Lewis Hamilton has won the Bahrain Grand Prix after a thrilling battle and a controversial decision which saw Max Verstappen forced to hand a position back to Hamilton in the final few laps.
Starting from the fourth pole position of his career, Verstappen had taken control of the race early on, but lost his advantage when Hamilton was able to perform the undercut and Red Bull made the rather peculiar decision not to react. Following a second stop for both drivers – Verstappen’s coming 10 laps after Hamilton’s – we were all set for a thrilling battle…
Over the last 10-15 laps of the race, Verstappen slowly chipped away at Hamilton’s lead before making an overtake on lap 53. However, as he ran wide while doing this, he was forced to hand the position back to the 7 time world champion and consequently Hamilton went onto win his 96th race.
Valtteri Bottas, who was largely uncompetitive throughout the race rounded off the top 3 and Lando Norris drove a superb race for McLaren to secure a fourth place.
After a formation lap issue that forced him to start from the pit lane, Sergio Perez managed to secure fifth on his debut for Red Bull, ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the second McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo.
Some fans may argue Verstappen was unfairly robbed of his victory whilst others may say Hamilton was undeniably the better driver, however we can all agree on one thing; the Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 has set the stage for a thrilling season.
Full Race Result
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||+0.745s||18|
|4||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes||+46.466s||12|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||+52.047s||10|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes||+66.004s||6|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda||+85.692s||2|
|10||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||+86.713s||1|
|11||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+88.864s||0|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+1 lap||0|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||+1 lap||0|
|14||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||+1 lap||0|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||+1 lap||0|
|16||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||+1 lap||0|
|17||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||DNF||0|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||DNF||0|
|NC||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||DNF||0|
|NC||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||DNF||0|