Lewis Hamilton controlled the proceedings from start to finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix to record his third victory of the season. A charging Kimi Raikkonen finished just 3.38 seconds behind to record his first podium finish since 2013 while a feisty Nico Rosberg completed the rostrum.
Apart from the trio, Valtteri Bottas proved why he is rated so highly, with the Finn holding off Sebastian Vettel for the last quarter of the race, despite being in far slower machinery. Romain Grosjean, also deserves praise for leading the midfield pack and recording his second straight points finish.
Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the drivers standings with a lights-to-flag victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Aware of the impending challenge from Ferrari, Hamilton created a sufficient buffer to stay out of the DRS zone of Vettel by the second lap of the race. His advantage extended lap after lap and the British driver was never in danger of being undercut by a Scarlet car.
When both Mercedes drivers hit brake issues, Hamilton had just enough gap to stay ahead of a charging Kimi Raikkonen and secure his third straight victory of the season.
Coming into the weekend, Scuderia Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene made it clear that if Kimi Raikkonen wanted a contract extension, he has to perform on track.
And the Finn proved that fire inside him is yet to smother with an excellent drive to second place. The foundation of this result was laid in the middle stint where Raikkonen was lapping consistently quick, despite being on the medium tyre.
He bolted a set of option tyres for the final stint and chased the Mercedes duo by a second every lap, before simply running out of laps. However, he did make most of Rosberg’s brake-by-wire issue to catapult himself into second place.
Nico Rosberg has come under criticism from various quarters of the F1 paddock for failing to beat Lewis Hamilton in a wheel-to-wheel battle. And while he was never within touching distance of his teammate to put on a fight, he did show some feisty skills on the two Ferraris.
The way he aggressively dived down the inside of Vettel and Raikkonen at turn 1 highlighted that he has worked hard on his achilles heel and he can give Hamilton a run for his money in races to come.
Given how the 2015 season has been for the German, it was a much needed breakthrough and one that will help keep the championship alive till the very end.
Valtteri Bottas may no longer have the car to score podiums anymore, but his fourth place drive in Bahrain proved that he is as good a driver as he was last year.
The Finn held off the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel with apparent ease for 20 laps, despite being in far inferior machinery(and older tyres). He carefully used the ERS boost and positioned his car in such a way that Vettel could never try a move around the Williams driver.fg
After a troubled season, Romain Grosjean is making most of the improved Lotus with a seventh place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Frenchman made an excellent start from 10th on the grid and was up into seventh by the end of lap 1.
It was Grosjean’s second straight points finish and one that suggests that Lotus might lead the midfield, unless other teams make major leap ways at the advent of the European season.