Rosberg extends lead in championship with Bahrain victory

Bahrain GP 2016 winner

Nico Rosberg extending his lead in the Formula 1 world championship with victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This was Rosberg’s fifth consecutive victory and two on the trot this season. His Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton recovered from a first-lap clash against Valtteri Bottas to finish third.

Rosberg made the most of polesitter Hamilton’s slow getaway to lead into the first corner and then was relatively comfortable at the front, finishing 10.2 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen under the lights at Sakhir.

Hamilton bogged down at the start but was second into Turn 1 before the Mercedes driver was hit from the side by Valtteri Bottas, dropping him to ninth.

The reigning world champion suffered front wing damage in the moment but was able to continue, carving his way back through the field to rescue third and remain within 17 points of title rival Rosberg.

Raikkonen also recovered from a poor getaway but didn’t quite have enough speed to seriously challenge Rosberg for the lead in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, his team-mate Sebastian Vettel did not even make the start after suffering an engine failure on the formation lap.

It was very unfortunate to see Vettel had to pull out before the Bahrain Grand Prix got started. If the Ferrari was reliable, if would be fascinating to see the four-time champion fighting against the Silver Arrows.

At least Romain Grosjean provide some racing action, as he continued Haas’s brilliant start to the season with a superb fifth, having done three stints on the super-soft tyres, one position behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen bolted on a set of super-soft tyres late and surged past Felipe Massa to take sixth, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat also passing the Williams on the penultimate lap to take seventh.

Massa ran second early on after an impressive start, but dropped down the field as Williams opted for a two-stop strategy with two stints on the medium and he ended up eighth position.

Bottas, who had a drive-through penalty for causing a collision with Hamilton at the start, was ninth while McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, standing in for the injured Fernando Alonso, scored a point on his F1 debut with tenth.

This was a superb effort from the GP2 champion. Out qualifies his world champion team-mate Jenson Button and scores a point for himself and the McLaren-Honda team. We shall see if Vandoorne has another chance to drive in Formula 1 after this debut.

Kevin Magnussen was P11, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who had a feisty battle with team-mate Felipe Nasr, with the two making contact in the early stages.

The Sauber driver came out on top and ended up P12, with Nasr finishing down in P14 and complaining on team radio that the car “is terrible to drive”.

Pascal Wehrlein finished an impressive P13 for Manor with the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg P15 and P16 respectively.

Carlos Sainz Jr looked well-placed when the highest runner on the softs early on, but he picked up a puncture when he was clipped by Perez and later retired.

While Grosjean scored points for the second successive race, there was heartache for Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez who was running in the points one position behind Grosjean before pulling into the pits and retiring the car.

Jenson Button retired with an ERS problem while Renault’s Jolyon Palmer pulled into the pits at the end of the formation lap with a hydraulics issue.

So another victory for Nico Rosberg and Mercedes. The driver and car are in harmony. Lets see if this winning form continues.

Mercedes Bahrain GP 2016 race

Bahrain Grand Prix, after 57 laps:
1 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1h33m34.696s
2 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    10.282s
3 Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    30.148s
4 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    1m02.494s
5 Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m18.299s
6 Max Verstappen    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m20.929s
7 Daniil Kvyat    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    1 Lap
8 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
9 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
10 Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
11 Kevin Magnussen    Renault    1 Lap
12 Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
13 Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    1 Lap
14 Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
16 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
17 Rio Haryanto    Manor-Mercedes    1 Lap
– Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    Retirement
– Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    Retirement
– Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    Retirement
– Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    Not started
– Jolyon Palmer    Renault    Not started

Drivers’ standings:
1    Nico Rosberg    50
2    Lewis Hamilton    33
3    Daniel Ricciardo    24
4    Kimi Raikkonen    18
5    Romain Grosjean    18
6    Sebastian Vettel    15
7    Felipe Massa    14
8    Max Verstappen    9
9    Nico Hulkenberg    6
10    Daniil Kvyat    6
11    Valtteri Bottas    6
12    Carlos Sainz    2
13    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
14    Kevin Magnussen    0
15    Jolyon Palmer    0
16    Marcus Ericsson    0
17    Sergio Perez    0
17    Pascal Wehrlein    0
19    Felipe Nasr    0
20    Jenson Button    0
21    Rio Haryanto    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    83
2    Ferrari    33
3    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    30
4    Williams-Mercedes    20
5    Haas-Ferrari    18
6    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    11
7    Force India-Mercedes    6
8    McLaren-Honda    1
9    Renault    0
10    Sauber-Ferrari    0
11    Manor-Mercedes    0

Next race: Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai. April 15-17.

