Nico Rosberg wins for the second time in a row ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton as Sebastian Vettel’s race ends early due to an engine failure.
This weekend, Pirelli brought the Medium, Soft and Supersoft compound tyre. For the race, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson, Rio Haryanto and Felipe Nasr will start on the Soft compound tyre. The rest of the grid will start on the Supersoft tyre.
The formation lap starts but Nico Rosberg is slow off the line but gets going. As the field snakes it’s way round the track, a puff of smoke appears out of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari near turn 11. The smoke continues and gets heavier before Vettel is told to stop and he does so halfway between turns 13 to 14. The drivers line up on the grid except for Renault’s Jolyon Palmer who pulls into the pits and that is the end of his race.
The lights are out and Rosberg gets a better start than Lewis Hamilton on Pole Position and is ahead before turn 1. Valterri Bottas makes a better start than those around him and sits in 3rd only when he sees tiny gap top the inside of turn1 and he goes for it only for Hamilton to turn in on Bottas and Hamilton takes a whack on the side and Bottas to lose a piece of his front wing. Hamilton drops down to 9th place while Rosberg leads ahead of Felipe Massa, Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Lap 2, Sergio Perez sees a gap on the inside of turn 1 and hits Carlos Sainz giving him a puncture and Perez losing a chunk of his front wing. Both pit the next lap for repairs. Lap 5, Daniel Ricciardo also looks like he lost a bit of front wing having hit Bottas on the opening lap. Hamilton has now climbed to 5th place despite damage to his car while Nico Rosberg is pulling away at the front. Lap 8, Lewis Hamilton is now on a charge overtaking Grosjean and Bottas for 3rd as Jenson Button’s McLaren Honda has stopped at turn 10, looks like his race is over. Lap 9, Valterri Bottas has been given a penalty for the collision with Lewis Hamilton at the start and has been given a drive through penalty. Lap 10, Esteban Gutierrez is out and is being wheeled back into the garage.
Lap 12, Kimi Raikkonen pits from 2nd place and takes the Soft tyre. Raikkonen’s stop elevates Hamilton to 2nd. Lap 14, Nico Rosberg pits from the lead and takes on the Soft tyre. Hamilton follows behind but takes the Medium tyre. Lap 16, Nico Rosberg leads by 11 seconds with Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd just 9 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 3rd. Lap 17, Stoffel Vandoorne is currently 8th on his debut. Lap 25, Nico Rosberg still leads now 15 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd with Lewis Hamilton 7 seconds behind Raikkonen. Lap 27, Romain Grosjean pits from 4th and goes back out on a set of Supersoft tyres. Lap 28, Lewis Hamilton pits from 3rd and goes onto a set of the Supersoft tyres as well. Lap 29, Kimi Raikkonen pits from 2nd and goes back out onto a set of Supersoft tyres. Lap 31, race leader, Nico Rosberg responds to the action behind and pits for a set of Supersoft tyres.
Lap 37, Kimi Raikkonen pits again for a third time for a set of the Soft tyres. Lap 39, Nico Rosberg responds to Raikkonen’s pit stop and Rosberg goes onto the Soft tyres. Lap 41, Lewis Hamilton responds to Rosberg’s and Raikkonen’s pit stops and pits. He goes onto the Soft tyres. Rosberg leads ahead of Raikkonen and Hamilton. Lap 42, Romain Grosjean pits and he goes onto the Supersoft tyres to take him to the end. Lap 44, Stoffel Vandoorne, the only McLaren car left pits for a third time and goes onto the Soft tyres. Lap 47, Romain Grosjean passes Felipe Massa for 6th into turn 1, Grosjean’s American team seem happy with the overtake by saying over the radio “Awesome, absolutely awesome.”
Lap 51, Nico Rosberg is now just 6.6s ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in third. Stoffel Vandoorne is on course for a point-scoring debut hanging in 10th. Nico Rosberg wins the Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.
1.Rosberg 2.Raikkonen 3.Hamilton 4.Ricciardo 5.Grosjean 6.Verstappen 7.Kvyat 8.Massa 9.Bottas 10.Vandoorne 11.Magnussen 12.Ericsson 13.Wehrlein 14.Nasr 15.Hulkenberg 16.Perez 17.Haryanto DNF Sainz, Gutierrez and Button DNS Palmer and Vettel
- Nico Rosberg 50 points
- Lewis Hamilton 33 points
- Daniel Ricciardo 24 points
- Kimi Raikkonen 18 points
- Romain Grosjean 18 points
- With his first ever victory in Bahrain, Nico Rosberg moved onto 16 career wins, equalling Sir Stirling Moss.
- Despite having been called late in to replace the recovering Fernando Alonso, McLaren rookie Stoffel Vandoorne became the first Belgian to score points in F1 since Thierry Boutsen in 1992. He’s also the first McLaren driver to score on his debut since Kevin Magnussen finished third in Australia in 2014.