Rosberg triumphs in Bahrain for fifth consecutive victory

by Paul Hensby

Nico Rosberg secured his fifth consecutive Formula 1 victory as he led from start to finish under the lights after an exciting Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver made the best start to lead into the first corner, and was never challenged throughout as he won by 10.282s from Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, while Lewis Hamilton completed the podium.

It was a disappointing afternoon however for the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, who pulled off the track on the formation lap with his engine smoking, causing his first ever ‘did not start’ of his Formula 1 career.

Hamilton had his afternoon compromised early however, when Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas collided with the reigning World Champion at the opening corner, causing damage to the Mercedes, while Bottas received a drive-through penalty as a result.

Williams initially ran second and third after Hamilton’s issue and a slow getaway from Raikkonen, but Felipe Massa and Bottas found themselves on the backfoot for most of the afternoon, ultimately ending the race down in eighth and ninth.

Daniel Ricciardo secured his second consecutive fourth place finish for Red Bull Racing ahead of Romain Grosjean, who drove superbly once more to finish fifth for the Haas F1 Team after gambling on three stints on the Supersoft tyre before switching to the Soft tyre for the final laps.

Max Verstappen secured Scuderia Toro Rosso’s first ever points in Bahrain with a strong drive of his own to sixth, and was the final driver to finish on the lead lap, with Rosberg lapping everyone up to the Dutch teenager.

Daniil Kvyat recovered from his difficult qualifying to finish seventh in the second Red Bull, making a last lap move on Williams driver Massa to secure the position.

Stoffel Vandoorne secured a debut point for McLaren-Honda as he stood in for the injured Fernando Alonso in tenth after a positive debut, becoming the first Belgian driver since Thierry Boutsen in the 1992 Australian Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen did the best job he could after starting from the pit lane to finish eleventh for Renault, but team-mate Jolyon Palmer was another non-starter as he pulled into the pits on the formation lap with a hydraulics issue.

Marcus Ericsson salvaged twelfth for the Sauber F1 Team, with the Swede just holding off the challenge of Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein, who was another to drive superbly during the race, running inside the points in the early laps due to an alternative tyre strategy, with the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr in fourteenth.

The Sauber drivers had an interesting battle during the early laps, with the two switching places a couple of times, but for Nasr it was a tough weekend, with the Brazilian feeling the car was handling badly over the radio during the closing stages.

It was a very disappointing evening for the Sahara Force India team, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez both finishing well out of contention in fifteenth and sixteenth respectively after having their races compromised early on with on track clashes, only ahead of final finisher Rio Haryanto of Manor.

As well as non-starters Vettel and Palmer, there was retirements for the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, who took damage early and then struggled to turn the car thereafter, the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez with brake issues, and the McLaren of Jenson Button with an power unit issue.

Bahrain Grand Prix Race Result

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1hr33m34.696s5725
27Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari+10.282s5718
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes+30.148s5715
43Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer+1m02.494s5712
58Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas-Ferrari+1m18.299s5710
633Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault+1m20.928s578
726Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer+1 Lap566
819Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes+1 Lap564
977Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes+1 Lap562
1047Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren-Honda+1 Lap561
1120Kevin MagnussenDENRenault+1 Lap56
129Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari+1 Lap56
1394Pascal WehrleinGERManor-Mercedes+1 Lap56
1412Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari+1 Lap56
1527Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes+1 Lap56
1611Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes+1 Lap56
1788Rio HaryantoINOManor-Mercedes+1 Lap56
RET55Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-RenaultRetired30
RET21Esteban GutierrezMEXHaas-FerrariRetired11
RET22Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-HondaRetired7
DNS5Sebastian VettelGERFerrariDid Not Start0
DNS30Jolyon PalmerGBRRenaultDid Not Start0

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