Hamilton fends off Rosberg for win in Bahrain thriller

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix summary

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Lewis Hamilton took his second consecutive victory after holding off team mate Nico Rosberg in an intense race-long battle during a dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix.

In a race filled with overtaking and suspense, the two Mercedes drivers fought for victory in a close battle that saw Hamilton holding off Rosberg despite being on the slower Medium tyres.

Sergio Perez claimed third to secure only the second podium appearance for Force India in the team’s history, after holding off a hard-charging Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

A frantic start saw Hamilton jump his team mate on the run to the first corner, but Rosberg did not want to yield the lead too easily and tried a bold move around the outside of turn four, only to be squeezed off the track by Hamilton on exit. Felipe Massa made a superb start from seventh place in the Williams to leap into third position.

Nico Hulkenberg caught and passed Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari for seventh, before snatching sixth from Valtteri Bottas on lap 10 after Jenson Button dived past the Williams into turn one. Just two laps later, Sergio Perez frustrated Williams further by robbing third place from Massa on the exit of turn four.

The first round of pitstops saw heavy competition between Hulkenberg jump ahead of his team mate, while Bottas successfully undercut his own team mate. Sebastian Vettel allowed team mate Daniel Ricciardo past after complaining to his team that his DRS was malfunctioning.

Suddenly on lap 18, Hamilton came under intense pressure from his team mate with Rosberg diving down the inside of turn one. After a dramatic sequence of two laps with the leading Mercedes dicing for position, Hamilton was ultimately able to fend off his team mate before both cars were called in to the pits. Hamilton was given another set of Soft tyres while Rosberg was placed onto the harder Mediums.

Meanwhile, the battle between Force India and Williams was also heating up. Bottas led a train including his team mate, Hulkenberg and Perez. The Mexican took advantage of Bottas holding the three of them up to pass his team mate, before both Force Indias forced their way passed Massa on lap 28 after Bottas pitted for the second time.

The mixture of two and three-stopping cars provided plenty of action in the middle stage of the race. Bottas almost ran into Kimi Raikkonen at turn one, as the Ferraris found themselves under constant attack from the Red Bulls and Williams. With the advantage of the Soft tyres, Hamilton pulled a gap of over 13 seconds to Rosberg in second.

But on lap 41, the race took an even more dramatic turn when Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber was sent into a violent roll at turn one by Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, bringing out the Safety Car. Suddenly, the advantage Hamilton had built up over his team mate on the Soft tyres was eliminated, leaving him facing a ten lap challenge to hold off Rosberg for the victory on the slower compound. Mercedes’s Paddy Lowe was heard warning both drivers to “bring both cars home”.

But Lowe’s calls appeared to fall on deaf ears as, at the restart, Rosberg immediately put Hamilton under pressure for the lead while Hulkenberg challenged his team mate for the final podium position. While there were no changes of position at the front, Ricciardo charged past his world champion team mate for fifth place.

With six laps to go, the fight for the win between the two Mercedes ignited again with Rosberg challenging his team mate once more. But Rosberg was unable to retake the lead and it proved to be as close as the German would get to his team mate.

Having passed his team mate, Ricciardo dived past Hulkenberg for fourth before trying in vain to catch Perez for the final podium spot. After such a promising weekend, Williams will likely be very disappointed to have crossed the line in seventh and eighth while Ferrari will not be happy to have rounded out the points in ninth and tenth.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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94 comments on Hamilton fends off Rosberg for win in Bahrain thriller

  1. MalO (@) said on 6th April 2014, 18:06

    F1 is dead according to the naysayers. I say viva le F1!

  2. ruliemaulana (@ruliemaulana) said on 6th April 2014, 18:07

    Fend Off.
    Agree. Best word of choice.

  3. What the hell were those idiotic race directors thinking not showing us or only showing us flashes of the battle for the lead in the last 10 laps?? Showing us the ‘intervals’, ‘fuel consumption’ and everything else EXCEPT the battle live! When was the last time we had a good nailbiting battle for the race win? Jeezes, this was an amazing race but it was destroyed a little bit by the race directors in the end…

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 7th April 2014, 10:57

      @gdewilde I had the same thoughts, at one point we had several seconds showing the back end of a McLaren parked in its garage while there were several exciting battles going on. Rather than worrying about spicing up the show maybe FOM should focus on showing the great show we’ve got first.