5 thoughts to “Rosberg extends lead in championship with Bahrain victory”

  1. Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of fighting champions Mercedes for victory in Sunday’s Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix went up in smoke before the start when his Ferrari’s engine blew on the formation lap.

    The German, who had finished third in the Australian season-opener two weeks earlier, parked up between turns 13 and 14 at the Sakhir circuit with a plume of smoke trailing out of the rear of his car.

    Four times world champion Vettel and team mate Kimi Raikkonen had qualified third and fourth respectively behind the Mercedes of triple champion Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Nico Rosberg.

    “I don’t know yet,” Vettel told Sky Sports television when asked what the problem was. “I lost power, saw smoke coming out and we decided to stop. Why? I don’t know at this stage.”

    Source: Eurosport

  2. Bahrain Grand Prix race report courtesy from

    Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg made it five wins on the trot with a dominant victory in Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Rosberg took the flag 10 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen after an incident-filled Sakhir race.

    Rosberg’s team mate Lewis Hamilton dropped to ninth on the opening lap after Turn 1 contact with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, but in a damaged car fought his way back to secure a lonely final podium place. The second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel failed to start after a suspected engine failure on the formation lap.

    Rosberg didn’t put a wheel wrong in Bahrain’s twilight. As Hamilton and Raikkonen made poor starts, he sped into a lead that was never seriously contested, thus increasing his championship lead.

    Raikkonen kept the pressure up as they both ran the supersoft Pirelli tyres on which they had qualified before switching to softs. Hamilton, with time to make up after being half spun in the first corner by an over-enthusiastic Bottas (who was given a drive-through penalty for his pains), switched to mediums on his first stop, as he embarked on yet another 2016 damage-limitation race.

    Raikkonen got close to Rosberg at times, but never close enough as Rosberg always had an answer. They each switched back to supersofts in their second stops, as did Hamilton, but it was clear the race lay between Rosberg and Raikkonen. They shadowed each other yet again in their final stops, back to softs, but in the end the Mercedes driver was 10.2s ahead.

    Hamilton, who had been breathtaking on the mediums as he matched the leaders, took softs for his final stint and for a while closed in, but the first-lap damage to his car was too limiting and he finished a distant third.

    Rosberg thus leads the world championship with 50 points to his team mate’s 33, with fourth-placed Daniel Ricciardo, now third overall for Red Bull, on 24 after another fast and fighting race.

    With an open tyre choice, Romain Grosjean and Haas again proved stars, the Frenchman surviving one scare with a long pit stop to take an excellent fifth – one place better than the newcomers did on their debut in Australia. As a result, he is ahead of Vettel in the championship, and equal with Raikkonen on 18 points.

    Max Verstappen showed what could have happened in Melbourne with a feisty run to sixth for Toro Rosso, leading home Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat as both bettered the Williams duo. Felipe Massa tried to get by with a two-stopper, but lost too much time on his medium tyres and had to be satisfied with eighth ahead of Bottas.

    In 10th place Stoffel Vandoorne fulfilled all his promise on a day when team mate Jenson Button’s McLaren let him down, to score the final point on his debut for the Woking team after a swift and intelligent performance.

    After starting from the pit lane Kevin Magnussen had battles throughout his afternoon on his way to 11th for Renault, leading home Marcus Ericsson who was mighty on mediums for Sauber as he held off one of the race’s other young stars, Pascal Wehrlein who drove the supersoft-shod wheels off his Manor in the closing laps as he hounded the blue and yellow car.

    Felipe Nasr brought the second Sauber home 14th as Force India had a horrible race which yielded only 16th and 17th places for Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, the latter making four stops and the former suffering debris damage early on.

    Rio Haryanto was the final finisher in the second Manor, as Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez, Button and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer joined Vettel on the side lines.

    The 2016 qualifying format may still be a contentious issue, but the choice of three tyre compounds really has spiced things up and created a great race with battles throughout the field for the 57 laps.

  3. Valtteri Bottas said he was trying to defend against attacks from behind when he collided with Lewis Hamilton at the start of Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

    Williams driver Bottas was given a drive-through penalty for his Turn 1 tangle with the world champion’s Mercedes.

