Mercedes star Hamilton edged pole-sitter Max Verstappen in his Purple Bull, with Valtteri Bottas in second Mercedes finishing the rostrum.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after profitable the Bahrain GP. AP
Sakhir: Lewis Hamilton produced one other gorgeous show of his supreme racing expertise on Sunday to face up to a charging Max Verstappen and win an exhilarating Bahraini Grand Prix to open the season.
The seven-time defending champion defended with supreme ability on the ultimate laps in his Mercedes to carry the Purple Bull driver and declare a report 96th Formulation 1 victory.
Hamilton got here dwelling seven-tenths of a second forward of the Dutchman, who was pressured to return the race lead within the closing laps after passing the champion with a transfer that took him off the observe and past limits.
As anticipated, Hamilton and his alleged inheritor delivered an exhilarating racing show as they stormed the flag – the pair leaving third-placed Valtteri Bottas in second Mercedes to complete 37 seconds adrift.
It was Hamilton’s first season opener since 2015 and stunned many observers after Purple Bull dominated pre-season testing and two days of pre-race apply and qualifying.
“First, can I simply say that is the primary time I’ve seen followers in a very long time,” Hamilton mentioned delighted.
“What a tricky race that has been – by stopping early we knew it was going to be robust, however we needed to cowl Max and it might all the time take one thing particular to do this.”
A disillusioned Verstappen mentioned: “After all it is a disgrace, however you additionally must see the positives. We’re preventing them, so it is nice to start out the 12 months like this”
Lando Norris was fourth for McLaren forward of Sergio Perez, who began from the pit lane within the second Purple Bull, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Carlos Sainz completed eighth for Ferrari forward of Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri and Lance Stroll from Aston Martin.