Hamilton wins Bahrain GP, Grosjean survives crash

Hamilton wins Bahrain GP

Lewis Hamilton claimed a routine win at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Haas driver Romain Grosjean limped away from a huge crash which saw his car catch fire and split in two. Grosjean’s car was pitched into a barrier on the opening lap after contact with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat. The head-on impact tore the Haas car it in two and engulfed the cockpit portion in flames. Grosjean was in the flames for around 10 seconds before climbing out and being helped away from danger by the FIA medical team which follows the pack on the first lap. Grosjean had to be helped to the medical car before being taken to the medical centre. Haas told media the driver has at least one suspected broken rib. The crash prompted the race to be halted and it did not resume for over an hour. When it did, Lance Stroll’s Racing Point was flipped upside down in another incident involving Kvyat. Stroll was unhurt and his car was quickly cleared away to safety, meaning a second red flag was not needed. The race restarted after a short spell behind the Safety Car. As he had at the previous two starts, Hamilton held the lead at the start and controlled the event from that point on. The Mercedes driver, who wrapped up his seventh world championship at the last race in Turkey, now has 95 F1 race victories. Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Alex Albon rounded out the podium places, but third on the grid was cruelly denied Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who suffered race-ending engine failure three laps from the finish. Perez had looked set to beat Albon, the man he has been tipped to replace at Red Bull next season, until the engine failure. It was a huge blow to Racing Point in its fight with McLaren and Renault for third position in the championship. The race finished behind the Safety Car, as Perez’s car took a few laps to clear from the side of the race track. McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz moved up a position as a result, finishing fourth and fifth and claiming a haul of 22 points for the team, moving it 17 points clear of Racing Point and into third position in the championship. Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly claimed an impressive sixth position for AlphaTauri. The timing of the Safety Car was good for Gasly, as he appeared to be falling into the clutches of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo. Valtteri Bottas completed another miserable race. Bottas set the tone for his evening with a sluggish getaway off the line at the original start and was relegated down the order after the third start due to a puncture. Esteban Ocon finished ninth, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc inheriting the final point on offer. Leclerc claimed pole position and should have won the last time F1 visited the Bahrain circuit, showing just how far Ferrari has fallen since it reached a private settlement with the FIA over its controversial 2019 engine. Leclerc frustrated Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel at the second restart. Vettel felt he had to take evasive action to avoid contact with his teammate, prompting an angry radio message from the four-time world champion that Leclerc had ignored everything from the pre-race briefing about giving each other space. Vettel finished a distant 13th.