    It happened after a slow start for polesitter Hamilton and a rapid getaway from sixth for the Finn.

    “To be honest I wasn’t trying to pass him,” Bottas told Autosport.

    “I was more focused on the cars behind and not to let anyone try to pass me from outside or inside. That’s why I had to brake late.

    “That has happened to me before when I’ve been too conservative and someone has passed me either on the inside or outside.

    “It just caught me out then, going into the corner how tight they were keeping the line and how much they stopped their cars at the apex.

    “I don’t think they expected me to be there.

    “It’s a shame. It cost me places in the race today and also a shame for Lewis.”

    Hamilton said the impact from the Williams had taken him by surprise.

    “I’m not quite sure what happened at Turn 1,” he said.

    “Whoever was on inside was in my blind-spot so I didn’t see it.”

    Bottas continued in third after the clash, but the penalty meant he could only finish ninth.

    Asked if he was surprised to get a penalty, Bottas replied: “I have to say I am a little bit.

    “But I need to have a better look to see if really I need to look in the mirror and swallow my mistake.”

    Hamilton dropped to seventh in the collision, but came back through to finish third.


  4. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne did a superb job at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The GP2 champion has commented this result was a ‘bonus’ after strong debut. has the news story.

    Stoffel Vandoorne believes he showed what he can do in Formula 1 on his debut for McLaren in the Bahrain Grand Prix, and that scoring a point was a bonus.

    Stepping in at short notice after Fernando Alonso was ruled unfit to race due to chest injuries from his massive Australian GP crash, GP2 champion Vandoorne had not tested the 2016 McLaren-Honda prior to Friday practice.

    He went on to outqualify team-mate Jenson Button and take 12th on the grid, then finished 10th after a combative race in the upper midfield.

    “I think for my Formula 1 debut, I can be very happy with that,” Vandoorne said.

    “Since the beginning of the weekend I felt very comfortable in the car.

    “I’m just happy I didn’t make any mistakes operationally, and to come away with a point is a bonus.

    “This weekend was a big opportunity for me to get in the car and I’m very happy I got it.

    “I think I made the most of it and showed what I’m capable of, and now it’s just wait and see.”

    Alonso will still have to satisfy the FIA he is fit to race in the next grand prix in China in a fortnight, meaning another McLaren chance for Vandoorne is possible.

    But he said he was not thinking about this possibility at present and was assuming his next race start would be when his Super Formula campaign kicks off at Suzuka three weeks from now.

    “I see this as a one-shot, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had,” said Vandoorne.

    Button acknowledged Vandoorne did “a good job”, but intimated that he had flattered the Belgian with his qualifying underperformance and race day misfortune.

    The 2009 champion had been running ahead of Vandoorne when he retired with a power unit problem.

    “He knows the team very well. We’ve seen with youngsters they can get in these cars and be very quick in qualifying,” said Button of Vandoorne.

    “It’s a pity that I couldn’t show you what I could do this weekend.

    “I think we would’ve got some really good points, but luck is not on our side at the moment.”

  5. Kimi Raikkonen says recovering from his sluggish getaway in the Bahrain Grand Prix was “difficult”, though the Ferrari driver leaves Sakhir with an eighth podium at the Middle Eastern venue.

    Having qualified P4, Raikkonen actually started third after team-mate Sebastian Vettel retired with an engine issue on the formation lap. Despite the free road ahead of him, the Finn was overhauled by the two fast-starting Williams and emerged from the first lap in fifth.

    Although Raikkonen managed to fight his way back to second position and cut the gap to race leader Nico Rosberg to 4.5 seconds at some point, the 2007 world champion eventually crossed the line 10 seconds behind the winning Mercedes.

    “Obviously P2 is not too bad,” Raikkonen said. “I had a bad start but after a few laps we went straight behind Nico. It was difficult to recover but we did what we could. We had pretty good speed, not enough to win but we take second today and will try to improve from that.”

    Raikkonen now has eight podiums – but no victory – out of 11 Bahrain Grand Prix starts. Asked about his unusual record, the 36-year-old was his unflappable self in the explanation.

    “I don’t think there is any special thing that we do. It just seems to be happening here while there are other circuits where we seem to always have bad luck.”

    Having had to retire with a turbo failure in Australia, the Finn admits his first podium of the season has a bittersweet taste in the wake of Ferrari’s second DNF in a row.


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