. He may not have won the Bahrain Grand Prix Charles Leclerc deserved to win this weekend, but he did not have to doubt it.
His later engine damage was hard to observe and robbed him of a first victory he certainly did not have to wait too long to claim. It should also have sent a clear message to Ferrari that there are two men who can equally win the championship this year. Here is an overview of the main points of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Heartbreak for Leclerc: Sport can be so cruel. Charles Leclerc did everything right Sunday night, only to be let down by 12 laps in front of his machine. The feeling in the cockpit must have been a pure pain sensation as the 21-year-old felt how much horsepower disappeared under his right foot and his first victory in Formula 1 slipped through his fingers.
Ferrari later confirmed a cylinder to switch off Leclerc's engine. The lost power was between four and five seconds per lap. With this thorn in the eye Leclerc could end in any case before the two Mercedes. A consolation came on the podium thanks to a belated safety car that neutralized the order and a bonus point for the fastest lap. However, this should have been the best day ever in Leclerc's career. It is needless to say that there will certainly be many, much better days in the future.
What's up with Sebastian Vettel ?: A Ferrari driver deserves a lot of praise, the one driving the other car may have a bit more in the post-race review to explain. Vettel had led early but had no answer to Charles Leclerc's pace from that point on. A lack of harsh pace, however, is easier to explain than what happened later Vettel.
When he started Hamilton later in the race, on one occasion he was able to defend well just to make a spin in the same circumstances as Hamilton passed on the outside of Turn 4. Replays showed that there had been no contact before. This was comparable to the spin that Vettel suffered when he was overtaken by Hamilton at the last Italian Grand Prix. He was also famous when he was a leader in Germany a few months earlier.
The Sunday night looked very similar to the Vettel, which had collapsed cruelly in 2018 and may have triggered alarm bells in Maranello. Recent history and the above-mentioned incidents suggest that the four-time world champion does not handle well in high-pressure situations, and Ferrari is hoping his last spin will not trigger another avalanche of errors.
Two Title contenders: Ferrari said earlier this season that he would prefer Vettel in all 50/50 situations, but in fairness for the Italian team, both drivers were allowed to ride – resulting in the latter Moments from … not the case had been the Australian Grand Prix. There can be no doubt that both Ferrari drivers can win the title this year and Leclerc has made a big statement.
Game Recognizes Game: It was nice to see Lewis Hamilton respond to Leclerc's misfortune. The reigning world champion went straight to the Ferrari rider at the Parc Ferme and hugged him before giving him some comforting words as he waited for the podium: "They drove amazingly all weekend, they were a long, long career ahead I know it's just crap. "
Hamilton has always shown a quick appreciation for young talents – he's been similar to Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in recent years – and you can tell him felt a little bad about how the race was ending, much like he had won in Azerbaijan last year after Valtteri Bottas had a late puncture. But it does not matter how you win it, right?
Lando is worth the hype: Another commendable boy is McLaren freshman Lando Norris. The 19-year-old had a great race and scored a deserved first point on Sunday night. He has made some nice overtaking maneuvers against Kimi Raikkonen – a classic battle between young verses – and Daniel Ricciardo during the race, and looks just like the racing miracle that has been billed to him throughout his young career. [Lewis Hamilton]
Max pulls out his elbows again: Max Verstappen was able to escape punishment because of his collision with Carlos Sainz and it is open to discuss whether this was justified. The Red Bull rider had made room on Turn 4 as he rode the McLaren bike. Sainz's car immediately suffered a front wing failure and a puncture, and although he reappeared after a pit stop at the back of the field, he later retired from the race.
Sainz sounded excited after the incident on his radio, but had done so At the end of the race, he calmed down and said: "It's races, it's incidents. All I can say is that I started well, did everything I had to do and tried everything I had to try, and it ended worse. It was my turn to get punctured because he hit me so hard … Normally we both would have suffered puncture and He was lucky enough to keep going but he hit me really hard it was. "
Verstappen said," He tried to go outside and slowed down late, I think he did not see me These cars are blind to what's happening next to you, I braked late and saw him turn into the corner so I had to take action, we tore off the wheels and that was unfortunate. "
Double Difficulty for Renault: At one point in the evening, it looked as if Renault would be the biggest problem after the race, when the riders soon got in easy contact The second round of pit stops. But three laps from the end, both cars stopped almost at the same time.
Renault had done a great race until then – Hülkenberg had driven the Order back after his poor qualifying and was running in 6th position, while Daniel Ricciardo had apparently made the best of an ideal one-stop strategy to score points to run. Renault has had some important reasons to feel encouraged this year, including some of its pace through the speed traps in Bahrain, but poor reliability has always been a problem for the French manufacturer in the V6 turbo era, and Bahrain has little helped alleviate these fears.
Other Noteworthy Items:
The accident of Renault increased Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon from 11th to 9th place and the first points of his previous F1 career. It also helped Sergio Perez to claim a point.
Daniel Ricciardo escaped without punishment because he had not grown his steering wheel on his Renault after his late retirement. This probably helped cement the Leclerc podium because the stewards were unable to take the car off in time to get the safety car before the end of the race.