The two Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers were both on the podium again in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton taking the race victory, although Nico Rosberg lost second place with a couple of laps remaining to the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen after suffering a brake-by-wire issue, a problem that also affected Hamilton on the final lap.
Hamilton was happy to take his third victory in four races in 2015 and extend his championship lead, but felt it was far from an easy win. He was delayed slightly in his first stop and was relieved to see the battle between Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel happening behind him.
“Mercedes has been the best team on the grid for the last year or so but Ferrari are pushing us really hard now,” said Hamilton. “It definitely wasn’t an easy win. It was close when I came out of the pits after the first stop and the battle behind me was intense.
“I had a bit of a slow stop which reduced my gap and when I was braking into T1 I saw them right there in my mirrors! From there I felt like I had it pretty much under control. I had to back off at the end with the traffic and the brakes but luckily for me the effect wasn’t as great as for Nico.
“It’s still a good haul of points and I know we’ll work even harder to do better at the next race. That’s what motorsport is all about and that’s why we go racing – to fight with other teams.”
Team-mate Rosberg felt he had good speed in his Mercedes, but was disappointed to lose second place to Raikkonen with just two laps remaining when he suffered his braking problem that saw him run off track at turn one. He still feels Mercedes have the car to beat and will be looking to get his first win of the season next time out in Spain.
“I felt very good in the car today and had a really exciting race,” revealed Rosberg. “I was able to recover from my poor start with some overtaking manoeuvres on the red cars and I also tried to catch Lewis. But he also had good speed today so it was impossible to get by him.
“At the end it was very disappointing that Kimi got me, but I had no chance to defend my position with a brake-by-wire problem in the last two laps. I just went straight on at Turn One and that allowed him past, which was a shame.
“Anyway, we will investigate this now and with Lewis’ win we still got a strong result for the team once again, so I look forward to the next races with this great car.”