An ecstatic Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix for the second consecutive time ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who put up a brilliant fight against the Briton’s teammate Nico Rosberg. Once again Ferrari showed that they may be behind Mercedes in terms of technicalities but they are better in terms of tyre management. Force India’s Sergio Perez finished a very hard fought 8th while his German teammate, Nico Hulkenberg finished out of points at 13th.
This was Kimi’s first podium in 18 months, his last being 27 races earlier in Korea, 2013. His gamble with medium tyres at the end of his pit stop on lap 40 left him 19 second behind Nico Rosberg. What followed was a brilliant drive by the Finn, cutting the German’s lead with every lap.
At the end with two laps to go he overtook the Silver arrows car as it ran slightly wide due to a brake by wire issue. Hamilton also went through the same issue on his last lap and had Kimi got one more lap, the result of the race would have been different. The Finn scored the fastest lap of the race at 1:36.311.
Ahead of the race Honda powered McLaren declared that Jenson Button would not be starting what would have been his 100th GP with McLaren due to an issue with the energy recovery system. The 2009 champion was plagued by similar issues during practice and qualifying. Spaniard Fernando Alonso scored the best ever finish for the team this year by finishing, just out of points though, in 11th position.
Both the Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz did not finish the race. Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo came a lucky sixth as his engine blew out on after the last corner of the final lap leaving behind a wall of smoke. His teammate Daniil Kvyat finished 9th ahead of William’s Felipe Massa who had a bad day at work. The Brazilian had to start from the pits as his car stalled at the start of the formation lap and had to start from the pits. Sauber’s Felipe Nasr too had a tough race and managed to finish 12th well ahead of Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber.
Pastor Maldonado had a rather interesting race (and did not hit anyone) as he started out of his grid position and was awarded a 5 second penalty for that. His problems aggravated when his engine cut out during a pit stop on lap 41. Roman Grosjean’s Lotus though finished 7th. Four time world champion Sebastian Vettel had a bad day which kept on becoming worse as he kept on steering the car wide on several occasions and had a frustrating time behind the second Williams of Valterri Bottas who kept his cool throughout the charge and finished 4th. Vettel finished 5th.
With Formula One heading to Europe now, Ferrari’s main challenge would be to build on to the tempo they are setting up. The next race is in three weeks as the F1 circus heads to Barcelona.
Bahrain Grand Prix Results
Here’s the full race result of the Bahrain Grand Prix…
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
- Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
- Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
- Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
- Sergio Perez (Force India)
- Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)
- Felipe Massa (Williams)
- Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda)
- Felipe Nasr (Sauber)
- Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)
- Pastor Maldonado (Lotus)
- Will Stevens (Manor Marussia)
- Roberto Merhi (Manor Marussia)
Image Source: FIA