  4. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 6th April 2014, 18:11

    Wonderful Job by Mercedes without team orders . Lewis you hotshot ! What a race !
    The new formula shows how important drivers are . Take Maldonado and Hulkenberg. Ricciardo has a normal race at last ! Kudos to him on his efforts
    Montezomolo better shut his tap . That’s about as much polite as I can be .

    • rantingmrp (@rantingmrp) said on 6th April 2014, 18:23

      +1.
      What a fantastic drive by Lewis!

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 6th April 2014, 21:25

        I have to agree, Hamilton did well, but honestly, I could have kept Rosberg behind. Anyone who tries 4 times to pass around the outside of turn 4 deserves to get beat! All Hamilton had to do was keep his line, simple as that.

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 6th April 2014, 18:25

      Absolutely amazing drive by Lewis. Managed the option tyre gap well. Fair defensive driving throughout. And to defend with prime versus option and against DRS. Fantastic. Closed up field at the end provided manic action. Simply Awesome

    • OOliver said on 6th April 2014, 20:02

      A wonderful job by Mercedes, and I am very happy for Aldo Costa. He was sacked by Ferrari when he kept on saying their wind tunnel had issues, now he is delivering for Mercedes, plus he gets to experience a thrilling race by his drivers in something he played a part in creating.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th April 2014, 18:11

    Mercedes is dominant but at least we have intra-Merdedes battle for now. That’s good. However, I’m afraid if there’s only battle between Hamilton and Nico, nobody else, I believe the sheer force of Hamilton would easily crush Nico. I think we need another player asap…

    • joetoml1n (@joetoml1n) said on 6th April 2014, 18:53

      I believe the sheer force of Hamilton would easily crush Nico

      Not based on the race today at least!

      • Paul Ogbeiwi (@pauldstar) said on 6th April 2014, 19:08

        SC helped Nico @joeoml1n

        • Lari (@lari) said on 6th April 2014, 19:14

          Nico could’ve still catch Lewis in the last stint as he had softs left and Lewis had mediums. Ofc, he wouldn’t have had that many laps (most likely) to try overtake but might have catch him.

          • Traverse (@) said on 6th April 2014, 20:40

            @lari
            What on earth makes you think that Nico had a hope in hell of catching Hamilton had the safety car not been a factor?

            Nico had the softs put on his car just before the safety car interrupted proceedings, yet he couldn’t overtake Ham who also pitted at the same time to put mediums on his car. So if Rosberg couldn’t pass Ham despite restarting the race (post SC) right behind Ham on faster tyres, what makes you think he could’ve made up a 13/14sec deficit and then challenge a pass?

            Ham has and will have Rosberg’s number this year; Rosberg’s WDC lead is an artificial one as he only leads Ham due to his Melbourne dnf. Ham would’ve finished the opening race 2nd at worst and would currently lead the WDC.

        • toiago (@toiago) said on 6th April 2014, 19:16

          Who in turn was not helped by his team instructing him to stay out a further two laps more than Hamilton in 20+ old tyres.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 6th April 2014, 20:06

            It was hoped it would be to his benefit as they could reduce his time on the softs later I assume, meaning he could take more out of them when he needed to push to catch and overtake Hamilton.

          • medman (@medman) said on 7th April 2014, 1:18

            I guarantee you if it was Hamilton on softs and Nico on the hard tires with 10 laps remaining, Hamilton would have passed Nico and left him where he found him on the way to victory. Hamilton’s force of will and sheer driving talent was the difference today. He refused to be beaten despite the severe handicap of the slower tires and the drs advantage Nico had. Incredible driving by Lewis. Incredible talent and experience as well, considering how many other teammates were able to make passes in the final ten laps without that same tire advantage Nico enjoyed.

        • joetoml1n (@joetoml1n) said on 6th April 2014, 19:22

          HAM pulled away when he was on the softer tyre, rolls were reversed in final stint.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th April 2014, 22:03

          @pauldstar, I’m not sure that is true, Nico may have been able to finish the race without a further pit-stop which is what I believe was Mercs plan B, Ham had to stop for primes, the safety car gave Ham a free pit stop.

