Lewis Hamilton has edged out his teammate Nico Rosberg to win the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix and the pair delighted fans all around the world in doing so.
The quality of racing throughout the field all race was first class, with most scraps taking place behind the leading Mercedes drivers. The men in the silver arrows must have felt obliged to bring some spice to the front of the field and they gave us some brilliant wheel-to-wheel racing.
After Pastor Maldonado exited the pits following his final pit stop he decided he didn’t need to worry about too much about the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez ahead in Turn 1 and just speared into him, flipping the young Mexican who eventually landed back on his wheels and escaped serious injury.
The wash up from that incident was the obligatory penalties for Maldonado and a Safety Car which bunched up the field and was released with 10 laps to race.
Quickly speeding off into the distance was leader Hamilton with Rosberg hot on his heels. The pair pitted just as the Safety Car came out and Rosberg was on the grippier and theoretically faster Soft tyres. We were set for a grandstand sprint finish and that’s exactly what we got.
Out front the Mercedes pair diced for the lead with millimetres separating cheers from tears. It was great to watch and afterwards Hamilton and Rosberg appeared good humoured and shared a few laughs. One thing is certain, though, if they keep racing that closely there will be contact and we could have a repeat of Turkey 2010 on our hands.
The raw pace of the Mercedes AMG F1 W05 was brutally exposed when you consider the winning margin was 24 seconds from the race winner to P3. That’s not to say the racing behind was boring, though, far from it!
Sergio Perez emerged as the best of the rest in what is just Force India’s second ever podium result. Yet the man who will attract more headlines is Daniel Ricciardo who finished fourth after starting back in P13. In doing so he established once again that he is not afraid of his four-time world champion teammate and fought his way past Vettel on track as he edged his way through the field.
Nico Hulkenberg picked up more good points for Force India and split the Red Bulls, with Vettel finishing sixth.
The Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished in P7 and P8 respectively. The latter may have expected more after starting from P3. The top 10 was rounded out by the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
With the Mercedes power unit being the clear stand out so far this season McLaren will be bitterly disappointed to have endured a double retirement. Kevin Magnussen pulled off track on lap 40 and Jenson Button returned to the pits with just a couple of laps to go.
All in all it was a very exciting race and if there is a coming to blows at some stage between Hamilton and Rosberg this season could get very tasty indeed! Equally, the RB10 is a very strong chassis and if Renault can find some power then Mercedes could have a fight outside of its own garage.
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix final placings
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG – 57 Laps (25 pts)
- Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG – +1.0 secs (18 pts)
- Sergio Perez Force India – +24.0 secs (15 pts)
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing – +24.4 secs (12 pts)
- Nico Hulkenberg Force India – +28.6 secs (10 pts)
- Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing – +29.8 secs (8 pts)
- Felipe Massa Williams – +31.2 secs (6 pts)
- Valtteri Bottas Williams – +31.8 secs (4 pts)
- Fernando Alonso Ferrari – +32.5 secs (2 pts)
- Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari – +33.4 secs (1 pt)
- Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso – +41.3 secs
- Romain Grosjean Lotus – +43.1 secs
- Max Chilton Marussia – +59.9 secs
- Pastor Maldonado Lotus – +62.8 secs
- Kamui Kobayashi Caterham – +87.9 secs
- Jules Bianchi Marussia – +1 Lap
- Jenson Button McLaren – +2 Laps
Kevin Magnussen McLaren – +17 Laps
Esteban Gutierrez Sauber – Accident
Marcus Ericsson Caterham – +24 Laps
Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso – +39 Laps
Adrian Sutil Sauber – +40 Laps
Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG – 1:37.020 (Lap 49)
2014 F1 world championship – Drivers (Top 10)
- Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG – 61
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG – 50
- Nico Hulkenberg Force India – 28
- Fernando Alonso Ferrari – 26
- Jenson Button McLaren – 23
- Sebastian Vettel Red Bull – 23
- Kevin Magnussen McLaren – 20
- Valtteri Bottas Williams – 18
- Sergio Perez Force India – 16
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull – 12
2014 F1 world championship – Constructors
- Mercedes – 111
- Force India-Mercedes – 44
- McLaren-Mercedes – 43
- Red Bull Racing – 35
- Ferrari – 33
- Williams-Mercedes – 30
- STR-Renault – 7