Method 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton fights off persistent Max Verstappen to win season-opening Bahrain GP

Method 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton fights off persistent Max Verstappen to win season-opening Bahrain GP

Mercedes star Hamilton edged out pole-sitter Max Verstappen in his Crimson Bull, with Valtteri Bottas within the second Mercedes rounding out the rostrum.

Formula 1 2021: Lewis Hamilton fights off persistent Max Verstappen to win season-opening Bahrain GP

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after successful the Bahrain GP. AP

Sakhir: Lewis Hamilton produced one other gorgeous demonstration of his supreme racing expertise on Sunday to withstand a charging Max Verstappen and win an exhilarating season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The defending seven-time champion defended with supreme talent over the closing laps in his Mercedes to carry off the Crimson Bull driver and declare a record-stretching 96th Method One victory.

Hamilton got here residence seven-tenths of a second forward of the Dutchman, who was pressured at hand again the race lead within the closing laps after passing the champion with a transfer that had taken him off the observe and past the bounds.

As anticipated, Hamilton and his inheritor obvious delivered an exhilarating exhibition of racing as they stormed to the flag – the pair leaving third-placed Valtteri Bottas, within the second Mercedes, to complete adrift by 37 seconds.

It was Hamilton’s first season-opening triumph since 2015 and stunned many observers after Crimson Bull had dominated pre-season testing and two days of observe and qualifying forward of the race.

“Firstly, can I simply say it is the primary time I’ve seen followers in a very long time,” stated a delighted Hamilton.

“What a troublesome race that was – stopping early we knew it was going to be robust, however we needed to cowl Max and it was at all times going to take one thing fairly particular to do it.”

A disillusioned Verstappen stated: “After all, it is a disgrace, however you additionally must see the positives. We’re placing the struggle on to them so it is nice to start out the yr like that”

Lando Norris was fourth for McLaren forward of Sergio Perez, who had began from the pit lane within the second Crimson Bull, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo, of McLaren.

Carlos Sainz was eighth for Ferrari forward Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

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