Monday 19 August 2019

Hamilton wins Bahrain F1 after Leclerc heartbreak

MANAMA, March 31, 2019

Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday after engine trouble dashed Charles Leclerc’s hopes of a first Formula One victory in only his second race for Ferrari.
Monaco’s Leclerc, who had started on pole position for the first time, lost power with 10 laps to go while leading and finished third with an extra point for the fastest lap, reported Reuters.
Valtteri Bottas, winner of the opener in Australia, took second place to stay top of the championship standings by a point from team mate Hamilton, it stated.
The race finished behind the safety car after both Renaults stopped on track, said the report.
Defending world champion Hamilton took his first victory of the season, but it was a win the British driver largely inherited after a heartbreaking mechanical problem for Ferrari’s Leclerc.
The five-time champion, who looked to be heading for second behind the 21-year-old Monegasque, gained the lead with 10 laps remaining when Formula One's new star, who claimed a record-breaking pole position for Ferrari on Saturday, was hit by engine problems.
As he slowed, Hamilton hunted him down to claim his first win of the season, his third at the Bahrain International Circuit and the 74th of his career ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Bottas, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Leclerc came home third as the race finished behind a Safety Car, following the spectacular late exit of both Renaults at Turn Two, ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
"It happens," said a calm Leclerc afterwards. "It's part of motor sport. It's a very hard one to take, but I am sure we will come back stronger."
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished fifth in the second Ferrari, after a late spin had damaged his front wing during a duel with Hamilton, ahead of British rookie Lando Norris who scored his first points for McLaren in sixth.
Kimi Raikkonen, 39, was seventh for Alfa Romeo ahead of Pierre Gasly of Red Bull, Thailand's rookie Alex Albon of Toro Rosso, who also had his first points finish, and Mexican Sergio Perez of Racing Line.
"That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove a great race," said Hamilton, on the team radio.
"We've got work to do to keep these guys off our tails. It must be devastating for Charles."
It was Leclerc's first podium finish in F1 and he also scored a point for fastest lap.



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