PODIUM FOR KIMI: Lewis Hamilton has won again in Bahrain, but Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen put the team up for the first time since 2009. Image: AFP / MARWAN NAAMANI
MANAMA, Bahrain - Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix for the second year in a row on Sunday (April 19) with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen back on the podium to deny Mercedes another 1-2 finish.
Hamilton's pole-to-flag victory at the floodlit desert track was his third win in four races this season and 36th of his career.
Unlike the 2014 season, when he beat team mate Nico Rosberg from second place on the grid in a wheel-to-wheel battle, Hamilton was untroubled by the German who finished third after fighting the Ferraris.
Hamilton increased his lead over Rosberg in the standings to 27 points. He now has 93 points to Rosberg's 66.
Rosberg was holding second place until two laps from the end when he lost his brakes, went wide and gave Raikkonen the chance to speed past on his fresher soft tyres and pull away to the chequered flag. Rosberg had been passed by Raikkonen at the start, regaining the place four laps later, in the first move of a prolonged struggle with the Ferraris.
The second place was the Finn's first appearance on the podium since 2013, when he was at Lotus, and first for Ferrari since 2009.
Hamilton told triple world champion Jackie Stewart, doing the podium
interviews, when reminded that he could also be a three-times champion
by the end of the season: "I am gunning for it.
"The Ferraris gave us a real good run for our money, and out there it was really difficult to look after the tyres in these conditions. Fortunately I was able to keep the car together, keep the tyres as healthy as possible and got it through... I think we showed that Mercedes is still the best."
Valtteri Bottas finished fourth for Williams with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel fifth after starting on the front row but suffering front wing problems.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for Red Bull, with the car's Renault engine expiring in a belch of smoke just before he crossed the line, and Romain Grosjean was seventh for Lotus.
Mexican Sergio Perez finished eighth for Force India while Russian Daniil Kvyat was ninth in a Red Bull and Brazilian Felipe Massa took the final point for Williams after a problem on the grid left him starting from the pitslane.
Jenson Button did not start the race at all, due to electrical problems in the Honda power unit, but Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso finished 11th.
2015 Bahrain GP results
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min35:05.809
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari +00:03.380
3 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 00:06.033
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 00:42.957
5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 00:43.989
6 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 01:01.751
7 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 01:24.763
8 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
9 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull - Renault 1 lap
10 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1 lap
11 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1 lap
12 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
13 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
14 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes 1 lap
16 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 2 laps
17 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia - Ferrari 3 laps
r. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 22 laps
r. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 27 laps
r. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 57 laps
Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen,1:36.311, lap 42.
Driver and constructor standings after the F1 Bahrain GP
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 93
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 66
3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 65
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 42
5. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 31
6. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 30
7. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 19
8. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 14
9. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 12
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 6
11. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 6
12. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 6
13. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 5
14. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 5
15. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 4
16. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 0
17. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 0
18. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
19. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
20. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 0
1. Mercedes 159
2. Ferrari 107
3. Williams-Mercedes 61
4. RedBull 23
5. Sauber 19
6. Lotus 12
7. Toro Rosso 12
8. Force India 11
9. McLaren 0
10. Marussia - Ferrari 0