Third victory for Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton clinched his third victory in the 2015 Formula 1 season after he was fastest in the Bahrain Grand Prix. In the race which was extremely interesting until last 30 or so laps, Mercedes driver has showed consistency and absolutely deserved victory in front of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg.
It was interesting from the start. Jenson Button missed this race after stewards didn’t allowed him to start after fail in qualification, while Felipe Massa had to start from the pit because his car stayed “frozen” at the start of warm-up lap.
When the race has started, Raikkonen did nice maneuver to surpass Rosberg for third place.But, German driver looked very motivated and soon moved up to second leaving Vettel and Raikkonen behind. After 10 laps, Hamilton had a solid lead with advantage of more than five seconds.
It was a epic battle for the second place. Rosberg and both Ferraris had their moments taking each others to the limits. Battle became even closer after Hamilton went into the pit in lap 15 and after he broke back on the track, he was just in front of his main rivals, with less than half second advantage.
In the meantime, Valtteri Bottas held fifth place with Ricciardo, Grosjean and Ericsson trying to reduce a gap. Massa was fast after starting from the back of the grid and battled for 10th with Nasr and Hulkenberg. Interestingly, fastest lap drove Pastor Maldonado who was out of points zone after he had to serve a five seconds penalty during pit-stop for being out of position on the starting grid.
In the middle of the race, it was under three seconds between the top three. But, it was obvious that Hamilton is looking far better than the chasing duo. Rosberg was too agressive in the moments, while Vettel was prone to strange mistakes and soon he was almost eight seconds behind the leader.
All good job which Massa did was ruined after collision with Maldonado, but after pit-stop experienced Brazilian worked hard to get back into top 10. Daniil Kvyat did good job slightly moving up as he was eighth after 35 laps. In the same time, Rosberg felt to fourth after Mercedes’ team again made a mistake during pit-stop. Luckilly for him, Vettel couldn’t find a right rhytm and Rosberg easily went in front of him. Raikkonen was on the top in front of Hamilton, but Finn still had to go into the pit. In lap 40, Hamilton took the lead again and had opened doors to victory. Rosberg was second, Raikkonen third, while Bottas battled with Vettel for fourth.
It was bad weekend for Toro Rosso team because both drivers were forced to withdraw after mechanic problems. Carlos Sainz stopped first and Max Verstappen few rounds later. Next who was out was Maldonado after problem with breaks.
There wasn’t much excitement until penultimate lap when Nico Rosberg slided out of the track and Raikkonen exploited that to go at second place. Rosberg finished third. In the points zone also are Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, whose Renault engine expired in a dramatic plume of smoke as he exited the last corner but had just enough juice to get him over the line, and Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa.