F1: Mechanical issue prevents Leclerc to win, Hamilton takes the gift
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) clinched his 74th Formula 1 victory today at Bahrain International Circuit by winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, the second round of the 2019 Formula 1 Championship season.
His teammate Valtteri Bottas finished in the second place, giving second consecutive 1-2 victory to Mercedes, following team’s season-opening triumph in Australia. Bottas remains in the championship lead after two rounds.
The pole-sitter Charles Leclerc was a dominant driver on the field until an engine issue of his #16 Ferrari slowed him down and he had no power to fight against Mercedes duo.
After losing a lead on lap 47, Leclerc was in danger to even lose a podium spot to Max Verstappen (Red Bull) but Safety car intervention saved him on lap 55 (of 57). The Safety car came out after both Renaults of Dani Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg stopped on track.
Earlier in the race, Sebastian Vettel spun when fighting against Hamilton for P2, damaging a car and he had to pit for repair. That put him back to P6. Eventually, he finished fifth, behind Max Verstappen.
Lando Norris (McLaren) finished sixth in his only second race in Formula 1, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo Racing) and Pierre Gasly (Red Bull). Alex Albon (Toro Rosso) and Sergio Perez (Racing Point) completed the top 10.
Valtteri Bottas leads the Drivers’ standings with 44 points, one more than Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen is third with 27 points, one more than Charles Leclerc and five more than Sebastien Vettel.
Among the constructors, Mercedes collected 44 points in two races, twice as more than Ferrari. Red Bull Racing Honda keeps the third place with 15 points.
The next F1 round would be Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit on April 14.