F1: Hamilton wins Bahrain GP ahead of Raikkonen

    While the reigning world champion always looked in control at the front, there was a thrilling battle for the trio of places behind him.

    Published On Apr 20, 2015 10:53:00 AM

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    F1: Hamilton wins Bahrain GP ahead of Raikkonen

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took his third victory in four races in the 2015 Formula 1 season with a dominant drive in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    While the reigning world champion always looked in control at the front, there was a thrilling battle for the trio of places behind him with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen coming out on top to score his first podium of 2015.

    Raikkonen also closed on Hamilton, who had some late brake worries, but the Briton stayed clear.

    Nico Rosberg finished third, ahead of Williams's Valtteri Bottas and the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in the first night race of the season.

    Hamilton made a clean start from pole, with Vettel going defensive and successfully holding on to second. That backed Rosberg up, allowing Raikkonen to snatch third.

    However, Rosberg battled his way back past Raikkonen and then took advantage of Vettel running wide at Turn 1 to close and then pass at the same corner next time around.

    Ferrari successfully used the undercut to jump Rosberg at the first round of pitstops, but Vettel was then distracted by Hamilton exiting the pitlane and Rosberg took advantage - diving down the inside of Turn 1 to retake second.

    The Scuderia repeated the undercut trick at the second stops and again it worked, with Vettel jumping Rosberg, but another mistake by Vettel, this time running wide at the final corner, allowed Rosberg back through.

    That slip also caused front wing damage for Vettel and forced him to pit for repairs.

    Raikkonen then started catching Rosberg in the final stint of the race, as he was running the softer of the two compound tyres.

    And the Finn capitalised when Rosberg - who also had brake problems - ran wide at Turn 1 in the closing laps, allowing the Ferrari to snatch second.

    Vettel dropped to fifth with his extra pitstop and could not get back past Bottas despite a long chase.

    Daniel Ricciardo's Renault engine let go coming out of the final corner of the last lap, but he managed to cross the line to take sixth for Red Bull.

    Romain Grosjean scored points for the second successive race with seventh for Lotus, ahead of Sergio Perez, who scored for Force India for the first time since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as he made a two-stop strategy work well to progress through three-stopping rivals in the midfield.

    Daniil Kvyat rescued some points with ninth in the Red Bull, having started in 17th, with Felipe Massa completing the top 10 and recovering well from a pitlane start after stalling on the grid.

    The Brazilian ran eighth late on but his very long final stint on his two-stop strategy proved ambitious and his tyres faded.

    Fernando Alonso equalled McLaren's best finish of the season in 11th, while his team-mate Jenson Button did not even make the start after a problem was detected with his energy recovery system.

    Sauber's Felipe Nasr was 12th, one place ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg with Marcus Ericsson 13th, having run in the points before losing at least 20 seconds during a pitstop when his team struggled to fit the front-left tyre.

    Pastor Maldonado was also in contention for points but he was delayed in the pits with smoke pouring from the front brakes of the Lotus and he ended up 15th.

    Manor got both cars to the finish for the second successive race, with Will Stevens 16th and Roberto Merhi 17th.

    Toro Rosso suffered its first double non-finish of the season. Carlos Sainz Jr pulled off track at the halfway point and Max Verstappen parked his car in the garage a few laps later.

    RESULTS - 57 LAPS:

    PosDriverCarGap
    1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1h35m05.809s
    2Kimi RaikkonenFerrari3.380s
    3Nico RosbergMercedes6.033s
    4Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes42.957s
    5Sebastian VettelFerrari43.989s
    6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m01.751s
    7Romain GrosjeanLotus/Mercedes1m24.763s
    8Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1 Lap
    9Daniil KvyatRed Bull/Renault1 Lap
    10Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1 Lap
    11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1 Lap
    12Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
    13Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1 Lap
    14Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
    15Pastor MaldonadoLotus/Mercedes1 Lap
    16Will StevensMarussia/Ferrari2 Laps
    17Roberto MerhiMarussia/Ferrari3 Laps
    -Max VerstappenToro Rosso/RenaultRetirement
    -Carlos SainzToro Rosso/RenaultRetirement
    -Jenson ButtonMcLaren/HondaNot started

    DRIVERS' STANDINGS:

    PosDriverPoints
    1Lewis Hamilton93
    2Nico Rosberg66
    3Sebastian Vettel65
    4Kimi Raikkonen42
    5Felipe Massa31
    6Valtteri Bottas30
    7Daniel Ricciardo19
    8Felipe Nasr14
    9Romain Grosjean12
    10Nico Hulkenberg6
    11Max Verstappen6
    12Carlos Sainz6
    13Sergio Perez5
    14Marcus Ericsson5
    15Daniil Kvyat4
    16Fernando Alonso0
    17Jenson Button0
    18Roberto Merhi0
    19Will Stevens0
    20Pastor Maldonado0

    CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS:

    PosConstructorPoints
    1Mercedes159
    2Ferrari107
    3Williams/Mercedes61
    4Red Bull/Renault23
    5Sauber/Ferrari19
    6Lotus/Mercedes12
    7Toro Rosso/Renault12
    8Force India/Mercedes11
    9McLaren/Honda0
    10Marussia/Ferrari0

    Copyright (c) Autosport. All rights reserved.

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