The Formula One race in Bahrain saw the most thrilling race yet following a nail-biting battle between Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, with Hamilton taking victory in Sakhir. This year’s race in Bahrain marks the first night race at the Sakhir track, where the Mercedes AMG Petronas team scored the highest points during the practice seasons and qualifying.
Hamilton, who started in second with team mate Rosberg, first, made the best out of his racing lines by passing Rosberg and lead the race. The duo eventually were seen trading positions during the start, prior the first pit stop sessions and after the safety car period towards the closing stages of the race. Force India’s Sergio Perez clinched the final podium position ahead of the charging Daniel Ricciardo, who made an amazing comeback by finishing fourth after starting in 13th spot. Apart of being Force India’s first podium since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, the other Force India entry of Nico Hulkenberg finished fifth, just ahead of last year’s world champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari’s miserable weekend was consolidated with both Alonso and Raikkonen taking the final points scoring positions in ninth and tenth. Needless to say, the Prancing Horse will have a lot of work to do to play catch-up with the superior Mercedes. Meanwhile, McLaren had a weekend to forget following double retirements from both Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button. Button who was set to score points in his 250th Grand Prix, suffered a mechanical issue that ended his milestone race.
The race incident where Lotus driver, Pastor Maldonaldo, collided with Esteban Gutiérrez’s Sauber, which caused the Sauber to somersault, bought the first safety car period of 2014. Once the safety car period ended and with ten laps remaining, the real action started with what’s probably the best racing action in F1 in years, when Rosberg, with softer tyres, attacked Hamilton who was still in his slower medium tyres.
While both drivers traded places for the lead, it was Hamilton’s fighting spirit and superb defensive driving that held Rosberg at bay until the finish line. More impressively, the duo’s dogfight put them 25 seconds away from the remaining competitors in just 10 laps. With that, it was win no 3 for the Mercedes squad, and the second 1-2 result for the Brackley-based team.
The next race is in China in two weeks time and we will see if both Rosberg and Hamilton can continue to humiliate the other 20 drivers on the Shanghai track. Stay tuned!
Pos. Driver Team Time
1. L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:39:42.743
2. N. Rosberg Mercedes +1.085
3. S. Perez Force India +24.067
4. D. Ricciardo Red Bull +24.489
5. N. Hulkenberg Force India +28.654
6. S. Vettel Red Bull +29.879
7. F. Massa Williams +31.265
8. V. Bottas Williams +31.876
9. F. Alonso Ferrari +32.595
10. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +33.462
11. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +41.342
12. R. Grosjean Lotus +43.143
13. M. Chilton Marussia +59.909
14. P. Maldonado Lotus +1:02.803
15. K. Kobayashi Caterham +1:27.900
16. J. Bianchi Marussia +1 Lap
Did not finish
17. J. Button McLaren +2 Laps
18. K. Magnussen McLaren +17 Laps
19. E. Gutiérrez Sauber +18 Laps
20. M. Ericsson Caterham +24 Laps
21. J. Vergne Toro Rosso +39 Laps
22. A. Sutil Sauber +40 Laps
Fastest Lap: Nico Rosberg Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 37.020s lap 49
[Image Source: Mercedes AMG Petronas & Force India F1 team]