Lewis Hamilton’s win in Bahrain was the 74th of his career but first this season
Five time world champion Lewis Hamilton took a lucky Bahrain Grand Prix win for Mercedes Sunday after engine trouble in the dying stage denied Charles Leclerc a first Formula One victory.
The 21-year-old Monegasque, who had started from pole position and finished third, had been set to become Ferrari’s youngest winner in just his second race for the Italian team when his car started losing power.
Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas, both as much as four seconds a lap faster than the stricken Ferrari, reeled him in and breezed past to secure the team's second one-two finish in as many races.
Leclerc’s problems capped an already difficult day for Ferrari, who had swept the front row in qualifying, with Sebastian Vettel’s race having already unravelled.
What a dramatic day. It was so tough out there and I gave it absolutely everything I had. Charles, it wasn’t your day but your future is very bright. You drove great. To my team, you were incredible as always, we’ll take this 1-2 and move forwards to China 💪🏾 @MercedesAMGF1 pic.twitter.com/tYOOZgpCRE— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 31, 2019
The German, who finished fifth, spun while defending second place from Hamilton and then lost his front wing in a spectacular shower of sparks.
The only consolation for Leclerc, on the podium for the first time in his F1 career, was an extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race.
Hamilton’s win in Bahrain was the 74th of his career but first this season.
The Briton stayed second in the championship but is now just one point shy of overall leader Bottas, who won and scored the extra point for fastest lap in Australia.
Max Verstappen finished fourth for Red Bull ahead of Vettel.
British rookie Lando Norris put in a fine drive for McLaren to finish sixth ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, Leclerc's predecessor at Ferrari.
Frenchman Pierre Gasly brought his Red Bull home in eighth ahead of Toro Rosso’s Thai driver Alexander Albon and Mexican Sergio Perez, who rounded out the top 10 for Racing Point.
Hamilton is now 17 wins short of Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91.