Bahrain GP: McLaren race notes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished second in today's Bahrain Grand Prix whilst Fernando Alonso ended up fifth after struggling with the balance of his car throughout the race. In only his third Formula 1 race, Lewis finished...

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished second in today's Bahrain Grand Prix whilst Fernando Alonso ended up fifth after struggling with the balance of his car throughout the race. In only his third Formula 1 race, Lewis finished on the podium for the third consecutive time.

Both drivers were on two-stop strategies with Lewis pitting on laps 19 (9.9 seconds) and 44 (7.1 seconds) whilst Fernando pitted on laps 22 (8.4 seconds) and 43 (6.6 seconds). The Spaniard, winner of the last race in Malaysia, leads the Drivers' Championship with 22 points; Lewis and Kimi who finished third today, are both also on 22 points. In the Constructors' Championship Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are leading with 44 points.

Lewis Hamilton:

"I'm very pleased with today's result. To have finished on the podium three times out of three is fantastic. We have definitely closed the gap to Ferrari and I know everybody will continue to push hard to improve even more in time for the Spanish Grand Prix."

"I was able to keep up with Felipe in the first stint but I really struggled with the balance of the car in the second. I had a lot of under steer and wasn't able to brake as late as I would have liked. However after the second pitstop when I changed to hard tyres I was able to push again. I really enjoyed the race today and with a few more laps I might have been able to challenge Felipe for the lead."

Fernando Alonso:

"In a way I feel happy as we came away with four points and still leading the championship which is what is important. This was not a great race for me but these things happen. I was struggling for pace and overall grip which means that you can't drive the car as well as you would like. You always start the race believing you can win but after six or seven laps I knew that it would be tough."

"I couldn't keep up with the Ferraris and Lewis and in the end had to settle for fifth. I was close to Heidfeld in the end but there was nothing I could do. We now look forward to the next couple of weeks where we will all work hard to further improve the car in time for my home grand prix in Barcelona."

Ron Dennis:

"Even though it was not a perfect day we can leave Bahrain leading both Championships which is a great achievement for the team. Fernando struggled a bit with the balance of his car and we never really managed to perfect his set-up. Lewis was more comfortable with his car and had a great race."

"Our intensive R&D programme will now change up a gear and hopefully deliver a performance step that will make us even more competitive at the Spanish Grand Prix and of course we are already looking forward to the start of the European season in Barcelona."

Norbert Haug:

"Fernando is leading the Drivers' Championship with 22 points, Lewis having had three races and three podium finishes and the team retaining the lead in the Constructors' Championship it is a very good start to the season. We will all now be working hard to be the best prepared team at the start of the European season in four weeks time in Barcelona."

-credit: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren