Nico Rosberg made it two wins from two races at the beginning of 2016 – and five in a row since the end of last year – with victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Rosberg led from the start as team mate Lewis Hamilton got away poorly from pole position and then tangled with Valtteri Bottas at the first corner.
Hamilton recovered to third place despite carrying damage on his car. The two Mercedes were split by Kimi Raikkonen, the Ferrari driver also getting away poorly at the start.
But Raikkonen’s race at least began better than team mate Sebastian Vettel’s did. The other Ferrari expired halfway around the formation lap, and Vettel didn’t even start.
Daniel Ricciardo was also involved in the Hamilton-Bottas collision but recovered to claim fourth place. Romain Grosjean went one better for Haas in the team’s second race by finishing fifth after an attacking drive on a three-stop strategy.
In the final laps Max Verstappen was bearing down on him but the Toro Rosso driver ran out of time to catch him. Daniil Kvyat captured seventh by springing an attack on Felipe Massa as the pair were lapped by Rosberg – Massa having fallen from second place on the first lap.
Bottas collected a drive-through penalty for the collision with Hamilton which left him ninth. Stoffel Vandoorne earned a point on his debut for McLaren but team mate Jenson Button retired early on.
Rosberg’s win means he now holds a 17-point lead in the championship over Hamilton.
2016 Bahrain Grand Prix
- Elimination qualifying officially replaced by 2015 format
- Haas mechanic credited for saving Grosjean’s race
- Caption Competition 101: Ecclestone and Warwick
- Grosjean takes back-to-back Driver of the Weekend wins
- Another decent race despite qualifying gloom