Hamilton takes comfortable Bahrain GP win

F1 - BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2015

Lewis Hamilton eased to his third win of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton led comfortably throughout the race to claim victory under the lights, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who passed Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes on the penultimate lap, as the German faded with brake issues.

Pole sitter Hamilton retained the lead off the start, as Raikkonen took advantage of the squabbling Sebastian Vettel and Rosberg to snatch third from the Mercedes racer into Turn 1.

As Hamilton built up an early advantage up front, a recovering Rosberg passed Raikkonen for third, before taking advantage of Vettel running wide at Turn 1 to take second place a lap later at the same corner.

Vettel was the first of the front-runners in on lap 14, successfully using the undercut to repass Rosberg when he stopped a lap later.

Race leader Hamilton stopped on lap 16, re-joining ahead of Vettel, as Rosberg dived down the inside of the Ferrari to snatch second at Turn 1.

Hamilton stretched his lead during the second stint, successfully covering Vettel’s stop to retain his position.

Rosberg was in a lap later, dropping behind Vettel, but he was soon back through after  the Ferrari racer ran wide at the final corner, damaging his front wing and prompting a third stop, dropping him down the order.

Hamilton was promoted back into the lead on lap 40, with Raikkonen pitting for the soft tyres, re-joining third, behind Rosberg on the harder Pirellis.

The Finn reeled in Rosberg – who was struggling with a brake problem – on the faster rubber in the final stint, and capitalised when the Mercedes racer ran wide at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap to snatch second.

Out front Lewis Hamilton cruised home – battling his own brake issues – to record a comfortable win, his third of the season.

Kimi Raikkonen came home second to secure his first podium finish since returning to Ferrari in 2014, with Nico Rosberg forced to settle for third for Mercedes.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas held off a late challenge from a charging Sebastian Vettel to claim his best finish of the season in fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for Red Bull, but suffered a major Renault engine failure as he crossed the finish line.

Romain Grosjean finished seventh for Lotus, ahead of Sergio Perez, who secured Force India’s first points since the Australian Grand Prix in eighth.

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat bounced back from a miserable qualifying session to take the two points on offer for ninth, while Felipe Massa was tenth for Williams, despite a pitlane start and a collision with Pastor Maldonado in the opening stages of the race.

Fernando Alonso narrowly missed out on McLaren-Honda’s first points of the year in 11th, ahead of Felipe Nasr in the Sauber.

Nico Hulkenberg battled tyre trouble on route to 13th, while Marcus Ericsson was 14th in the second Sauber after a lengthy pitstop.F1 - BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2015

Maldonado came home a lowly 15th following his early clash with Massa and an engine glitch in the pits.

Will Stevens lead home Manor Marussia team-mate Roberto Merhi as the last of the classified finishers.

It was a tough day for Toro Rosso as Carlos Sainz Jr. retired after a botched pitstop, while Max Verstappen was forced to retire with a gearbox problem.

Jenson Button failed to start the race for McLaren after a reassurance of the electrical issues which caused him to stop twice on track on Friday.

Images courtesy of Daimler

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