Newly-crowned seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has taken his 11th victory of the 2020 season, winning out over the Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon at the Bahrain Grand Prix – in a race whose start was overshadowed by a horror crash for Haas’ Romain Grosjean.
Grosjean’s Haas car plunged into the barriers at Turn 3 on Lap 1, the Frenchman emerging from the fiery remains of his cockpit before being airlifted to hospital with suspected broken ribs and minor burns – but thankfully nothing more serious than that – with a lengthy red flag period ensuing as the barriers were repaired after what had been a horrible incident.
Following a subsequent Safety Car period at the restart after Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was rolled over after contact with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, it was a relatively simple evening’s work for Hamilton – crowned world champion last time out at the Turkish Grand Prix – whose victory never looked seriously under threat from Verstappen, despite the Dutchman shadowing him for much of the race.
Behind the leading pair, it looked for much of the Bahrain race as though Sergio Perez was set to claim his second podium in as many races, before the Mexican’s Racing Point expired with a suspected power unit issue three laps from the end. That promoted Albon up to third, giving the Thai driver his second career podium as the race finished behind a Safety Car brought out as Perez’s car was recovered.
Perez’s retirement was great news for McLaren, who claimed fourth and fifth, Lando Norris leading home Carlos Sainz, while their 22-point haul saw them move ahead of the point-less Racing Point to P3 in the constructors’ standings.
A one-stop race for AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly gave him a well-deserved P6, ahead of the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas – who suffered a puncture at the race restart on Lap 3, leaving him with a recovery drive to P8. The top 10 was rounded out by the second Renault of Esteban Ocon and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in P10.
So, a topsy-turvy race – but once again, it was Lewis Hamilton who found himself on top, the Mercedes driver now a four-time winner of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
|2||33||RED BULL RACING HONDA||57||+1.254s||19|
|3||23||RED BULL RACING HONDA||57||+8.005s||15|
|11||26||ALPHATAURI HONDA||56||+1 lap||0|
|12||63||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||56||+1 lap||0|
|14||6||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||56||+1 lap||0|
|15||7||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||56||+1 lap||0|
|16||99||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||56||+1 lap||0|
|17||20||HAAS FERRARI||56||+1 lap||0|
|18||11||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||53||DNF||0|
|NC||18||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||2||DNF||0|
* Provisional results. Note – Verstappen scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.