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

Browse all 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Advert | Go Ad-free

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

  1. evered7 (@evered7) said on 6th April 2014, 18:55

    I really don’t see what others expected from Ferrari in this reason. It seems to be their legitimate position. They tried their best fighting with Merc powered cars but aren’t able to do it because they lack the power.

    But there is hope, if they can bridge the gap by China. The chassis seems to be good and they have finished both the cars in all races. The season is long. Even if Merc takes the championship, the fight for second seems to be an exciting one.

  2. Damonw said on 6th April 2014, 18:56

    Maybe it’s pure coincidence that every time Vettel has been overtaken by Daniel or been slower than him Vettel’s been on the radio complaining of a car issue just moments later…

  3. DawnPiper (@dawnpiper) said on 6th April 2014, 19:18

    Thanks Merc; Lewis and Nico seemed to have a lot of fun bringing the cars home safe! Brilliant way to demonstrate that the new rules are fine as they are (and that Mercedes make good taxis)
    Good driving all round today, except for Maldonado.

  4. toiago (@toiago) said on 6th April 2014, 19:21

    This battle between Hamilton and Rosberg made me think of something. Rememeber how close Shumacher was to Rosberg during those three years he spent with Mercedes? That just goes to show that at 40 something years old, and having stopped for three years, Shumacher was still one hell of a racer.

    • Aled Davies (@aledinho) said on 6th April 2014, 19:43

      +1 Rosberg has always been under rated! he is quick and a clever driver in that he knows how to set his car up to maximise pace.

      Where I think he lacks compared to Lewis is he hasn’t got that couple of tenths lewis will find when he’s really on it and his race craft sometimes isn’t as good. He should have won today.

      Superb drive from Hamilton though, different to last week where w=he as the faster driver could see in the first stint that Rosberg was probably the quicker guy but he managed to hold on with some brilliant defensive driving. Reminded me of his win in indy 07 when Alonso was hassling him! Las 2 races Hamilton has shown his all round game/1

    • Dan said on 6th April 2014, 20:16

      Were we watching the same those 3 years Nico really wiped floor with him.

      • Agreed. And so far Hamilton is really gaining the upper hand on Rosberg. Nico was going to finish second by about 2 seconds until he was practically given a win on a silver platter but still didn’t do it.

  5. Andrei (@crandreico) said on 6th April 2014, 19:33

    I think that, if at least ONE Mercedes car is on the track racing, they’ll win all the races this season. I mean 2+ seconds to the next competitors, with occasional 3+ seconds on some point of the race, at this early stage of the season, it’s just overkill. I don’t think any team will catch up on them, even if Renault gets their act together.

    • medman (@medman) said on 7th April 2014, 1:29

      I really was amazing to watch the Mercs race off to a 25 second lead in the final ten laps despite battling each other every step of the way, dicing it up lap after lap. A 2.5 second advantage per lap in the final ten. Incredible. That Merc is quick, and easier on it’s tires than any other car at the moment. Oh, and it also exhibits excellent fuel consumption compared to the rest of the field. What a machine Mercedes has built. Job well done. They have opponents crying to the powers that be for rule changes. I never knew F1 was for crybabies and whiners. They should get on with the job and improve their programs and quit crying that they are currently getting it handed to them. Mercedes was working with the same template as everyone else. Where were the rule changes when Red Bull was dominating year in, year out? Ferrari’s leadership is a complete and utter lost cause with all their complaining. They have no idea what to do because now even the junior teams are running past them on the way to the podium.

  6. Guy (@sudd) said on 6th April 2014, 19:53

    Hamilton is the man! What a race. Couldn’t ask for more.

  7. Anele (@anele-mbethe) said on 7th April 2014, 7:00

    What a race loving how close to each other all the teammates are this year but Mercedes being so far ahead does take away a little. Hopefully the rest can catch up soon

  8. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 10th April 2014, 13:34

    “bring both cars home”

    For me that means they are free to race each other butthey must be careful.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.