Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won the inaugural Formula 1 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix after world champion Max Verstappen resigned with just three laps and Lewis Hamilton entered a surprising stage.
Verstappen encountered a technical problem in the final moments and Carlos Sainz advanced to second place when Ferrari finished one-two.
Hamilton was promoted to third place after Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez was shut down due to an engine failure in the penultimate lap to complete a dramatic and lousy night for Red Bull. George Russell finished fourth.
“It was a difficult race and it was the best result we could achieve. We did the best we could and we are grateful for the points. ”
Asked if he expected Mercedes to improve, Hamilton said: “I hope and I know the boys are working really hard.
“It’s not a quick change, but we keep our heads down, we’ll keep working and we have a long way to go.”
His place in the field was replaced by Leclerc, a 24-year-old Monachan, whom Ferrari hopes will start a drought in the drivers’ championship in 2007.
And he was happy with his victory and said, “Yes, very happy. The last two years have been extremely difficult for the team. We knew this was a great opportunity for us and the boys did a great job creating this great car.” . “Start in the best possible way. Pole position, victory, fastest lap, two with Carlos, we didn’t expect better.”
Leclerc moved away from his markers to prevent Verstappen from opening the turn. Hamilton pushed for one place from fifth place when he threw Perez into the second corner. Hamilton was in the back of Sainz’s Ferrari before revealing the true current of his Mercedes engine.
Hamilton dropped out of Sainz Ferrari’s gear and was caught by Perez, where the Red Bull driver finished fourth in lap 10.
Hamilton rode two laps later for a fresh tire and took the heaviest ones. Most of the field has moved from soft to medium.
Winning Race No. 3 for Charles Leclerc 👏 #BahrainGP # F1 pic.twitter.com/no47rHfAuU
– Formula 1 (@ F1) March 20, 2022
Before returning to the next round, he temporarily lagged behind the Chinese rookie Zhou Guanya. At that moment, he was 53 seconds behind the leader.
At the front, Leclerc and Verstappen are generously involved in the battle. In the 17th round, amid several orange sparks, Verstappen nodded to the right of Leclerc and led the opening turn, only for Leclerc to fight in turn 4. In the next lap, Verstappen tried his luck again, getting up to move in the first turn, but as 90 seconds or more earlier, Leclerc was back in the lead in the fourth turn.
Verstappen prepared for the third attempt to start the next lap, but stepped on the brakes, overcame them and his best chance of winning seemed to be over.
But Verstappen got another chance with 11 laps to go when Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri fell apart. Gasly got out of the burning engine safely, but with the car parked in a dangerous position, a safety car was used.
The safety car stopped another eight laps, but Verstappen was forced to stop Sainz, instead of attacking Leclerc, and then the Dutch suddenly got into trouble, fell into the field before entering the pits – his night was over. Leclerc reached the flag 5.5 seconds ahead of Sainz and Hamilton after the late failure of Perez by four seconds.