Thrilling win for Hamilton in Mercedes quinella
Lewis Hamilton prevailed after a thrilling battle with his team-mate Nico Rosberg in an edge-of-your-seat Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton ensured another one-two for Mercedes with Rosberg finishing one second behind.
Sergio Perez climbed onto the final podium spot for Force India, giving that squad its first celebration on the dias since 2009.
The Mexican, who finished 25s adrift of the Mercedes pair, just managed to hold off a fast finishing Daniel Ricciardo who drove another splendid race in the Red Bull.
Hamilton had brazenly outmuscled Rosberg to the first corner as the Mercedes pair signalled the first signs of what would be a titanic struggle to come over the next 57 laps.
The pair provided some sizzling racing which was to reach its zenith inside the last 10 laps where the field was compressed after a safety car brought out when Esteban Gutierrez rolled his Sauber after contact from Pastor Maldonado (Lotus).
Maldonado was handed what has been criticised as a lenient five-place grid penalty for the next race, the Chinese GP in Shanghai for his role in the accident along with three penalty points.
Hamilton acknowledged his team for allowing him and Rosberg to engage in close quarters combat.
“I knew that I needed a good start and to go into the first corner in the lead was crucial to my race this evening,” Hamilton explained.
“From there, it was such a battle. Nico drove fantastically well and, in all honesty, he had the pace on me today but I managed to hold on.
“I knew when the safety car came out that Nico would be on the option tyres and that he would be quick.
“To try and stay ahead of him was so hard and when I came across the line I was just so relieved.
“When you’re racing your team-mate, the pressure is really intense and we both knew that we had to bring the cars home for the team and for the championship.”
Nico Hulkenberg claimed fifth for Force India while Sebastian Vettel managed to keep ownership of sixth despite being hunted by the Williams of both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Ferrari pair Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top 10.
See below for full result
|3||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||24.067|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||24.489|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||28.654|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||29.879|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||41.300|
|16||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Ferrari||1 lap|
|17||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||2 laps|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||40 laps|
|19||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||39 laps|
|20||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham-Renault||33 laps|
|21||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||18 laps|
|22||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||17 laps|
See below for full points after three rounds