Nico Rosberg took an easy victory at the Bahrain GP, leading home Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and his teammate Lewis Hamilton at the Gulf State. The German took advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s incident at the beginning of the race to lead from the first corner all the way to the end.
The race took a dramatic twist before the race had even started as Sebastien Vettel’s engine blew up in smoke. The last time Ferrari failed to make the grid was back in 1996. Also retiring before the race had even begun was Jolyon Palmer. A disappointing end to the race of the British driver who had shown a lot of promise with a solid performance in Australia.
The start of the race showcased even more drama as Lewis Hamilton got bogged down at the start letting Rosberg through. Hamilton was then hit by Bottas who dived up the inside of the reigning champion and hit him. Hamilton temporarily lost control before picking up the pieces and resuming the race in ninth. No major damage was done to either of the cars and both avoided a pit stop for damage repair. However what Bottas did not avoid was a drive through penalty for causing the incident. The following lap Carlos Sainz got a puncture after a collision with Sergio Perez. Both were forced to pit.
Kimi Raikkonen picked his way through the field to finish in second position after a poor start left him in fifth. This continues Raikkonen’s marvellous form at Bahrain this being his eighth podium at the Sakhir circuit. However he never looked like challenging the rampant Rosberg.
Lewis Hamilton recovered from his incident at the start where he dropped to ninth place and from minor damage to his car which caused sparks to fly from his Mercedes early in the race to finish third.
Both Red Bull cars finished ahead of the two Williams with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and Daniil Kvyat recovered from a poor qualifying to finish seventh after leaping up and down the standings with a great strategy from Red Bull.
Romain Grosjean once again stole the show for the new Haas team going one better from his fantastic sixth in Australia. Grosjean’s strategy involved three stints on the super soft tyres and at one point overtook Ricciardo for fourth but his pit stops were not pitch perfect as two out of three of them were slower than standard. Grosjean’s teammate Gutierrez was running in the points until he retired.
Max Verstappen showed fantastic pace late on to come sixth after a great pass on Massa at the tail end of the race. His teammate Sainz retired from the race after his collision with Sergio Perez.
Felipe Massa started well rising as far as second before dropping all the way down to eighth after Williams opted to put him on a two stop strategy with two stints on medium tyres. His teammate Bottas received a drive through penalty for his early collision with Hamilton and came home in ninth.
Stoffel Vandoorne came home in the last points scoring position after putting in a very assured performance which may be overlooked. Meanwhile Jenson Button retired from the race early on pulling up at the side of the track.
Kevin Magnussen recovered from his start in the pitlane to finish in 11th having a pretty uneventful race while his teammate retired before the race even began.
Sauber’s drivers came 12th and 14th following a great battle early on which saw them make contact. Ericsson who started in 12th showed some great defensive racing against various drivers.
Pascal Wehrlein put in a fantastic performance to come in 13th. he was involved in a compelling battle with Ericsson late on. Rio Haryanto came 17th which is last of the finishing cars.
Force India put in an abysmal performance at a circuit that has produced such fantastic results for them in the past. Perhaps Force India have returned to being a team at the back of the grid. Hulkenberg came 15th with Perez 16th.
Overall not the most intriguing race ever but it was definitely better than a lot of past Bahrain races.
1 Nico Rosberg
2 Kimi Raikkonen
3 Lewis Hamilton
4 Daniel Ricciardo
5 Romain Grosjean
6 Max Verstappen
7 Daniil Kvyat
8 Felipe Massa
9 Valtteri Bottas
10 Stoffel Vandoorne
11 Kevin Magnussen
12 Marcus Ericsson
13 Pascal Wehrlein
14 Felipe Nasr
15 Nico Hulkenberg
16 Sergio Perez
17 Rio Haryanto
DNF Carlos Sainz
DNF Esteban Gutierrez
DNF Jenson Button
DNS Sebastian Vettel
DNS Jolyon Palmer