Ferrari Takes 1-2 in Bahrain
Written by William Stephens, Edited by Morgan Holiday
The qualifying session was relatively calm, with a few surprises that included Valtteri Bottas qualifying P6 alongside ex teammate Sir Lewis Hamilton. Kevin Magnussen reached Q3 on his return but a hydraulic issue prevented him improving on P7 and George Russell making a mistake on his final lap at turn 1 meaning he could only manage P9. Charles Leclerc got pole from Max Verstappen with Carlos Sainz third and Sergio Perez fourth. Nicholas Latifi couldn't make it above P20, a disappointing performance while Alex Albon reached Q2 with p14.
The race got started and was relatively calm with no real overtakes happening. All cars except the McLarens started on the softs which proved to last quite well. It was only after the first pit stops that a fight emerged between Leclerc and Verstappen for the lead, which lasted a couple laps. But temperatures got too hot for Verstappen, so he was forced to back off, their fight showing that these new regulations work well. After the second pitstops for the leading group, Verstappen couldn't quite get close enough for a serious attack on Leclerc so the action calmed down.
That was until Pierre Gasly had engine trouble causing a safety car. Most teams elected to pit here as it meant they didn't lose too much time. When the safety car was released and all the lapped cars had un-lapped themselves, racing got back underway. Verstappen’s steering issue that he complained about during the safety car didn't seem to show itself. He then complained about a battery deployment issue which led to him losing second to Sainz then being forced to retire after the engine problems led to him coasting to the pitlane. On the final lap of the race Perez spun at turn 1 with an engine problem putting him out the race and leaving red bull with a lot of work to do having had three of the four Honda/Red Bull powered cars retire.
Ferrari leads the constructors with 44 points, with Mercedes on 27, and Haas third with 10 points. Monaco's Charles Leclerc leads the drivers championship from teammate Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton in third.
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