Bahrain GP: Hamilton wins as Grosjean survives horrific Lap 1 crash

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Lewis Hamilton held off Max Verstappen to win a Bahrain Grand Prix marred by a horrific crash for Romain Grosjean.

The world champion simply had an answer to whatever the Dutchman and Red Bull could throw at him as he made it 11 victories in 15 races this season.

Race Review

At the start, Hamilton held the lead as Valtteri Bottas made a poor start from the dirty side of the grid, dropping to fifth behind Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Alex Albon.

The action was quickly halted though for a scary crash involving Grosjean on the run to Turn 4, with the Haas making contact with Daniil Kvyat after veering right and going through the barrier, immediately bursting into flames.

Thankfully, the halo protected the Frenchman and, despite a 53G impact, he could escape quickly as the car completely breaks in half with the survival cell wedged in the barrier.

A lengthy delay to replace the barrier ensued, with early reports from the medical centre revealing Grosjean only suffered minor burns on his hands and ankles plus a suspected broken rib(s).

Once the circuit was deemed safe, the drivers lined up for a second standing start.

Hamilton again retained the lead with Verstappen holding onto second under pressure from Perez into Turn 1.

Another worrying moment followed though as Kvyat was involved in another accident, this time colliding with Lance Stroll at Turn 8 and flipping the Racing Point.

The safety car would be called to remove his car.

At the second restart, Hamilton and Verstappen led away at the front, pulling away from Perez in third.

Charles Leclerc makes a strong start up to seventh but soon starts to fall back in the Ferrari, losing three places in the space of a lap.

Bottas used the Safety Car to pit early for Hard tyres, gradually making his way through the pack in the Mercedes.

Hamilton stops from the lead for another set of mediums, confirming a two-stop strategy, as Verstappen switches to the hard compound a lap later.

The Red Bull initially makes a bit of a charge but the Mercedes soon responds with the two drivers trading faster laps.

Behind, the team on the move was McLaren as Lando Norris moved upto fifth and Carlos Sainz sixth after their first pit-stops, the latter making up nine places from his grid position.

That was at the expense of Renault, who saw after Daniel Ricciardo slip back at the second restart and compromise his first stint with two lock-ups in quick succession.

An early stop brought the Australian back into contention as he was ushered back ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon on fresher tyres.

Verstappen was the first of the leaders to pit again for another set of hards, but a slow stop compromises the Dutchman as he slips behind Sergio Perez.

Hamilton responds a lap later and resumes in the lead, putting him on course for another win.

Max would later stop for a third time in the hope of a late Safety Car.

And it would come as Perez's perfect audition for a 2021 Red Bull seat was ruined by an engine failure with just three laps to go.

Unfortunately, for the Dutchman, the recovery time would be too long to restart, securing the win for Hamilton.

Alex Albon claimed his second podium in third, with the two McLarens of Norris and Sainz in fourth and fifth.

Pierre Gasly made a one-stop strategy work to clinch sixth, as the safety car also seemed to save Ricciardo, who's car was bottoming out excessively in the final laps.

Bottas' early strategy call didn't reap any rewards in eighth, as Ocon was ninth in the second Renault. Leclerc rounded out the top 10 for Ferrari.

Full results from the race can be seen below: