Mercedes star Hamilton edged out pole sitter Max Verstappen in the Red Bull with Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes rounding out the podium.
“What a difficult race that was. Stopping early we knew was going to be difficult, but we had to cover Max. It was going to take something pretty special,” said Hamilton after his 96th career win.
🏁 TOP 10 FINISHERS 🏁1 HAM 📸2 VER3 BOT4 NOR5 PER6 LEC7 RIC8 SAI9 TSU10 STR#BahrainGP 🇧🇭 #F1 https://t.co/Q97XpdJFFn
— Formula 1 (@F1) 1616949773000
“Max was all over me right at the end, but just managed to hold him off, one of most difficult races I have had for a while.”
UNBELEIVABLE. @LewisHamilton WINS IN BAHRAIN https://t.co/8yb53KY3cC
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) 1616949669000
Verstappen had victory in his sights but ran wide in the closing stages as he passed Hamilton, handing the advantage back in the process.
Verstappen admitted: “It’s of course a shame, but you also have to see the positive. We’re putting the fight on to them (Mercedes), so it’s great to start the year like that.”