Bahrain, Nov 29 (IANS) Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton took his 11th win over the 2020 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix and Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Alex Albon took second and third place respectively in a race that started with a horror crash for Haas’ Romain Grosjean.
The crash, in which Grosjean plunged into the barriers at high speed in the first lap and his car exploded into flames and split in two, led to a lengthy red flag period.
Following a subsequent Safety Car period at the restart after Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was rolled over after contact with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, it was a relatively simple evening’s work for Mercedes’ Hamilton – crowned world champion last time out at the Turkish Grand Prix – whose victory never looked seriously under threat from Verstappen, despite the Dutchman shadowing him for much of the race.
However, it was not Verstappen’s team mate Albon who looked set for the third podium place but Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. However, just as the Mexican was looking set for a second podium in as many races, his car had to stop with a suspected power unit issue three laps from the end that promoted Albon up to third, giving the Thai driver his second career podium as the race finished behind a Safety Car brought out as Perez’s car was recovered.
Perez’s retirement was great also news for McLaren, who claimed fourth and fifth, Lando Norris leading home Carlos Sainz, while their 22-point haul saw them move ahead of the point-less Racing Point to P3 in the constructors’ standings.