Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix more than three hours after the race started, after a huge crash for Romain Grosjean resulted in a lengthy delay at the Sakhir International Circuit.
The champion came home ahead of Max Verstappen, while Alexander Albon benefited from a late issue for Sergio Perez to give Red Bull the team’s first double podium finish since the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas got a slow start, losing three positions off the start line as Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Albon all moved ahead of him in the opening couple of corners.
There was a red flag on the opening lap though as Grosjean’s Haas burst into flames after a collision with Daniil Kvyat launched him through the barrier.
The Halo appeared to separate the barrier, sending the Frenchman’s safety cell through the metalwork, and splitting the car in two.
Grosjean was able to pull himself out of the car and jump clear of the burning wreckage, with the medical car already on the scene. He was quickly taken to hospital, having reportedly suffered burns on his hands and feet, as well as suspected broken ribs.
Once the medical team had vacated the site of the crash, work started to repair the damage, with the FIA announcing there would be at least a 45 minute delay while the damaged barrier was removed and new concrete blocks put in place.
The order was reshuffled ahead of the restart, moving Bottas back up to fourth. Ricciardo had a slow get away from the grid, dropping him down to 10th in the order.
The safety car was deployed shortly after the restart as Lance Stroll tangled with Kvyat, sending the Racing Point into a slow rollover and leaving the Canadian hanging upside down in the car, and resulting in a 10-second time penalty for the Russian driver.
He managed to get out unharmed, but the incident left debris across the track, while Vettel was caught up behind the collision, dropping him back down the order.
Bottas also found himself back towards the back of the order as he ran over some debris, leaving the Mercedes driver with a puncture.
Charles Leclerc was sixth as the safety car came back into the pits, but he found himself under pressure from Carlos Sainz, before Ricciardo also moved ahead.
Renault were the first of the front runners to bring their drivers in for new tyres, with Ricciardo stopping one lap sooner than Esteban Ocon, forcing McLaren to stop Lando Norris to avoid the undercut, but the Brit got back out comfortable ahead of the Renault duo.
Hamilton came in from the lead on the next lap, but Verstappen stayed out longer, with the Dutchman also under pressure from Perez in third.
Second time around, it was Verstappen coming in first in a bid to undercut the race leader, but a slow stop from Red Bull hindered his chances, with Hamilton following him into the pitlane moments later to cover off the threat.
The Renault drivers seemed to find themselves the wrong way round a couple of times, with Ricciardo having more pace on newer tyres than his teammate, but the Frenchman had track position, allowing the McLaren duo to open up a gap.
There was heartbreak late on for Perez as smoke started to come from the back of his Racing Point. With just two laps remaining, the Mexican tried to keep going, but flames soon followed, forcing Perez to pull to the side of the track and quickly jump out of the car, resulting in another safety car.
There wasn’t time to clear the car from the track before the end of the race, meaning the safety car stayed out until the cars crossed the line, preventing any late changes of order.
Verstappen would have been well placed for a late challenge for the race win, having made a late stop for fresh tyres, but the Dutchman did pick up the bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race.
1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Alexander Albon (Red Bull)
4. Lando Norris (McLaren)
5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
6. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
7. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
8. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
9. Esteban Ocon (Renault)
10. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
11. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri)
12. George Russell (Williams)
13. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
14. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
15. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
16. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
Romain Grosjean (Haas)
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