Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Report
In the cooler temperatures of Bahrain’s first ever night race the drivers made a clean start with Lewis Hamilton taking a clear lead by the first corner from second on the grid.
The race followed a similar pattern of conservation and preparation until the first pit stop phase. Once this period was out the way teams ran two-by-two with Mercedes, Force India, Williams and Ferrari. With Mercedes clearly leading this race in their now signature dominant fashion, the drivers behind started intensively pushing for the final podium slot. The fighting became tense as team-mates fought against one another for the full length of the grid.
There were several times where attack and defence succeeded or failed during the race dropping drivers several places back such was the closeness of the racing.
Force India were running with one of their best results in Formula One since 2009 with both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg holding third and fourth with a clear pace advantage.
The safety car was deployed after a spectacular crash between Sauber’s Gutierrez and the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado. Maldonado left the pits to drop in behind Gutierrez into the first corner. As Gutierrez turned into the corner Maldonado’s front left tyre made contact with the rear right tyre of Gutierrez flipping the Sauber several times before landing heavily. The reaction from Gutierrez suggested he was unaware Maldonado was even close into the corner. The incident left Maldonado with a stop-go penalty and a trip to the stewards after the race.
As the safety car pulled into the pits and racing resumed, the Mercedes cars battled hard for the race win. Tight, close and all-out racing saw Hamilton and Rosberg trade places several times before the final few laps of the race.
Disappointing sums up the races of both Ferrari and McLaren. Ferrari were consistently dropping down the order throughout the race after a good start whilst McLaren were running well in the lower points positions before both cars experience failures dropping them out of the race.
With the softer tyres on Rosberg degrading, Hamilton managed to pull away and take his 24th race win.