Rosberg cruises to Bahrain win after Hamilton shunt
Nico Rosberg profited from an early accident involving Lewis Hamilton to win his fifth successive Formula One race and his first Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
After outpacing his Mercedes team-mate to the first corner, Rosberg pulled away when Valtteri Bottas’ Williams clashed with Hamilton – seeing the double champion drop to seventh.
While Rosberg edged further and further ahead the battles behind him made for an enthralling race, Hamilton leading the charge as he quickly worked his way back through the field to finish third.
Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari split the two Mercedes’ in second, while Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean completed the top five – the latter continuing Haas’ impressive start to life in F1.
McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne enjoyed his first F1 drive as he claimed a single point thanks to a 10th-place finish, the Belgian holding off Kevin Magnussen, Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.
However, there were no points for Sebastian Vettel as his Ferrari engine went on the parade lap, giving the four-time world champion the first ‘Did Not Start’ of his career.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
Rosberg’s latest success owed much to Bottas’ first corner actions, the Finn’s front left crashing into the side of Hamilton’s Mercedes to allow the German to race away from his team-mate.
OFF TO A FLYER
The drag race to the first corner was always going to be crucial and Rosberg was already ahead of pole-sitter Hamilton before the accident, and having exited the turn in the lead he never relinquished his advantage.
With a set of soft tyres bolted onto his Mercedes, Rosberg collected the fastest lap of the race – 1:34.482 – late on to ensure his victory.
RACE TO FORGET
Vettel failed to even make the Sakhir grid as his Ferrari engine let him down, the German’s power unit blowing on the formation lap leaving him out of the race before it had even begun. “We didn’t expect to have any problems,” Vettel told BBC Radio 5 live. “It caught us by surprise.”
RACE STAT TO REMEMBER
Rosberg finally climbed to top spot on the podium in Bahrain at the 10th time of asking, the German having been second and third in the last two seasons.
IN THE POINTS
- Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +10.282
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +30.148
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +1:02.494
- Romain Grosjean (Haas) +1:18.299
- Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:20.929
- Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) +1 lap
- Felipe Massa (Williams) +1 lap
- Valterri Bottas (Williams) +1 lap
- Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) +1 lap
- Nico Rosberg 50
- Lewis Hamilton 33
- Daniel Ricciardo 24
- Kimi Raikkonen 18
- Romain Grosjean 18
- Mercedes 83
- Ferrari 33
- Red Bull 30
- Williams 20
- Haas 18
Hamilton will look to bounce back from another disappointing weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, the Briton having won four times there including the last two races.
Report by OmniSport
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