Bahrain GP: Ferrari Clinch Historic 1-2 Victory as Red Bull Disaster Gifts Hamilton Podium

Published 03/20/2022, 12:43 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Charles Leclerc delivered an A-class show to earn himself a well-deserved victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix. His Ferrari F1 teammate, Carlos Sainz, despite enduring a tad too much tire degradation throughout the night, managed to complete a 1-2 for the Reds.

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Lewis Hamilton picked up the final podium spot for Mercedes after both the Red Bull driver suffered late DNFs. Hence, the Red Bull power trains department will certainly be scratching their heads over what’s going wrong with their engine.

How the race unfolded

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Eventful race start as Perez & Bottas fall back

Both the Ferrari drivers managed to get a safe enough start to hold their positions intact and so did Verstappen. The Red Bull driver did try his best to beat Leclerc into turn 1, but the leading Ferrari was just too far ahead.

via Reuters

Behind the three drivers tussling for the lead, Hamilton enjoyed a strong getaway as the Briton wound up in P4, pushing Perez down to P5. Magnussen had a decent start too, briefly holding onto P5 before a late-braking around turn 3 cost him the position. The Danish driver made a similar mistake going into turn 1 on lap 5 and conceded another position to Russell.

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WATCH THIS STORY: From Sensational Haas Comeback to Lewis Hamiltons Struggles: Best Moments from Bahrain GP Qualifying

Bottas, on the other hand, who started from P6 fell down the order into P14 before climbing up into P13 on lap 6 by pipping Schumacher.

Hamilton & others pit

It took just about 12 laps for Hamilton to burn out his soft tires and opt for a set of hard tires. In each of the following laps, Schumacher and Albon pitted for medium tires. Along with the Thai-Brit, Verstappen, and Sainz, too, pitted for fresh sets of soft tires.

via Reuters

Leclerc, too, had to pit on the very next lap to deny Verstappen an undercut. Lucky for the Monegasque, the Red Bull driver was barely 0.5s behind him. But, this laid the foundation for a breathtaking battle for the lead.

Leclerc vs Verstappen as the F1 pair battle for P1

Verstappen and Leclerc engaged in an impeccable battle for the lead which lasted for three good laps. The Dutchman would charge on Leclerc heading into turn 1. But, Leclerc managed to do the classic switcheroo and reclaimed the lead going into turn 3.

via Reuters

This unfolded over three back-to-back laps before Verstappen flat-spotted his front tires braking into turn 1 and had to back out of the battle. Of course, the second round of pit stops did offer Verstappen another shot at edging past Leclerc on lap 32.

But, only this time, the Ferrari pit crew achieved a blistering pit-stop time of 2.5s to help their provisional race winner hold on to the lead.

Red Bull force Ferrari F1 into late gamble

With barely 14 laps left in hand, Red Bull opted for a double-stack pit stop which forced Ferrari and Mercedes to bring in Sainz and Hamilton as well. Again, lucky for Leclerc, Gasly had to park his car on the straight between turn 2 and 3 after the AlphaTauri went up in flames, consequently bringing out the safety car.

This gave the Monegasque an awful lot of time to pit for a set of soft tires. Russell, too, followed the leading Ferrari into the pits, giving the top 10 drivers one final attempt to improve their positions.

Late twist during the safety car restart

Verstappen had trouble with his steering wheel which handed Sainz a glorious opportunity to claim P2. However, the Dutchman managed to keep Sainz behind for the time being as Leclerc continued to pull away at an impeccable pace.

Just a lap into the restart, Leclerc was already 2 seconds ahead of Verstappen. But, the problems got even worse for Verstappen as a battery issue forced him to retire from the race. Soon, Perez too complained of battery problems, and just a lap away from the chequered flag, the other Red Bull powertrain died going into turn 1.

WATCH: Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz’s Emotional Message to Ferrari After Magnificent 1–2 Finish at Bahrain GP

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Hamilton, hence, picked up the scraps and clinched the final podium spot.

Updated F1 driver’s standings

S.No                DriversPoints
1Charles Leclerc26
2Carlos Sainz18
3Lewis Hamilton15
4George Russell12
5Kevin Magnussen10
6Valtteri Bottas8
7 Esteban Ocon6
Yuki Tsunoda4
9Fernando Alonso2
10Guanyu Zhou1
11Mick Schumacher0
12Lance Stroll0
13Alexander Albon0
14Daniel Ricciardo0
15Lando Norris0
16Nicholas Latifi0
17Nico Hulkenberg0
18Sergio Perez0
19Max Verstappen0
20Pierre Gasly0

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Updated F1 constructor’s standings

S.NoConstructorsPoints
1Ferrari44
2Mercedes27
3Haas10
4Alfa Romeo9
5Alpine6
6AlphaTauri4
7Aston Martin0
8Williams0
9McLaren0
10Red Bull0

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Written by:

Rohit Kumar

1,915Articles

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.
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