last time Ferrari won the opening two races of a Formula One season was in 2004, and Michael Schumacher went on to dominate that year as he won 12 of the first 13 grands prix.
Lewis Hamilton, who travelled in to the weekend favorite for victory after noticed it sailed off by an illtimed digital safety auto two weeks ago at the season-opener at Melbourne, was just fourth fastest, 0.823 minutes away Raikkonen's most useful.
In the lead, Hamilton was 5.3 seconds clear of Vettel after 22 laps, an advantage trimmed to half a second by lap 25 with Bottas five seconds adrift in third.
Kimi Raikkonen has given his version of events following a botched Ferrari pit stop that left a mechanic hospitalised.
Hamilton pitted for medium tyres and dropped down to fourth place but was very much still in contention because of his one-stop strategy. "We were better in Australia, we need to understand why we were not quickest today but for sure we still have tomorrow to see how the pace is".
Hamilton knew before coming to Bahrain that he would have a grid penalty and that his job in qualifying was to minimise the damage to his hopes in the race.
Raikkonen attempted to leave a pit stop before all four of his tires were safely attached and his rear left wheel hit a member of the crew, with video showing the mechanic's leg buckling horribly.
Round two of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship takes us to Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix. "First run in Q3, I was very happy and then I tossed it away in the last corner".
Despite seeing Bottas grow ever larger in his mirrors over the closing laps, Vettel was able to keep the Finn at bay to claim his second win of the season in his 200th race start.
"I think for a team like ours, based on what they presented, it was an extremely good day for us".
By the eighth lap Hamilton - who overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Vettel to the title previous year - had passed Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly, who finished an impressive fourth for Toro Rosso.
Marcus Ericsson grabbed two points for Sauber by finishing ninth ahead of Esteban Ocon, who was 10th for Force India.