Hamil­ton wins Bahrain GP ahead of Raikko­nen, Ros­berg

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JEROME PUG­MIRE

The Un ited King­dom’s Lewis Hamil­ton’s bid for a third For­mula One ti­tle is gath­er­ing mo­men­tum af­ter an­other con­vinc­ing win in Sun­day’s Bahrain Grand Prix, while his Mercedes team­mate Nico Ros­berg’s sta­tus as his main chal­lenger is un­der threat from a resur­gent Fer­rari team.

Hamil­ton won the race from pole po­si­tion to strengthen his over­all lead in the stand­ings with his third win in four races, and 36th of his ca­reer. He is al­ready 27 points ahead of Ros­berg and 28 clear of Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel — the only driver to beat Hamil­ton so far.

The Bri­tish driver started from pole for the first time in the desert race un­der flood­lights and was largely un­trou­bled, fin­ish­ing ahead of Fer­rari’s Kimi Raikko­nen and Ros­berg, whose brak­ing prob­lem with two laps re­main­ing let in Raikko­nen for his first podium in two years.

Ros­berg, mean­while, has no wins and no poles so far and has only won one race in the past 15.

Vet­tel looked set for a podium po­si­tion un­til a late front wing change ended the four-time F1 cham­pion’s chances and he placed fifth be­hind Valt­teri Bot­tas.

Jen­son But­ton, last in Satur­day’s qual­i­fy­ing, did not start due to a tech­ni­cal prob­lem, while Brazil­ian driver Felipe Massa stalled his car on his for­ma­tion lap due to an elec­tri­cal prob­lem and started from the pit lane.

A late brake prob­lem slowed Hamil­ton down a lit­tle on the fi­nal lap, but he crossed the line 3.3 sec­onds ahead of Raikko­nen and 6 sec­onds clear of Ros­berg — last year’s run­ner-up. Hamil­ton stood on his Mercedes and pumped his fist in the air be­fore leap­ing into the arms of his crew. He then jumped up and down in de­light as he climbed onto the podium.

Raikko­nen was 1.1 sec­onds be­hind Ros­berg but over­took him on the out­side af­ter Ros­berg went far too wide on a turn, prompt­ing ju­bi­lant cheers in the Fer­rari garage.

Ros­berg said he lost his brakes at that mo­ment and team prin­ci­pal Toto Wolff said the team would an­a­lyze why both cars lost brake power.

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