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“If you have God on your side, everything becomes clear.” (Ayrton Senna)

Bahrain race – Kimi on podium, but Hamilton on the way

Bahrain race – Kimi on podium, but Hamilton on the way

Ron Dennis says there were some issues with Button’s Energy Recovery System and adds it would have likely failed if McLaren started the race.

While the reigning world champion always looked in control at the front, there was a thrilling battle for the trio of places behind him with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen coming out on top to score his first podium of 2015.

Raikkonen also closed on Hamilton, who had some late brake worries, but the Briton stayed clear.

Nico Rosberg finished third, ahead of Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in the first night race of the season.

Hamilton made a clean start from pole, with Vettel going defensive and successfully holding on to second. That backed Rosberg up, allowing Raikkonen to snatch third.

However, Rosberg battled his way back past Raikkonen and then took advantage of Vettel running wide at Turn 1 to close and then pass at the same corner next time around.

Ferrari successfully used the undercut to jump Rosberg at the first round of pitstops, but Vettel was then distracted by Hamilton exiting the pitlane and Rosberg took advantage – diving down the inside of Turn 1 to retake second.

The Scuderia repeated the undercut trick at the second stops and again it worked, with Vettel jumping Rosberg, but another mistake by Vettel, this time running wide at the final corner, allowed Rosberg back through.

That slip also caused front wing damage for Vettel and forced him to pit for repairs.

Raikkonen then started catching Rosberg in the final stint of the race, as he was running the softer of the two compound tyres.

And the Finn capitalised when Rosberg – who also had brake problems – ran wide at Turn 1 in the closing laps, allowing the Ferrari to snatch second.

Vettel dropped to fifth with his extra pitstop and could not get back past Bottas despite a long chase.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault engine let go coming out of the final corner of the last lap, but he managed to cross the line to take sixth for Red Bull.

os Driver Team Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1h35m05.809s
2 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 3.380s
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 6.033s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 42.957s
5 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 43.989s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1m01.751s
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Lotus/Mercedes 1m24.763s
8 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1 Lap
10 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Lotus/Mercedes 1 Lap
16 Will Stevens Manor Marussia F1 Team Marussia/Ferrari 2 Laps
17 Roberto Merhi Manor Marussia F1 Team Marussia/Ferrari 3 Laps
Max Verstappen Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Jenson Button McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda Not started


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