Hamilton edges Rosberg in Sakhir thriller
6 April 2014 – Lewis Hamilton narrowly beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to the chequered flag in a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday evening. Having scrapped throughout the race on opposing strategies, the pair finished one second apart, while Sergio Pérez took Force India's first podium finish in over four seasons.
After his qualifying disappointment, Hamilton made his intentions clear from the off, darting past Rosberg in the run down to the first corner and boldly keeping the German at bay over the following corners.
Rosberg attempted to regain his lead as the opening stint wore on, but Hamilton held firm and successfuly responded to multiple attacks, with the pair ultimately opting for different tyre plans in a bid to outsmart each other.
Hamilton appeared to have the race under control after the first round of stops, but a late Safety Car period, sparked when Pastor Maldonado tipped Esteban Gutiérrez into a roll, turned it into a 10-lap dash to the line.
Rosberg had the advantage of the Soft tyre at this stage, making a number of DRS-assisted lunges. But as was the case earlier on, Hamilton had an answer for them all to take victory in Formula 1's 900th event.
Pérez, who finished more than 20 seconds adrift of the battling Mercedes duo, kept Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at bay in the closing laps to record Force India's first podium since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.
Like Rosberg, both Red Bulls had switched to the Soft rubber for an attacking final stint, with Ricciardo impressing once more to get the better of team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Force India's Nico Hülkenberg.
Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas ran toe-to-toe for the majority of the afternoon, taking seventh and eighth for Williams, while Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen rounded out the top ten positions.
McLaren driver Jenson Button had been set to score points in his 250th Grand Prix, but retired late on amid technical trouble. Rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen suffered the same fate earlier in the race.
Caterham's Marcus Ericsson, Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne and Sauber's Adrian Sutil also failed to finish.
In the championship standings, Rosberg's lead over Hamilton has been slashed to 11 points, while Mercedes as a whole sits 67 points clear of nearest rival Force India, with McLaren a further point back in third position.
The fourth round of the 2014 Formula 1 season takes place in China from April 18-20