F1 Bahrain GP: Hamilton scores first win of season in a Mercedes 1-2 finish

Reigning Champion Lewis Hamilton scored his first win at the Bahrain Grand Prix in Manama, Round 2 of the Formula 1 World Championships. Ir was Hamilton’s third win at the desert track. Team mate Valtteri Bottas came home second, and together with Hamilton, claimed Mercedes’ 1000th point in F1.  With second place, Bottas continues to lead the drivers standings with 44 points, just a point up on Hamilton.

Ferrari’s rookie Charles LeClerc who took his very pole on Saturday controlled the race from the start, but an engine issue would force a more careful drive and nearly cost him a podium spot. He would finish behind the Mercedes cars.

In the Constructors, no one could touch Mercedes with 87 points. Ferrari is closest with 48 points.

Mercedes cars didn’t have the best of starts as they started from row 2. The front group were the Ferraris,  Mercedes and a Red Bull. Vettel led from Bottas and LeClerc at  the start. It was a Ferrari 1 – 2 moments later as LeClerc jumped ahead  After the stop, Mercedes cars took the top spot from the Ferraris and never looked back.

Bad news came when LeClerc’s car had an engine fault and couldn’t go max speed on the straights, during the most critical stage of the race. He struggled to keep the car in place but drifted further and further away from the Mercedes cars. Verstappen closed in for the bite in the last laps, but a safety car period due to the stranded Renaults at the end of the race saved LeClerc’s podium spot as Verstappen had clamped him down for the third spot. Vettel, too, had a disappointing race after losing positions and ended up fifth.

Lando Norris took sixth from Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen  The second Red  Bull of Pierre Gasly was eighth, followed by Alexander Albon, ninth, and Sergio Perez, tenth.

F1 Bahrrain Grand Prix results

1     Lewis Hamilton    MERCEDES       1:34:21.295  

2     Valtteri Bottas      MERCEDES        +2.980s 

3     Charles Leclerc    FERRARI       +6.131s 

4     Max Verstappen   RED BULL        +6.408s 

5     Sebastian Vettel   FERRARI       +36.068s      

6     Lando Norris MCLAREN       +45.754s      

7     Kimi Räikkönen    ALFA ROMEO        +47.470s      

8     Pierre Gasly  RED BULL       +58.094s      

9     Alexander Albon  TORO ROSSO +62.697s      

10   Sergio Perez BWT      +63.696s

Drivers standings

1     Valtteri Bottas      FIN       MERCEDES 44

2     Lewis Hamilton    GBR       MERCEDES 43

3     Max Verstappen   NED       RED BULL RACING     27

4     Charles Leclerc    MON       FERRARI      26

5     Sebastian Vettel   GER       FERRARI      22

6     Kimi Räikkönen    FIN ALFA ROMEO 10

7     Lando Norris GBR       MCLAREN RENAULT 8

8     Kevin Magnussen DEN       HAAS FERRARI      8

9     Nico Hulkenberg  GER       RENAULT     6

10   Pierre Gasly  FRA       RED BULL RACING     4