Big drama at the Bahrain Grand Prix! Unexpectedly, Lewis Hamilton prevailed over initial leader, Leclerc, who lost power, destroying Ferrari’s chances for victory and came in third.
It was bad news for Leclerc who had just recovered from a poor first lap. It started to dominate and overtake Bottas and Vettel before experiencing a sudden loss of engine power. Hamilton closed in for Mercedes to claim the lead. In fact it was a 1-2 victory for the team.
It all played out in front of excited fans, but it was disappointing for Ferrari followers. It didn’t matter that Leclerc received a bonus point for fastest lap. It was a small triumph to secure a place on the podium, bumping Max Verstappen’s Red Bull-Honda.
It is tough to recover when disaster strikes as shown in Vettel’s drop to fifth from third. He spun out and had to make an unscheduled stop. Mercedes’s Bottas passed Leclerc with ease with four remaining laps to go to take second.
As Hamilton rose to second after struggling to stay on the track and pitting early, in spite of lacking pace. Vettel was closing in at Turn 4 on lap 23 of 57 after which Hamilton made a gung-ho move on lap 37. He was able to make a comeback while seeking to gain momentum to complete the pass at Turn 6.
After various trials and tribulations on the main straight for Hamilton as drivers vied for position, Lando Norris for McLaren/Renault dropped to sixth. In seventh place came Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo, overtaking Pierre Gasly in eight and Alexander Albon in ninth. At a distant tenth was Sergio Perez (Racing Point/Mercedes). Because Renault’s cars broke down, drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo took seventeen and eighteenth. At the bottom was Carlos Sainz, Jr. for McLaren/Renault.