Lewis Hamilton has led a Mercedes 1-2 podium before teammate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2019 on Sunday at the Sakhir International Circuit, which has finished behind a safety car.
Sebastian Vettel finished fifth after a disappointing performance which drove him under the shadow of the five-time British champion once again. It was also a bad day for Carlos Sainz, who had to abandon after touching Verstappen.
Lando Norris, on the contrary, on board the other McLaren, sealed a sensational sixth place earning the Woking team its first points of 2019. The second race of the calendar has offered a great, thrilling show, with plenty of duels, overtakings and lead changes before waving the checkered flag. And the most imoprtant think at the 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, a new star called Leclerc has borne.
Start: Leclerc loses and takes back the lead
It seemed as if Mercedes’ race in Bahrain was all going to be about damage control. Everything pointed to Ferrari’s dominance with both the red bullets occupying both the pole and second places at the start. Fortune, however, smiled to Mercedes at the 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Leclerc didn’t get off to a great start with both Vettel and Bottas passing him on the first lap. Soon after, Hamilton would take Bottas’ second place as Vettel led the race for the first few laps. It seemed as if Leclerc’s error was going to take its toll but the Monegasque driver was in for a fight at 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Leclerc climbed back up until he got himself right behind his German teammate’s car and finally passed him on lap 6. A 21-year-old boy was now leading the race before a five-time-champion. As if that wasn’t enough, three laps later he was 1.5 seconds ahead of his teammate Vettel. Leclerc was giving a great exhibition of his skilful driving and nerves of still at 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix!
Mercedes, on the hunt
Behind the red bullets were the German rockets of Hamilton and Bottas, as well as Max Verstappen. Three laps earlier the Dutchman had hit Carlos Sainz leaving the Spaniard out of combat. This is the way of the Dutch predator, no one escapes his claws.
On lap 14 at 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, the #44 from Brackley made his pit stop in an attempt to undercut Vettel for the second position. Hamilton was containing the German driver as best as he could. This allowed the Monegasque to escape to 6 full seconds by lap 22. Finally, the Ferrari #5 got rid of the combative Englishman, whose W10 needed a pair of fresh tyres.
Then came another attempt from Mercedes to undercut Ferrari with Hamilton going to pits on lap 35. Vettel would mimic the strategy on the following lap. Two laps after the intense battle, things quieted down on the desert track as everyone settled into their position.
Hamilton devours a defend less Vettel
Leclerc was leading undisturbed the 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, already caressing the first victory of his career with his fingers. Meanwhile, the Mercedes #44 made a spectacular pass on Vettel which sent the red car spinning in the middle of the track. Another mistake from the German in a face to face with his nemesis.
To make things worse for Vettel, he had damaged his front wing during the incident and had to go back to boxes. It was goodbye to the podium. Bottas was delighted to inherit the third position from the German.
Leclerc and Ferrari’s drama
Leclerc felt safe, enjoying the ride and witnessing from afar the drama unfolding behind him. But then everything changed in an instant. There was a fateful message on the radio complaining of some power issues on lap 46 of at 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton suddenly halving his distance with Leclerc from 8 to 4 seconds and finally passing the Monegasque youth two seconds after that. Only nine laps remained and Leclerc also lost second place to Bottas.
The Safety Car saves Leclerc’s podium
Desperation was taking hold of Ferrari behind the wall. They could not only lose the podium but also the fourth position. But when that seemed inevitable, a Safety Car came to the rescue.
Thus, Mercedes would seal an unexpected 1-2 and Ferrari would keep the third step of the podium with Leclerc at 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix. New blunder of the Italians. Verstappen, fourth, preceded a lukewarm Vettel. Two 1-2s for the Germans in the first two Ferrari appointments of the season. This is the fate of the champions.
‘2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix’ Images: Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, Bahrein Circuit.