F1 Bahrain GP Live Commentary and Updates - Race day

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By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Stephen Lickorish

Summary

  • Hamilton beats Verstappen by seven tenths after incredible finale to Bahrain GP!
  • Verstappen passes Hamilton for lead around Turn 4 in closing stages, but gives place back after making the move off track
  • Horribly slow 11-second stop for Bottas drops him out of lead battle
  • Brief early safety car as Mazepin crashes out at Turn 3, Alonso (brakes) also a retirement
  • Delayed start to the race as Perez stops on the formation lap, but gets going again

Leaderboard
1. Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Verstappen, Red Bull
3. Bottas, Mercedes
4. Norris, McLaren
5. Perez, Red Bull
6. Leclerc, Ferrari
7. Ricciardo, McLaren
8. Sainz, Ferrari
9. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
10. Stroll, Aston Martin

Status: Stopped
12:58 We'll see you in a few weeks' time for the *checks notes* Pirelli Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia Romagna - ie, the next race at Imola. See you then!
12:57 ...and here's the race report from a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/bahrain-gp-hamilton-holds-off-verstappen-to-win-epic-race/5958416/
12:50 Bottas: "Disappointing, for sure. As a team we got good points, but from my side it felt like we went on the defensive side. Then I had a slow pitstop which took away any opportunities..."
12:48 Hamilton: "Firstly, can I just say it's the first time I've seen fans in a long time! What a difficult race that was. Stopping early we knew was going to be difficult, but we had to cover Max. It was going to take something pretty special."
12:46 Verstappen: "It's of course a shame, but you also have to see the positive. We're putting the fight on to them [Mercedes], so it's great to start the year like that."
12:44 "Why didn't you let me go? I could have made the five seconds..." Verstappen argues. "We had the call from race control," Christian Horner says to his forlorn driver.
12:42 Norris bags fourth, as Perez cleared Leclerc for fifth. Ricciardo gets seventh, Sainz eighth, Tsunoda bags a pair of points for ninth, and Stroll completes the top 10.
12:41 That was one hell of a battle - and Bottas compounds Verstappen's misery by stealing the fastest lap after a late stop!
12:41

Tsunoda has stolen ninth place on the final lap from Stroll! What a race for the F1 debutant! It wasn't caught on the TV with the action ahead on the final lap, but the Japanese driver had been stalking the Aston Martin over the closing stages and got the move done at the start of the final lap.

12:40 And after all of that, Lewis Hamilton hangs on from Max Verstappen to win the Bahrain Grand Prix!
12:40 Verstappen is fast running out of opportunities here - and Hamilton looks like he might have weathered the storm...
12:39 Verstappen got back within a second of Hamilton this time around, but the Mercedes driver is working really hard to deploy his ERS at the right time...
12:38

Gasly has also retired from this race with two laps to go. So Schumacher is up to P16.

12:38 Hamilton's managed to find enough of a buffer to evade DRS that time around! Resolute in defence here.
12:37

Further back Latifi has retired from the race according to the timing screen. Not clear if he has had an issue but it promotes Schumacher up to P17.

12:36 Verstappen gets DRS again, but can't make the move this time around! Hamilton, somehow, is just hanging on here...
12:35 But Verstappen gives the place back to Hamilton, having dunked his car too far off the road!
12:34 Here we go, Verstappen's got DRS...he dives around the outside at T1, Hamilton holds, but the Dutchman cruises around the outside at Turn 4 to grab the lead!
12:34

Perez is ahead of Leclerc, which hasn't been shown on the TV yet due to the action for the lead, but we can confirm Perez is fifth.

12:33 Verstappen can smell Hamilton's cologne now, but he's just a little bit far off into turn 1 and 4 this time around.
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