Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton secured his 75th win for the Mercedes F1 Team on Sunday evening after an extensive wheel-to-wheel battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Alongside the impressive win, Lewis also broke Michael Schumacher’s record of most laps led in F1, which previously stood at 5,111.
The win also marked Lewis’ fifth in Bahrain, and so, makes him the most successful driver at this race.
As for his Finnish teammate, Valtteri Bottas, a slow pit-stop on lap 30 at the Bahrain International Circuit cost him the chance to fight for the win.
He finished out the season opener in P3, marking his 80th race with the Silver Arrows.
On a lighter note, Valtteri scored an additional point for the fastest lap of 1:32.090 on the final lap of the race.
After a gripping fight with 23-year-old Verstappen right to the chequered flag, the victorious Lewis Hamilton said;
“By stopping early, we knew it would be difficult, but we had to cover Max and keep the track position in the lead.
“They have had an amazing performance all weekend, so it was going to take something pretty special to get the win tonight.
“We stopped for that last stint and trying to find the right balance between pushing hard and saving tyre performance for the end of the race was difficult.
“And Max was all over me right at the end but I just about managed to hold him off. It was one of the hardest races I’ve had for a while so I’m really grateful for it and massively thankful for the men and the women back at the factory and here, for continuously pushing the boundaries and never giving up, even if we do feel we’re behind.
“But we love the challenge, I love the challenge, I love what I do.”
Acknowledging the detrimental impact of a slow pit stop on his race in Bahrain, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas said;
“We lost a lot of time on the slow pit stop otherwise it was a close race with Red Bull.
“The cars were quite close on pace but if you lose 10 seconds like that, racing against Max and Lewis, you are not going to get that back. On a personal level it’s not satisfying but at least as a team, we have more points than Red Bull.
“It was the right thing at the end to stop for new tyres and set the fastest lap so we have an extra point.
“The car was more drivable today, it was better than yesterday and we are continuing to make steps forward.
“Hopefully we can make further progress. We have three weeks of work ahead of us before Imola.
“If you had said at testing that we would have two drivers on the podium.”
Racing resumes on April 18, for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.