FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2019, the Victory for the five-
The race was exciting, with plenty of overtaking and drama from the 20 drivers.
It was enjoyed by a crowd of 34,000 spectators who came to the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday. That is the biggest race day crowd in this event’s 15 year history, as is the overall figure for the weekend of 97,000.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver secured the win thanks to his team’s superior reliability, given that Leclerc and his Ferrari were the quickest combination today. Starting from pole, the Monegasque driver was beaten off the line by his team-
But Leclerc took back the lead in imperious fashion over the course of the next six laps, before gradually distancing his rivals.
Once he had made his second pit stop without losing the lead, Leclerc appeared to be totally in control of the situation, as he had a comfortable 8.5 second lead over Hamilton on lap 45, the Englishman having relieved Vettel of second place in a spirited duel.
Thanks to the point he got for setting the race fastest lap in Melbourne, Bottas keeps the lead of the championship, while in the Constructors’ classification, Mercedes already has a significant 39 point lead.
The German marque played another role in the final stages of the race, as it provides the Safety Car which for the eighth time ever, the last dating back to China 2015, led the cars across the line to take the chequered flag, because of the previously mentioned simultaneous retirement of the two Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.
The French marque literally saw its hopes of a double points finish go up in smoke. However, it could take some consolation from the fact that it supplied the power unit that allowed Lando Norris to take a great sixth place for McLaren.
Honda could be pleased with its day’s work, because although it failed it match its Melbourne performance of getting a driver on the podium, three of its four cars finished in the points: a fourth place for Max Verstappen, an eighth for Pierre Gasly in the Red Bulls and a ninth place for another rookie, Alexander Albon in the Toro Rosso, which means a Thai driver has scored points for the first time in 65 years, when, back in 1954, Prince Bira finished fourth in the 1954 French Grand Prix. !
Kimi Raikkonen also finished in the top ten, his seventh place taking Alfa Romeo Racing to fourth in the Constructors’ classification, while in tenth spot was Sergio Perez for SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team.
Pos, Driver, Team, Time/Gap (Fastest Lap), Grid, Pitstops
1., L. Hamilton, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, 1:34:21.295 (1:33.528), 3, 2 (13, 34)
2., V. Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, + 2.980 (1:34.209), 4, 2 (12, 37)
3., Charles. Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, + 6.131 (1:33.411), 1, 2 (13, 36
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team -
Charles was very unfortunate today; he was the quickest guy out there and should've won the race. But on the other side that's racing; sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are unlucky -
It was very tricky out there today and I had to give it everything I had. We were very, very lucky to get this 1-
This was not an easy race, the car was very difficult to drive and the conditions were very tricky with the gusty winds today which made the car very unpredictable. I had a good start and managed to get to P2, but in the next lap the wind caught me up going into Turn 1, so I lost the position again and ultimately fell back to fourth after a battle with Lewis. After that it was actually a relatively lonely race for me at points, I didn't see anybody; but I think it was probably very exciting from the outside with many unexpected moments. Ferrari were very strong again in the race as they were all weekend. But luck was on our side today, which was a welcome change for me personally after all the bad luck I experienced last year. On the other hand our car was very reliable which ultimately won us the race today. It was a tough race for Charles, but he did a great job all weekend and I'm sure his time will come. We're leaving Bahrain with lots of points but also a lot of work to do for China.
We're delighted with the 1-
ASTON MARTIN -
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:
“It was a tough race this evening in Bahrain in extremely windy conditions. We seem to have struggled to get the tyres to work at their optimum all weekend and we experienced the same challenge during the race today. Nonetheless, Max made a good recovery at the first corner and raced very hard, but we just didn’t have the pace to go with Mercedes or Ferrari. He was unfortunate to miss out on what would have been an opportunistic podium following Charles Leclerc’s bad luck but hopefully there will be more podiums to come soon. Pierre drove a solid race to score his first points for the Team, finishing eighth, and making good progress through the pack. He displayed his race craft with a couple of bold overtaking moves, which will be good for his confidence, but the Safety Car at the end prevented him from progressing further as he was rapidly closing in on the cars ahead.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 5th
“I think we maximised the result today and it was another good point’s score. To finish fourth was not too bad as we struggled with pace and rear grip, especially with the high winds. I was sliding around a lot so it was not easy and I just had to manage it, but I don’t think we could have done a lot differently. I drove to the limit of the car, in Australia it was better but here it was pretty difficult. We were almost on the podium today but it would have been down to luck as we didn’t have the true pace and really deserve it. Anyway, it was more unfortunate for Charles, but at least he’s still on the podium and I’m not too disappointed with fourth. We still have a lot of things to learn about the car so we will go back to the factory, understand what happened here and continue to try and close the gap in China. This just wasn’t our weekend.”
PIERRE GASLY, Finish Position: 8th, Start Position: 13th
“It was quite a difficult race and I’m still not completely comfortable with the car. As soon as I try to push, I struggle a lot with the rear and the traction. For sure, I need to see what I can improve to get the maximum out of the car and work with the engineers to see what we can do to make me feel more confident, because at the moment I feel I cannot really push. I need to make an effort and adapt, because each car is different, and I will work with the team to find a set-
result, Bahrein GP 2019, -
2019 FIA Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes -
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 2.980
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 6.131
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 6.408
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 36.068
6 Lando Norris McLaren 45.754
7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 47.470
8 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 58.094
9 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1'02.697
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1'03.696
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'04.599
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1 lap
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 lap
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1 lap
15 George Russell Williams 1 lap
16 Robert Kubica Williams 2 laps
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault
18 Daniel Ricciardo Renault
19 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren
Romain Grosjean Haas
Fotos: Copyright FIA, Scudería Ferrari & Mercedes AMG F1 Teams, all rights reserved