          • Paul Ogbeiwi (@pauldstar) said on 6th April 2014, 22:26

            “what I believe was Mercs plan B” I read that and decided you don’t really anything about their plan B. But thanks for your opinion @hohum

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th April 2014, 23:32

            @pauldstar, true I don’t know what their plan B was, but they surely had one as Nico was told they were going to change their strategy and it was important for him to be able to run long on his starting set of options. I read elsewhere that Rosberg pitted and changed back to options before the safety car came out but I was unaware of this, all I know is what the TV shows me so there are many gaps in my knowledge, I have to speculate and try to never pass my speculation of as irrefutable fact.

  6. Mackeine Loveine (@cocaine-mackeine) said on 6th April 2014, 18:12

    I thought F1 was dead with the new rules….. how wrong I was! Best race since Brazil 2012….. the whole 2013 lacked of this….. Real Racing.

  7. Eoin (@eoin16) said on 6th April 2014, 18:12

    One of the best races I have seen in a long time and I am really enjoying this new F1. I am a Ferrari fan but i really wish Luca would stop talking on my behave!

    Also, something needs to be done about Pastor! He really is going to hurt someone!

  8. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 6th April 2014, 18:13

    Thank you Mercedes for letting them race!
    I was afraid the safety car would rob a thrilling race that would build up with a faster Rosberg.
    But in the end Hamilton was brilliant!
    And Rosberg showed he is a great racer.. being this close to Hamilton is not a given!
    GREAT RACE!

    • Psychotext (@textuality) said on 6th April 2014, 18:33

      Seconded.

      …and fair play, Hamilton will have won a lot of fans by being able to hold off Rosberg at the end there.

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 6th April 2014, 18:35

      What was great about it was that they allowed the racing right until the chequered flag, no bring told to hold stations after lap x, just race fairly to the end as long as both cars intact. Refreshing

    • OOliver said on 6th April 2014, 20:11

      I don’t think Lewis was told Rosberg was on the options, because he was saying he was lacking in power and immediately I knew he was being surprised by Rosberg’s soft tyre advantage.

  9. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 6th April 2014, 18:14

    Alonso celebrating 9th place. A clear message to Ferrari i assume. Ferrari can hire Raikkonen to try and push alonso but who is going to push Ferrari to make a good enough car ?

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th April 2014, 18:19

      I’ve never thought Alonso needs re-motivated or shock treatment. He just needs better car.

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 6th April 2014, 20:29

      Yeah that was a signal to Ferrari team from Alondo ironically saying: Look at me mammy, I’m 9th! Yippee! And don’t you think that both of them didn’t sweat for 9th and 10th place. They were constantly under attack by others. Now LdM will whine even more instead of put their head down and work harder for Kimi and Alo.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 6th April 2014, 21:02

      @aimalkhan – As some form of consolation, these first three races have hardly been bad for Alonso’s image, in that he is comfortably ahead of Raikkonen, and at Williams Massa, a man Alonso scored more than twice the points of during their time as teammates, is barely slower than the highly rated young-gun Bottas. Meanwhile at Red Bull, Vettel is actually under pressure from young Ricciardo…

      • HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 7th April 2014, 0:11

        @william-brierty I wouldn’t say Alonso is “comfortably” ahead as Kimi was in Malaysia faster of the Ferrari drivers whole weekend except wet qualifying (that was first time Kimi drove F14T in wet conditions, so that’s acceptable). Kimi was also comfortably quicker in qualifying yesterday.

        Somebody has hit Kimi’s car in every race so far: Kobayashi in Australia and Magnussen twice in a row. Those incidents possibly broke something from Kimi’s car in race days. That’s the only explanation I can think of why Kimi didn’t beat Alonso today since he was so much quicker on Saturday. Bad luck will come to Alonso as well and then their points tally will look a lot more closer.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th April 2014, 12:23

          @huhhi – I would still argue it has been comfortable for Alonso. Alonso suffered an engine software issue on Saturday in Bahrain and on Friday in Malaysia, as well as managing to outqualify Kimi with out of balance steering following his collision with Kvyat. The fact that Raikkonen has been fundamentally lacking in pace is undeniable, and it is not just a matter on luck with incidents that explains the points gap.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th April 2014, 12:24

            @huhhii

          • HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 9th April 2014, 12:35

            @william-brierty According to Ferrari there was nothing wrong in Alonso’s car during qualifying. Kimi’s little shunt at Friday practice however broke something from the chassis, so Kimi out-qualified Alonso and got similar result from the race with a broken car.

