Mercedes powered cars blanked the rest of the field on the podium during today's race in Bahrain.
Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton managed to leap ahead of his team mate, Nico Rosberg and went on to take the chequered flag as the winner of the 10th Bahrain Grand Prix in the FIA Formula One 2014 season.
Hamilton marked his 24th race victory in style by crossing the line first and he has also achieved his maiden win at the Bahrain International circuit today.
Rosberg had to settle for second best at the end of the 57 lap marathon as he followed just behind Hamilton, despite being in pole position at the beginning of the 900th Grand Prix of the Formula One World Championship today.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was the surprise of the day, as he finished the race in third place to complete the top three line up on the podium.
Perez was able to hold onto third place in the end, even though the Mexican driver was gradually being chased down by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who just missed out on a podium spot with his fourth place finish. Ricciardo’s race was not problem free, as he had contact with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat at the beginning of the race, but the pair were able to continue and both reached the finish line. Kvyat missed out on a point scoring position though in 11th place.
Perez’s team mate, Nico Hulkenberg also picked up some points for himself and the team as he secured fifth place.
Ricciardo’s team mate, Sebastian Vettel completed the race in sixth place and the reigning World Champion is yet to clinch his first victory of the season, with Rosberg and Hamilton currently in control at the top of the winning stakes.
The Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen picked up the final two point scoring positions as they ended the race in ninth and 10th place respectively. Raikkonen seemed to finish off better than he started, as he had contact with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen just after the race got underway. The two drivers continued in the race without any sign of problems to their cars, but Magnussen did not reach the finish line. The Danish driver stopped at the side of the track on lap 42 and retired from the race due to clutch failure on his car. Magnussen was joined in retirement by his team mate, Jenson Button, who bowed out of his 250th Grand Prix on the penultimate lap when he entered the pits and parked up his car in the garage.
Button and Magnussen were not the only drivers in the field to suffer a double retirement from the race for their team. Sauber’s Adrian Sutil had already experienced disappointment before the race begun. The German driver had a five place grid penalty from the stewards, following qualifying yesterday after forcing Lotus’ Romain Grosjean off the track and he started the race from the back of the grid. Once the race got underway, Sutil had contact with Marussia’s Jules Bianchi on lap 13. Bianchi was issued with a drive through penalty by the stewards for causing a collision with Sutil. Bianchi was forced to pit prior to the penalty, as he was only left with three wheels on his car following the incident with Sutil. It was then reported on lap 21 that Sutil had retired from the race.
Sutil’s team mate, Esteban Gutierrez had a lucky escape on lap 41 when Grosjean’s team mate, Pastor Maldonado had just left the pits and was re-joining the track. Maldonado’s front wing made contact with one of the rear tyres on Gutierrez’s car, which led Gutierrez up into the air in his car and he swiftly returned to the ground with a bang. Fortunately, Gutierrez appeared to be unscathed and got out of his car following the incident. Maldonado was issued with a 10 second stop and go penalty for causing a collision with the Mexican driver. The safety car was deployed on lap 42 to allow the marshals to clear the debris and Gutierrez’s car from the side of the track. Gutierrez inevitably retired from the race after the incident and Maldonado finished outside of the top 10 positions.
Maldonado was also at the forefront of the action at the start of the race, when he had contact with Kvyat’s team mate, Jean-Eric Vergne. The pair carried on the in race following the collision, but Vergne failed to reach the finish line when it was reported later on that he had retired from the proceedings.
Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson was the final driver, who also did not manage to complete the full race distance, when he was spotted on lap 36 at the side of the track in his car and looked to be going nowhere fast.
Today’s Grand Prix under the lights had a special significance for various reasons, as certain landmarks were reached for the likes of Button, Hamilton and the series historically. Hamilton was the man of the moment though as he finished the race in the best way possible. The 2008 World Champion is still trailing his team mate Rosberg in the Driver’s Championship though.
The drivers and teams now have two weeks to prepare for their next challenge when the Chinese Grand Prix takes place. It remains to be seen whether Hamilton and Rosberg will resume their lead at the top, or if Vettel will charge in front of them to pick up his first victory of the season.