The Bahrain Grand Prix ended swell under the floodlit Sakhir Circuit today and it was Nico Rosberg that clinched yet another victory ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg took advantage of the slow start from the Briton and never looked back ever since to cruise his way to the chequered flag to bag his fifth consecutive win to extend his career win to 16- levelling with British legend Stirling Moss victory of most career wins without a championship title.
“Yeah, awesome guys!” Rosberg said in the post race interview. “It has been an awesome weekend. The key was the start. I got a great breakaway and then had to control the pace.”
“I’m just taking it race by race. It is a good moment because we have a good car, and I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
The competition from Ferrari was still as strong as ever but this time, it was not old rival Sebastian Vettel that split the Silver Arrows, in fact the German bagged a DNS in Sakhir and all hopes were piled onto Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish managed to secured a second podium win for the Prancing Horses and retain his P2 from last year.
“We had pretty good speed, but not enough to win,” said Raikkonen. “A nice weekend, but we’ll have to improve on that.”
Hamilton made no use of his pole position for the second time in two races and converted the win to a podium finish. The former world champion encountered a crash that damaged the bodywork of his car and cost him some aerodynamic downforce to retrieve his position at the front.
“The reason for the bad starts were two separate incidents,” said Hamilton as quoted from BBC.
“Both equally painful – perhaps this one more – but we managed to recover, again damage limitation.”
“The team was hoping that potentially there would be a safety car. I had so much damage to the car, I couldn’t fight with Kimi.”
Newbies Haas also proved themselves to be a strong team with Romain Grosjean claiming P5, a statement that instantly shows the other teams how far the American team can go if they maintain the momentum and accelerate their performance.
Not to mention, with Fernando Alonso sitting out of the race due to rib injuries sustained in Melbourne, McLaren-Honda fared pretty well courtesy of substitute driver Stoffel Vandoorne. The Belgian managed to score a groundbreaking P10 to send the team to its first points this season.
The results of the main race are as below:
1. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1h 33m 34.696s
2. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari +10.2s
3. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes +30.1s
4. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-TAG Heuer +1m 02.4s
5. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari +1m 18.2s
6. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m 20.9s
7. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
8. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
9. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-TAG Heuer +1 lap
10. Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren-Honda +1 lap
11. Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault-Renault +1 lap
12. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
13. Pascal Wehrlein GER MRT-Mercedes +1 lap1
14. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
15. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
16. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
17. Rio Haryanto INA MRT-Mercedes +1 lap
Rtd Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29 laps completed
Rtd. Esteban Gutierrez MEX Haas-Ferrari 10 laps completed
Rtd Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 7 laps completed
Dns Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault-Renault 0 laps completed
Dns Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 0 laps completed
WHAT DO WE THINK:
Nico Rosberg is on fire. The German has won both of the starting grands prix without being on pole position and this is definitely a huge threat to Lewis Hamilton if he wishes to claim a hat-trick of titles this year. Rosberg is extremely confident and that’s definitely a significant morale boost for him. The competition from Ferrari would probably be a bigger worry for him compared to Hamilton. In both races, Ferrari encountered a good start and they would have won the races if it were not for slip-ups (pit stop in Australia, collision in Bahrain). If the Prancing Horses had a better start or a smooth race, there is no doubt they could have ultimately clinched those 50 starter points. All in all, Rosberg could be cruising his way to a first world title, provided he keeps up the momentum and focus on obliterating the scarlet marques.