An unreachable Lewis Hamilton claimed his 36th career win, second win at the Bahrain GP to extend his championship lead, ahead of Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen and teammate Nico Rosberg — on his 100th race start.
Before the start, McLaren’s Jenson Button received bad news he would not race today following more car troubles, and Ron Dennis informed it was “not safe” in recovery system-related issues.
Carlos Sainz also had some bad news prior to lights out, and received a 5-second penalty for exceeding the maximum time for the reconnaissance laps - he would then end up retiring from the race. A similar scenario than that of Pastor Maldonado, who also received a 5-second penalty and would not finish in Bahrain.
Now during some good track action, Nico Rosberg was sensational during most of it, with Martin Brundle stating we were watching “the new, improved, ultra-agressive Rosberg”. Rosberg saw himself three times behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and managed to overtake him on all occasions.
Vettel did not have his best race, and after some good battles with Rosberg on track, he ran wide on Turn 14 and then had some front wing damage. He had to pit to change it and lost all hope to reach the podium.
Ferrari managed a good strategy but lacked pace to really bring the game on to the Mercedes, except for Raikkonen which did hard, patient work and got his pay-off towards the end.
After all pit stops were completed, Kimi went on the charge, and being the fastest on track for the final laps, he closed in with every lap on Rosberg, which eventually cracked under pressure (and influenced by brake issues) to give the second spot to the Iceman.
Lewis Hamilton also had a bit of brake issues on the final lap, but had no problem to bring the car across the line and win again. He stated on the podium “The Ferraris gave us a really good run for our money. It was hard looking after the tyres out there”.
TOP TEN FINISHERS
1. Lewis Hamilton — Winner
2. Kimi Raikkonen — +3.380
3. Nico Rosberg — +6.033
4. Valtteri Bottas — +42.957
5. Sebastian Vettel — +43.989
6. Daniel Ricciardo — +1:01.751
7. Romain Grosjean — +1:24.763
8. Sergio Perez — +1 lap
9. Daniil Kvyat — +1 lap
10. Felipe Massa — +1 lap