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Bahrain GP: Hamilton wins as engine issues deny Leclerc

  • 31 Mar 2019 18:47
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton has won the Bahrain Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc was hit with engine trouble in the last handful of laps.

The Monegasque driver held the lead for most of the race, despite being pipped off the line by teammate Sebastian Vettel. He then fell behind Valtteri Bottas but soon regrouped and overtook Bottas, before making the move on Vettel for the lead of the race.

The gap to second place read over 10 seconds before Leclerc was hit with the problems towards the end of the race.

Hamilton made his way into second place after a tight battle with Vettel. After making his second pitstop on lap 35, Vettel reacted on the next lap.

Before his second stop, Hamilton had been struggling on the soft tyres, and opted to switch to the mediums which allowed him to challenge Vettel, who pitted on the following lap.

As they battled, Vettel spun on the exit of Turn 4 and damaged his tyres, with the vibrations resulting in his front wing shattering as he made his way back to the pit lane. 

The four-time world champion came home in fifth place, while Leclerc secured third after the race ended under safety car following a double failure for Renault, as Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo ground to a halt at Turn 1 with mechanical issues. 

Both Renault's came together earlier on in the race as Ricciardo raced a one-stop while Hulkenberg, like most other drivers, went for a two stop. 

Lando Norris scored a sixth-place finish for McLaren, recording the team's best result since last year's Australian Grand Prix. 

He was involved in a tussle with Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen during the race, but managed to hold off the much more experienced Finn. 

Raikkonen came home in seventh, while Pierre Gasly, who started the race from 12th after a poor showing in qualifying, secured four points by crossing the line in eighth place.

Alexander Albon secured his first world championship points along with Norris, as he raced hard against his competitors, including his teammate to take ninth. Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten for Racing Point.

As well as the Renault, Carlos Sainz was another late retiree, as he was called into the pits towards the end to retire the car. 

Romain Grosjean, who like Carlis Sainz, retired from the second race in a row after suffering damage following contact with Racing Point's Lance Stroll on the opening lap.

BH Bahrain International Circuit - 31 March 2019

Photos Bahrain 2019

Replies (5)

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  • Well that was a blast. Completely gutted for Leclerc, hands down the best driver of this weekend. But I do wonder what's going on with the Ferrari PU, it looks a bit like a glass cannon, and that's a nightmare for a champion contending car. Also, Vettel losing his car didn't help at all. It's the stache's fault, 100%. Merc' looked pretty pale up until the end this round, I have no idea how the front is stacking up now. And Jesus Christ Renault. Am I glad I didn't bring the strong stuff, with my drinking game I would be wasted after this race.. Or well, not quite, but you get my point. I did expect at least one Renault retirement, but two from the same team, literally within seconds, within meters of each other? And now it doesn't seem like an MGU-K issue. HAAS looked very pale, to say the least, something that cannot be said for McLaren. I'll also admit I was concerned that maybe Red Bull wouldn't be able to keep up with the rest, but a P4 here is a good score. And not a single Honda retirement this time either, although I won't dare saying that too loudly.

    • + 0
    • Mar 31 2019 - 19:18
    • Kean

      Posts: 492

      I was really impressed by Leclerc, also by Hamilton by putting pressure on Vettel. McLaren is looking really good and Norris showed better race craft today. Too bad Sainz didn't keep his cool while battling Verstappen. Also impressed by Albon and Russell, these rookies are looking really good. Hulkenberg was impressive, but like you said, that was a real WTF moment when they retired. Haas seemed to have really bad race pace but good quali pace, much like the Ganassi team last weekend at COTA. Not impressed by Gasly, Stroll, Vettel, Giovinazzi, Magnussen and Kubica today.

      • + 0
      • Mar 31 2019 - 20:58
  • abhidbgt

    Posts: 51

    Heartbreaking but a brilliant race by Leclerc. Down to 3rd after a bad start and then up into a comfortable lead shows that he needs to win this championship. Renault's failure atleast allowed a podium for him. It looked like Vettel was too afraid of losing that second place. The word that he probably hates the most now is 'spin'. What could have been a 1-2 finish turned into a disaster for Ferrari.
    What a race!!

    • + 0
    • Mar 31 2019 - 19:24
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 930

    Whats wrong with Ferrari? Vettel is not a top 3 driver anymore.

    • + 0
    • Mar 31 2019 - 20:33
  • Great racing up and down the field. Hope it isn't another season where Ferrari can't get out of their own way again.

    • + 0
    • Apr 1 2019 - 01:59

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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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