The first ever Bahrain night race got underway with pole man Nico Rosberg dropping to second behind his Mercedes AMG teammate. The two would continue to duel for much of the race, with Hamilton eventually winning by the narrowest of margins. The Briton crossed the line just one second ahead of his German teammate. Third place went to Force India’s Sergio Perez, a full 24 seconds behind the McLaren duo.
Midway through the race there was a huge crash when Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado hit Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, flipping the Mexican’s cars. This brought out the safety car, allowing many of the other drivers to catch up to the top of the field. After the safety car left, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was able to pass his teammate Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Jenson Button to move into fifth. The Aussie would eventually finish fourth after passing Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who finished fifth.
Then it was the former world champion, Vettel, in sixth, with Williams duo, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, in seventh and eighth spots, respectively. Both Williams drivers were racing hard on fresher tires in the closing stages tut were unable to pass the top field. In ninth and tenth were Ferrari men Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen, respectively. Their cars suffered from a lack of top speed, especially compared to the cars powered by the strong Mercedes power units.
Unfortunately for McLaren’s Jenson Button, the Briton, who was running the top six for a while, was hampered by the safety and eventually a clutch problem that ended his race. A similar issue also affected his teammate Kevin Magnussen. Marcus Ericsson also retired after his Caterham suffered an oil leak and Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne’s race ended after a collision on the opening lap. The only other driver not to finish was Sauber’s Adrian Sutil who suffered a collision with the Marussia of Jules Bianchi.
After this weekend’s race, Nico Rosberg maintains his lead in the Drivers’ Championship with 61 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton in second with 50 points and Nico Hulkenberg who now moves into third with 28 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG is the clear leader with 111 points versus the 44 points of Force India and the 43 points of McLaren.
Teams now stay in Bahrain for a round of testing, before heading to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix in a fortnight.
Below are top ten results of the 2014 Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix:
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
2) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
3) Sergio Perez, Force India
4) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
5) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
6) Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
7) Felipe Massa, Williams
8) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
9) Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
10) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari