F1 Bahrain: Hamilton wins, Force India on podium

Hamilton beat team-mate Rosberg to win a breathless Bahrain GP while Sergio Perez gave Force India its second-ever podium.

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to win a breathless Bahrain Grand Prix by just one second.

A late-race safety car, deployed after Pastor Maldonado's Lotus tipped Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber into a roll at Turn 1, turned the 57-lap race into a 10-lap sprint under floodlights in the desert.

Both drivers had gone wheel-to-wheel in the early stages, as Hamilton outdragged poleman Rosberg at the start and the German attempted to come back at his British team-mate, so they were warned to keep it clean by Mercedes boss Paddy Lowe.

They just about managed it as they scrapped mightily for the win.

Rosberg had the advantage of softer tyres for the showdown and had several stabs at passing Hamilton using DRS into the Michael Schumacher corner.

But he could not make either stick, and Hamilton prevailed on his medium tyres after some epic side-by-side racing through the esses.

Behind, Force India recorded its first podium since Spa 2009 as Sergio Perez just held off the quicker Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

The Red Bulls also had the advantage of soft tyres for the final sprint and Ricciardo got the better of his world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg's Force India to finish fourth.

Vettel, who complained of a lack of power from his Renault engine, could not find his own way past Hulkenberg (on ageing mediums) so had to spend the final two laps fending off Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for sixth.

Williams gambled on a three-stop strategy where most of the other frontrunners went for two, and the safety car undid its hopes of a better result.

The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top 10, after Jenson Button joined McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen in retirement, after plummeting down the top order following the re-start.

Bahrain GP - 57 laps

Pos Driver                Team                      Time/Gap
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                  1h38m42.743
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                  +1.085s
 3. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes      +24.067s
 4. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault          +24.489s
 5. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes      +28.654s
 6. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault          +29.879s
 7. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes         +31.200s
 8. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes         +31.800s
09. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                   +32.500s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                   +33.400s
11. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault        +41.300s
12. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault             +43.100s
13. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari          +59.900s
14. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault             +1m02.800s
15. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault          +1m27.900s
16. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari          +1 lap
17. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes          +2 laps

Retirements

    Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        40 laps
    Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          39 laps
    Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        33 laps
    Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      18 laps
    Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          17 laps

Drivers' standings:

 1. Nico Rosberg       61  
 2. Lewis Hamilton     50  
 3. Nico Hulkenberg    28  
 4. Fernando Alonso    26  
 5. Jenson Button      23  
 6. Sebastian Vettel   23  
 7. Kevin Magnussen    20  
 8. Valtteri Bottas    18  
 9. Sergio Perez       16  
10. Daniel Ricciardo   12  
11. Felipe Massa       12  
12. Kimi Raikkonen     7  
13. Jean-Eric Vergne   4  
14. Daniil Kvyat       3  
                     
Constructors' standings

 1. Mercedes               111  
 2. Force India-Mercedes   44  
 3. McLaren-Mercedes       43  
 4. Red Bull-Renault       35  
 5. Ferrari                33  
 6. Williams-Mercedes      30  
 7. Toro Rosso-Renault     7 
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Issue: 201 | Autocar India: May 2016

Toyota’s super popular Fortuner is due for replacement later this year, and we’ve got an exclusive first drive of the next-gen SUV. This and a whole lot more in the May 2016 issue.
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