            I’d say this fight is far from over.

  10. LosD (@losd) said on 6th April 2014, 18:17

    Damn, that was intense. I think I just lost all my fingernails… And in Sakhir of all places!

    Wonderful! :D

    • Hemz Shaw (@hemzshaw) said on 6th April 2014, 19:50

      I second that! For me, it was the ForceIndia who had my heart in my mouth!!!!

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 7th April 2014, 0:42

      It isn’t good for the nerves I know that!

      You say in Sakhir of all places, but don’t underestimate this track. It is an underrated track in my opinion, not helped by being designed by Tilke which to many people means it can’t be good. It produced arguably the race of the season last year and it will take some beating this time around as well!

  11. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 6th April 2014, 18:18

    Ferrari were just painfully slow this race. They have one of the best designers and engineers in the padock, one of the biggest budgets and still struggling massively. I wonder, when Alonso will lose his temper. But anyway, he has limited choices in going to another team. Red Bull and Mercedes already have wonderful drivers and will not change them. Maybe Mclaren, but they are not in a good shape either, unless Honda will promise wonders. Maybe Force India is not a bad choice?

    • fractal (@fractal) said on 6th April 2014, 18:32

      Ferrari is more becoming a real shame day by day season after season

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 6th April 2014, 19:22

        Without a doubt the most underperforming and inefficient team on the grid.

        If you look at performance per $ spent. Ferrari has probably been one of the worst teams on the grid since 2011. Mclaren is probably the 2nd worst in this category, but I doubt they spend as much as Ferrari

    • Lari (@lari) said on 6th April 2014, 19:17

      Alonso will most likely retire from Ferrari, at latest after 2016 season. That’s my bet.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 6th April 2014, 19:24

        I really hope he leaves Ferrari at the end of this season. That team are clueless and their leader is the biggest m oron on the face of this planet

        If pray he gets together with Mclaren (hypothetical now.. since ron is back)

  12. rajf1 (@rajf1) said on 6th April 2014, 18:27

    Force India 2nd in championship at the moment. :)

    Way to go !!!!

  13. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 6th April 2014, 18:32

    One other thing we can definitely conclude now also – Ricciardo is a quick driver, and anyone who doubted whether Red Bull made the correct decision surely must have their doubts removed.

    • Dan said on 6th April 2014, 18:56

      @vettel1

      Lol the funny thing is that Ric is as quick even Malaysia he was told to drop back does not look good for Vet at the moment does it. Also gives the naysayers even more ammo that Vet int all that im not 1 of those bye the way

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 6th April 2014, 19:03

        Ricciardo was advised to drop back to maintain his tyres in Malaysia. That doesn’t mean he complied, nor does it in any way suggest he was faster.

        And Australia is a complete unknown, as Vettel’s car was never functioning properly in any competitive session. Nor does it seem was it working as well as Ricciardo’s in the last stint of this race.

        • Dan said on 6th April 2014, 19:09

          @vettel 1

          O i agree im just saying is Vet as good as what you though now? Ric was not excactly killing JEV was he.I genuinely feel if Ric can be as close how would Ham fair v vettel?

          • Traverse (@) said on 6th April 2014, 20:42

            Ham would win that battle methinks.

          • Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 7th April 2014, 3:44

            SV has failure of DRS at first stage and MGU-H in the Last stint , But RIC drove a Good race , I dont think Ric is beating SV on straight pace He was good but on a Clear Zero Issue race SV shown he was faster than DR in Malaysia , Lets see how much difference in a Failure Free DRY Q and R

      • Oscar (@oscar) said on 6th April 2014, 19:08

        translation please…

  14. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 6th April 2014, 18:35

    Well done Chilton, 13th!

  15. Slava (@slava) said on 6th April 2014, 18:40

    Williams should work with its drivers more. These pilots make mistake by mistake. If they had Alonso and Kimi, they would easily have that 2nd place in the CC.

    Ferrari didn’t disappoint. This is what I expected from them. They are a disaster.

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