Formula Racing

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX: Race Report

Sahara Force India
By Formula1 Team


The Bahrain Grand Prix produced a spectacular race, filled with emotions, overtakes and thrills from the lights to the chequered flag. It proved the doubters of the sport wrong, as an incredible show developed under the thousands of floodlights of the Sakhir circuit. And, most importantly, it produced the second podium of our history, as Sergio Perez's clinical display saw him clinch third place behind the two Mercedes drivers.

Starting in P4 - equallign his best ever grid position - Checo knew he had a golden chance to return to the rostrum: but for it to happen, he needed a perfect race. He was able to dispatch Bottas at the start, but a fast-starting Massa jumped to P3. Knowing he could rely on a two-stop strategy as opposed to his rivals' three stopper, Checo played the waiting game and it was only as the Williams driver approached his first visit to the pits that our driver made a decisive pass to move into a podium position.

Meanwhile Nico Hülkenberg, who was starting in 11th place, had made a blistering start to make up five places in the first lap, dispatching Alonso - not for the last time this weekend - and moving on to P5 before the first round of stops. With the Mercedes duo in a class of their own up ahead, and the strategy working in our drivers' favour, a very interesting race was shaping up.

As both drivers pitted - Nico first, Checo second - our crew performed spotlessly (they would end up with the fastest time for a tyre change over the race). Our drivers found themselves in fifth and sixth, behind the Williams pair again. Nicos' first attack was repealed by Massa, who pushed the German out of track; this opened the door for Checo, who cleared the rival and his team-mate Bottas to return to podium positions, followed a short while later by a charging Hulk.

The situation was repeated after the second round of stops - freeing both our drivers in P3 and P4 and allowing them to build a gap over the closest rivals. Just when the positions seemed to have crystallised for a triumphant end of the race, however, a Safety Car brought in for Esteban Gutierrez's flipped car re-opened the contest for the podium.

The gap over our pursuers cancelled, the last ten laps of the race produced a tense finale of epic proportions. Nico, on older tyres against the charging Red Bulls of Ricciardo and Vettel, battled fiercely but had to relinquish fourth place to the Australian. His defence, however, enabled Checo to build enough of a gap to hold off his rival. As he crossed the line to claim our team's second podium, followed by Nico in fifth place, Sergio had the Red Bull in his wake, the rival defeated by our strategy, tenacity and team-work.

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes