Lewis Hamilton claimed the 74th victory of his career when the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc abandoned him and gave him a certain win in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
It was ill luck on Leclerc part who was composed for the majority of the night. His cry came over the radio as he released a nine-second lead in a lap or two. ‘What’s going on?’ he asked, recognizing some issue at the back of his red machine.
His motor engine was shutting down on power, the battery falling, and Hamilton passed him serenely with nine laps remaining.
Goodness my God,’ said Leclerc, who had begun on the pole.
Hamilton’s success came out of the blue on a night that was horrendous for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – he spun on and finished in fifth place.
Valtteri Bottas, who won the opening race in Melbourne for Mercedes a fortnight prior, had an unremarkable appearing yet at last completed second when he appeared unexpectedly to pass the stricken Leclerc. The Monegasque would likewise have been passed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen however for the race finishing under a safety car that had turned out to clean up the Renaults that had halted.
Leclerc was third and Verstappen fourth.
BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX FINAL RACE STANDINGS
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1hr 34mins 21.295secs
2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:34:24.275
3 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:34:27.426
4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:34:27.703
5 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:34:57.363
6 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:35:07.049
7 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:35:08.765
8 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:35:19.389
9 Alexander Albon (Tha) Toro Rosso 1:35:23.992
10 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:35:24.991,
11 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:35:25.894
12 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Toro Rosso at 1 lap
13 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas at 1 lap
14 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point at 1 lap
15 George Russell (Gbr) Williams at 1 lap
16 Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams at 2 laps
17 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault at 4 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault at 4 laps
19 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren at 4 laps
Not Classified: 20 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 16 laps completed
Fastest Lap: Charles Leclerc 1min 33.411secs on lap 38