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Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton's domination of Formula One continued in Bahrain as the reigning world champion clinched his ninth victory in the past 11 races.

Staff Reporter
19 April 2015, 6:32pm
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton took his third win of the season with a commanding drive at the Bahrain Grand Prix, while Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen capitalised on late trouble for Nico Rosberg to split the Mercedes duo.

Hamilton led away cleanly at the start of the race, with Vettel holding second position and team-mate Räikkönen slotting ahead of Rosberg.

Rosberg soon fought back, passing Vettel and Räikkönen in quick succession at Turn 1, before attempting to get on terms with Hamilton.

Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to pit for fresh Soft tyres, utilising the undercut to jump ahead of Rosberg, who stopped a lap later.

Hamilton stopped on the following lap and rejoined just ahead of the battling pair, as Rosberg pulled his second move on Vettel under braking for the first corner.

Meanwhile, Räikkönen elected to stay out a little longer on the Soft rubber, before making the switch to the Medium compound for a sizeable second stint.

Hamilton pressed on to build up a comfortable advantage ahead of the second pit-stops, ensuring that neither Rosberg nor Vettel threatened him as the phase unfolded.

Rosberg again dropped behind Vettel, who pulled off another undercut, but the Ferrari driver ran wide at the final corner and allowed his fellow German back through.

Vettel promptly reported front wing damage over the radio and stopped at the end of the next lap for a nose change, dropping him behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Räikkönen swapped to Softs for a shorter final stint and slashed the gap to the Silver Arrows, at one point circulating over two seconds per lap faster.

On the penultimate lap of the race, just as Räikkönen was lining up a move on Rosberg, the latter ran wide at the first corner as he struggled with a brake problem.

Hamilton also reported a brake-by-wire issue on his final lap, but the reigning World Champion held on to take the victory and extend his championship lead.

Räikkönen claimed his first podium since finishing in the same position at the 2013 Korean Grand Prix, while Rosberg nursed his car home to complete the top three.

Bottas came under intense pressure from Vettel in the closing laps, but defended brilliantly to record his best finish of the three races he has completed this season.

Daniel Ricciardo was a lonely sixth for Red Bull, almost 20 seconds back on the Bottas/Vettel fight, and 23 seconds clear of Romain Grosjean's Lotus.

Ricciardo only just made it to the finish line, with his Renault power unit dramatically giving up at the final corner and adding to his engine allocation woes.

Sergio Pérez managed his tyres well to give Force India some more valuable points in eighth, ahead of Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull and Felipe Massa's Williams.

Massa impressively rose through the field after an apparent electrical problem left him stranded on the grid, and with no option but to start from the pit lane.

Jenson Button was unable to make the start, with his ostensibly fixed McLaren-Honda encountering further issues when mechanics attempted the pre-race fire-up.

Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen were the other retirements; Sainz Jr. reported a loose wheel after pitting, before Verstappen boxed his car.

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