Hamilton takes Bahrain Grand Prix win

By on Sunday, April 19, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton controlled proceedings in Bahrain to claim his third victory of the season as Kimi Raikkonen beat Nico Rosberg to second position.

Hamilton was serene up front but Raikkonen used an alternate strategy to close the gap on Rosberg before passing him on the penultimate lap, with both Mercedes drivers suffering from brake issues towards the end of the race.

Hamilton retained the lead at the start but Rosberg challenged Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1, in doing so allowing Räikkönen to go around the outside to take third.

Hamilton quickly escaped DRS range up front while Rosberg caught Räikkönen by surprise into Turn 1 and moved back up into third place.

Vettel held second position but went wide at the first corner, enabling Rosberg to close the gap and his compatriot displaced him the next time around, by which time Hamilton’s lead had increased to five seconds.

Vettel reacted first and stopped on lap 14 and utilised the undercut to ensure that he jumped ahead of Rosberg when the German made his stop a lap later.

Hamilton made his stop a lap later and came out narrowly ahead of his duelling rivals as Rosberg dived up the inside of Vettel into the first corner.

Hamilton gradually extended his lead across the second stint and when Vettel pitted first, Hamilton responded on the next lap and retained his position.

Rosberg stopped next time around and again emerged behind Vettel but the Ferrari driver went wide at the final corner and allowed the Mercedes driver back ahead.

Vettel informed Ferrari that his front wing was damaged and he duly returned to the pits and dropped out of contention.

Hamilton duly re-took the lead from Räikkönen, who stopped at the end of the lap to change from Prime to Option tyres, with the Finn coming out in third place.

Räikkönen posted several quick laps on the Option tyres and closed the gap to Rosberg across the closing laps.

His job was made simpler when Rosberg went wide at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap and the Ferrari driver slipped by into second.

Up front Hamilton informed Mercedes that he had a brake by wire problem on the final lap and dropped several seconds but held on to claim his third win of the campaign.

Räikkönen was second while Rosberg came home in third.

Valtteri Bottas was harried by Vettel across the final stint of the race but held on for fourth position to take his best result of the season.

Daniel Ricciardo had a lonely race to sixth place but finished in spectacular fashion as his Renault power unit let off a huge plume of smoke as it crossed the line, meaning that he will have to take a fourth engine of the year in Spain.

Romain Grosjean took seventh while Sergio Pérez was an impressive eighth.

Daniil Kvyat recovered from a lowly grid slot to take ninth while Felipe Massa had to start from the pit lane after he failed to get away on the formation lap, eventually finishing in 10th.

Fernando Alonso enjoyed the best race of the season for McLaren as he finished just outside of the points in 11th position, ahead of Felipe Nasr.

Nico Hulkenberg was 13th while Marcus Ericsson lost a significant amount of time in the pits and placed 14th.

Pastor Maldonado had a scruffy first lap, made contact with Massa and suffered an engine glitch in the pits as he came home ahead of only the Manor Marussia drivers, who again made the finish, with Will Stevens beating Roberto Merhi.

Toro Rosso had a dismal day as Carlos Sainz Jr. retired shortly after a pit stop after radioing in that his wheel was loose while Max Verstappen slowed a few laps later and pulled into the garage.

Jenson Button did not start the race after more electrical gremlins struck his McLaren once again.

The result leaves Hamilton with a 27 point advantage over Rosberg in the championship, with Vettel a further point behind.

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:35:05.80925
2Kimi RäikkönenFerrari+3.38s18
3Nico RosbergMercedes+6.033s15
4Valtteri BottasWilliams+42.957s12
5Sebastian VettelFerrari+43.989s10
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull+61.751s8
7Romain GrosjeanLotus+84.763s6
8Sergio PerezForce India+1 lap4
9Daniil KvyatRed Bull+1 lap2
10Felipe MassaWilliams+1 lap1
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren+1 lap0
12Felipe NasrSauber+1 lap0
13Nico HulkenbergForce India+1 lap0
14Marcus EricssonSauber+1 lap0
15Pastor MaldonadoLotus+1 lap0
16Will StevensMarussia+2 laps0
17Roberto MerhiMarussia+3 laps0
RTMax VerstappenToro RossoDNF0
RTCarlos SainzToro RossoDNF0
DNSJenson ButtonMcLarenDNS0

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